Austria Announces New Lockdown, Wiener Staatsoper to Remain Closed

By Francisco Salazar

Austria is set to close its city down following a surge in COVID-19 cases, putting the opera season on full hiatus.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz is planning to move from its current nighttime curfew and partial shutdown to a full lockdown from Tuesday until Sunday, Dec. 6. The new restrictions will include the shutdown of schools and “non-essential” businesses. People will be allowed to leave their homes only for essential food purchases and emergency medical care.

The change has already affected opera houses, which were set to reopen at the end of November; the Salzburg Festival was set to unveil its 2021 summer season. The festival will now roll out its season in Mid-December. Additionally, opera companies such as the Wiener Staatsoper have opened their archives to stream performances while they remain closed.

Over the weekend Austria recorded an all-time high of more than 9,000 daily coronavirus cases and hospitals are being stretched thin.