Austria Extends Lockdown For a Week

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
(Credit: Christian Thür)

Austria has extended the nationwide lockdown until Jan. 24, 2020.

The Austrian government originally planned to end the lockdown on Jan. 18 with mass COVID-19 testing. However, due to the parliamentary opposition parties’ stance announced on Jan. 3, there will be no possibility for the mass testing intended by the government.

The original plan by the government called for mass testing during the weekend on Jan. 16 and Jan. 17, and a subsequent exit from the lockdown. According to the plan, citizens who could not be tested would have to stay in quarantine for another week.

The Chief of the parliamentary club of the ruling ÖVP August Wöginger confirmed the extension in an interview with the Austrian News agency APA.

“We will not be able to reopen on Jan. 18, as planned,” said Wöginger. “We are now trying to proceed after Jan. 24,” added the ruling party official. Asked if the schools will also remain closed, Wöginger said: “Yes, the lockdown is lockdown.”

As a result, opera companies around the country are likely to expect delays without the ability to have behind-the-scenes workers or musicians engage in preparations for productions or other showcases. The Wiener Staatsoper has canceled all performances until Jan. 26, 2021.