Overview of the easing of corona-related measures in Austria

Vienna, 2020-05-22

The measures adopted by the federal government to contain the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and which came into force on 16 March 2020, have now been eased.

The Republic of Austria is gradually being returned to normality. The first milestone in the easing of these restrictions was reached with the partial reopening of the retail sector on 14 April; this affected all small shops with sales areas of less than 400 square metres, as well as DIY stores and garden centres. Since 2 May, all shops, regardless of their size, and also service providers such as hairdressers, beauty salons, etc., have again been allowed to open, whereby strict requirements must be observed in each case, such as the wearing of a face mask or adherence to the minimum distance.

On 15 May, the catering trade was also able to resume operations, taking into account the legal requirements applicable in this respect (minimum distance between tables, table assignment by staff, closing time at 11 pm, etc.). Hotels and other accommodation establishments may reopen from 29 May. The gradual resumption of the operation of schools and nurseries also began on 4 May.

To support ailing companies, the Austrian Federal Government has put together a comprehensive aid package of 38 billion euros, which essentially serves to secure the liquidity of  individual companies, to preserve jobs, to enable immediate assistance for the self-employed and to cushion business losses (corona-related short-time work, hardship fund, corona-related aid fund, tax relief, “pub package”).

Author: Johannes Zink, attorney at law

Held Berdnik Astner & Partner (hba)