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19 Oct 2020 | 02:56 PM UTC

Austria: Authorities to tighten COVID-19 measures from October 23 /update 23

Austria News Alert

Authorities announce tighter COVID-19 measures limiting social gatherings from October 23; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/19/2020, 12:00 AM until 11/30/2020, 11:59 PM (Europe/Vienna). COUNTRY/REGION Austria

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Authorities announced on Monday, October 19, that measures will be introduced limiting gatherings to a maximum of six people indoors and 12 people outdoors effective from Friday, October 23. The measure comes as efforts continue to control the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as daily cases in Austria have regularly surpassed the height of the first wave in March. The rule of six will apply nationwide at all establishments, including at restaurants, weddings, family gatherings; an exception will be made for private funerals.

Shops, restaurants, bars, and theaters remain open. Restaurants and bars were previously ordered to only serve seated customers and close by 01:00 (local time). Some provinces have reportedly brought forward closing times in bars to 22:00. Professionally organized events will be capped at 1500 people outdoors and 1000 indoors. Wearing face coverings is also mandatory in restaurants, bars, and open markets, unless seated. Face coverings are also mandatory in all public spaces including retail shops, schools, government buildings, and supermarkets, as well as on public transportation.

Authorities previously placed the town of Kuchl (Salzburg) under lockdown between Saturday, October 17, and November 1. Entry and exit into the town will be limited over this period to deliveries and essential workers.

As of October 19, there have been 65,927 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 904 associated fatalities in Austria. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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