Shopping centers, furniture stores, businesses of more than 400 square meters and services such as hairdressers and barbershops have reopened in Austria today with a large influx of customers, as part of the plan to revive public life while reinforcing prevention measures against the pandemic.
In front of the big international fashion chains in the main shopping streets queues of people have waited – keeping the distance – to enter the establishments.
In hairdressing salons – with full reservations and waiting lists – employees must wear a mask and a protective face shield, as well as gloves, while clients also have to wear mouth and nose protection, although they can be removed to trim the beard. or in hair removal.
The number of clients that can be in business has also been reduced to the maximum to avoid contagion.
In shopping malls and other stores of more than 400 square meters that reopened today, the use of masks is mandatory and only one customer is allowed for every 20 square meters, so there are limitations on the number of people inside the establishments.
Business hours have also returned to normal. In recent weeks, a reduced day was in force, until 7:00 pm, but the unions have demanded that this time be maintained until the middle of the month to better assess the effect of the reopening on the number of infections.
Movement restrictions ended on April 30, although the use of face masks is mandatory in public transport, supermarkets and other closed spaces.
The government of conservatives and environmentalists presented in early April a plan to gradually lift restrictions and closings, which already meant the reopening on April 14 of all businesses of less than 400 square meters and parks.
Austria, a country of 8.8 million inhabitants, has almost 15,500 positives and 596 deaths have been registered.
The fall in the number of infections and the success so far in containing the pandemic have led the Executive to allow a gradual return to normality.
From this week it is possible to see friends and family again, although in public spaces meetings will be limited to a maximum of 10 people.
Between May 4 and 29, primary and secondary schoolchildren will gradually return to class, while restaurants will open their doors on the 15th with a limited number of customers per table, and hotels will welcome travelers again from the day 29.
From the middle of the month they will open other leisure places, such as museums, libraries or zoos, and the religious services will return to the different temples, always distanced.
However, major events, both cultural and sporting, will remain banned until at least June 30.