The main committee of the National Council agreed on Wednesday evening to extend the corona exit restrictions from 8 p.m. for a further ten days and thus until November 22. Agreement on the amendment to the Covid-19 Protective Measures Ordinance, which came into force at the beginning of November, was submitted by Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens) with the votes of the ÖVP, Greens and SPÖ, said the parliamentary correspondence.
The extension was necessary because, according to the Covid-19 Measures Act, exit restrictions such as leaving private living quarters can only be in force for ten days, after which an agreement with the main committee must be re-established.
No improvement in the first nine days
Since the rapid increase in the number of new infections in Austria has not yet been slowed down by the measures taken at the beginning of November, an extension is necessary, said Health Minister Anschober.
The whole of Europe is currently being hit by a second wave, with higher numbers of infections and hospitalizations as well as a rising mortality rate, with a dynamic and violence that goes well beyond the first wave in spring this year. “We are in this situation in Austria,” said Anschober. In the last nine days since the introduction of the new exit and entry regulations, no improvement has been achieved. The initial finding after the introduction of the second lockdown was very poor.
SPÖ demands valid data
Although the SPÖ voted for an extension of the initial regulations, the Social Democrats are still calling for better and valid data to be put on the table in the future, including on the effectiveness of the measures taken. Otherwise it will be difficult for her parliamentary group to “fly blind” to agree, said SPÖ club chairwoman Pamela Rendi-Wagner.
According to the SPÖ leader, these “massive encroachments on fundamental rights and freedoms” needed an objective justification. The reasons for the facts now submitted by the Minister of Health showed goodwill, but some details and data would be missing to be able to speak of a sound justification.
“We consider the encroachment on fundamental rights too extensive. They went too far for us ten days ago and that is still the case,” said NEOS MP Gerald Loacker. On the part of the Freedom Party, Dagmar Belakowitsch warned in particular of collateral damage in society.