An extension of the lockdown by two weeks to a maximum of three weeks is necessary because the social partners also want to combine opening the shops with wearing an FFP2 mask. Just to bring the necessary number of FFP2 masks into the country, it takes one to two weeks for the organization.
But one thing is also clear to Mahrer: “We cannot – as planned in Germany – close the economy until well into March, that will not work, it will produce mass unemployment.” Mahrer believes that his arguments were heard by the government. “I also said that if there are certain areas of the economy that will continue to exist, corresponding economic aid for fixed cost subsidy II is needed.” Here, too, it was signaled that further help was prepared.
Gastro and hotels could stay longer
If you read between the lines, that means: The retail trade may gradually open in two to three weeks, but the catering and hotel industries will remain closed. Although one is convinced in economic chamber circles that the illegal celebrations in your own four walls contribute more to the infection process than a dinner with certain safety rules.
ÖGB boss Wolfgang Katzian also calls for clarity on how things should continue from Monday. “We made it clear that the whole thing only helps if you take the population with you on the one hand and don’t destroy the economy on the other.” The focus is on not overburdening the health system, “but at the same time we have to take measures so that the economy is not completely ruined,” he points out to around 530,000 unemployed: “If that continues to grow, livelihoods will collapse . “
A perspective is needed: “Because to say that we are tightening up some measures without saying what has to happen” is not possible. He is critical of suggestions on the obligation to work from home. “At some point that is slowly getting on me. Because some people pretend to be working from home as ‘hammock’. They have to hack, have to keep working, work for the company. Whoever thinks you can look after children on the side, Do homeschooling, homecooking, they live on the moon, apart from any reality. “
No flu wave – more hospital beds
The social partners cannot fully understand the virologists’ fears that the British virus mutation could bring the health system to the limit of its capacity. Because there is no flu this year, therefore more free hospital beds. With the protection of the FFP2 masks, the planned entry tests and the vaccination of the risk groups, you should have the virus under control.
Appeal for home office, but not mandatory
After the meeting, IV President Georg Knill signaled his willingness to support an extension of the lockdown, provided that the manufacturing industry can continue to operate. “I believe that only when we collectively bring back the number of infections, when we defeat the virus, then we can open everything again. That is why it is now necessary to stick together again in a joint effort.” He did not want to commit to a specific time horizon. “The important thing is that we can produce,” the industry will contribute everything by means of hygiene measures and home office – wherever possible.