Politics

Reactions to relaxation: “mass tests are harmful measures”

This is how the opposition parties are reacting to the government’s easing measures.

The framework conditions for the time after the second hard lockdown, i.e. from December 7th, are in place. As expected, there has been some harsh criticism from the opposition, but also some approval, especially with regard to the school opening.

SPÖ: Rendi-Wagner sees himself confirmed

SPÖ leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner warned that the easing should only take place “carefully, gradually and in a controlled manner”. Strict security concepts are needed for the relaxed areas such as trade and schools, because the number of cases is still at a high level.

The party leader believes that opening up to compulsory schools is right. She now also called for clear safety rules in schools and support from the federal states by the government, such as for teacher tests and the provision of masks.

SPÖ education spokeswoman Sonja Hammerschmid complained that there is still no planning security for the schools. One does not know “which test strategy the Ministry of Education is pursuing,” said Hammerschmid. It is unclear whether there will be “a repetition on December 5th and 6th before Christmas” after the teachers’ tests.

Harsh FPÖ criticism

The FPÖ fears that the slow opening steps will cause a hard blow to the labor market and the economy. For federal party leader Norbert Hofer, the opening of the trade comes too late because he expects a rush of customers to the shops.

Hofer also criticized in a broadcast that the lockdown was only partially reduced. Gastronomy and the hotel industry would not get the chance to work again under clear rules. Hofer welcomes the opening of the ski lifts, as exercise outdoors has a positive effect. But he could not understand that this would only happen from Christmas.

He repeatedly criticized the upcoming mass tests: “We support all measures that are implemented based on evidence in order to contain the spread of the corona virus. We reject incomprehensible, even harmful measures such as mass tests. We urgently need this capacity other areas. ” Hofer once again criticized the distribution of partly apparently inferior quality masks to retirement and nursing homes and stated that a legal review of the liability issue was ongoing.

Neos: “Disproportionate”

And the neos? Vice-club chairman Nikolaus Scherak highlighted the opening of compulsory schools positively, but criticized the lack of planning for those entrepreneurs who are not yet allowed to open. He sharply criticized the plan to have strict entry regulations come into force around the Christmas holidays.

All those companies that are not yet allowed to unlock from December 7th are affected by the lack of predictability. “The federal government is not ready to say clearly under what conditions the unlocking can take place again.” Clear criteria are needed as to when further opening steps can be taken. Scherak also advocated replacing 100 percent of the sales losses in the catering trade – the extended sales replacement provides for 50 percent.

The pink people clearly reject the exit restrictions that are now only valid at night. “I still think that’s disproportionate,” said the MP. And the planned strict entry restrictions around the Christmas holidays are “incomprehensible”. “That means nothing more than a travel ban for almost half a million Austrians abroad.”

Association of municipalities: mass tests “important contribution”

The Austrian Association of Municipalities in turn welcomes the opening steps. “It is clear to all of us that the fight against the corona virus will still require great joint efforts from all citizens in the coming weeks and months. The mass tests planned for the next few days will also make an important contribution”, explained President Alfred Riedl in a broadcast. The association also sees the resumption of regular operations in kindergartens and compulsory schools as positive.

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