The governors all want to relax, but they are still divided on the mode.
At 5 p.m. the government wants to announce how things will proceed with regard to a possible opening of the country. Before that, she consulted with experts and the other parliamentary parties. In these minutes the meeting with the governors is running.
And they are divided on the mode of opening. However, everyone has pushed for gentle relaxation. Above all, the representatives of Burgenland, Vienna and Carinthia saw a need for this when they arrived. Vorarlberg’s Governor Markus Wallner (ÖVP) again pleaded for regional openings and a start in his country. Salzburg’s head of state Wilfried Haslauer (ÖVP) can only imagine “small steps”.
Wallner again referred to the different development of the number of infections in Austria. The incidence in Vorarlberg is “very low”, even if it is rising slightly. He could therefore imagine “one or the other opening step” in Vorarlberg. In view of the different developments, it is “legitimate if we would like to proceed a little faster,” he said. “If the federal government makes it up to do something towards the end of the month, it would be conceivable to start a little earlier in Vorarlberg.”
Wallner looks primarily at the children, specifically at the sports area. If these are tested in the morning at school, they could go to soccer practice in the afternoon, he said. In the restaurant business, too, he has openings (with self-tests) in mind, he repeated his suggestion.
A likely scenario is that Vorarlberg will be able to unlock due to the good incidences.
Burgenland clearly for regional differentiation
On the part of the other provincial governors, there was a slight reluctance to suggest regional differentiation, only Burgenland’s Provincial Councilor Leonhard Schneemann (SPÖ) spoke out clearly in favor: his country had already proposed this in the past. Vienna’s mayor Ludwig said, however, that it has been shown that individual federal states are repeatedly going through different developments in the number of infections, changes could happen very quickly. Because Austria is a small country and mobility is high. He spoke out in favor of Austria-wide guidelines, said Ludwig.
Incidentally, SPÖ chairwoman Pamela Rendi-Wagner sees it differently. According to her, further openings are “highly irresponsible.” Because: “The number of new infections is increasing and unfortunately also the number of intensive care patients. This high-risk situation is the result of the premature opening of the federal government. There is now no time for experiments.” A situation like the one in November must be prevented.
Salzburg’s Governor Haslauer was also skeptical – given the “current development”. He was also against a “patchwork carpet”: “I am more in favor of uniform measures.”
With regard to possible openings, one stands between the “field of tension” of increasing numbers of infections and the “desire of the population for opening steps,” said Ludwig. It is good that the vaccinations are being opened and that the warmer season is imminent. “My motto is: ‘Outside is better than inside'” – this applies to sport, culture and gastronomy, said Ludwig, referring to possible openings in pub gardens.
Ludwig’s party colleague, Carinthia’s governor Peter Kaiser, pleaded quite clearly in favor of openings: You have to give people a perspective and a time horizon, “people thirst for it”. He, too, particularly addressed the area of sports for children, for which he can imagine openings. Schneemann referred to the Burgenland line: It is important “to open with common sense” and to expand the test capacities. Haslauer said the most cautiously: “I expect small steps, but not big ones. You certainly can’t make big jumps.”