Politics

XXL lockdown: "Must come to 700 new infections"

In order to tame the virus mutation, there are new rules of conduct. The lockdown is extended.

The confusion in the past two weeks couldn’t have been greater. Ten days ago, the opposition government wanted to give the opposition a bummer that the lockdown could not be ended on January 18 because the Friday was prevented. On Wednesday, Education Minister Heinz Faßmann promised that school lessons would start in shifts on January 25th.

Everything was different on Sunday. The government is sending the country into a kind of XXL lockdown until February 8th. “We are not clairvoyant. In a pandemic there is no guarantee ”, justified Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, why the government’s plan to allow easing from January 25th does not hold.

“British virus” changes everything

Because of the “British virus”, which is “significantly more contagious” (namely by 40 to 70 percent), “all plans had to be thrown overboard,” said Chancellor Kurz on Sunday in the Federal Chancellery. By extending the lockdown to February 7, the government hopes to reduce the daily infection rate to 700. How vague this hope is in view of the highly infectious British virus was revealed by the Chancellor’s next sentence: “We currently do not know whether this can be done at all.” The government is also “fed up with the situation”.

It is important to create room for maneuver so that intensive care units are not quickly overloaded. “It’s March in ten weeks. The virus doesn’t like that, ”Health Minister Rudolf Anschober tried to motivate.

And this is what the current rules and the planned tightening look like:

The baby elephant distance will increase from one meter to two meters in the future. In the social media, the new distance rule is ironically called the “Faßmann distance” because the Minister of Education is around two meters tall.

The FFP2 mask requirement is new in retail and public transport from 25 January. However, the higher quality FFP2 masks are noticeably more expensive, a mask currently costs between 3.50 and 4.50 euros. For people on low incomes, the Ministry of Health wants to have a plan drawn up by Wednesday on how everyone can afford a mask.

Of course, the rule still applies in lockdown that only one person at most is allowed to visit another household. Meetings with friends and family members you do not live with are also forbidden for the next three weeks.

Home office is not mandatory, but it should be practiced where possible.

The curfews will also be extended. Vacation, for example during the semester break, is no reason to leave your home. The well-known reasons continue to apply: work, shop, visit the doctor, stretch your feet, provide help.

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