Austria extends lockdown for another week until Jan. 24 – APA

Skiing amid the spread of coronavirus disease, in Stuhleck
FILE PHOTO: A skier skis down the slope as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Stuhleck, Austria December 31, 2020. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

January 4, 2021

BERLIN (Reuters) – Austria has scrapped plans to allow anyone with a negative coronavirus test to exit lockdown a week early, effectively extending strict measures and keeping restaurants and non-essential stores shut until Jan. 24, news agency APA reported on Monday.

The decision came after Austria’s opposition parties blocked a draft law that would have allowed an early exit from lockdown for anyone producing a negative test for the coronavirus, APA cited Health Minister Rudolf Anschober as saying.

It was not immediately clear whether schools are also to remain closed until Jan. 24 or if they can open as originally planned on Jan. 18, APA reported.

The draft law would have allowed those with a negative coronavirus test to attend cultural or sport events, buy non-essential goods and get their hair cut, a week before the official end of the lockdown on Jan. 24.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold, editing by Ed Osmond)