What's wrong with celebrating the New Year

Only six people can slide into the new year

The government announced tightening of the corona rules for the holidays. Ten people can celebrate together only on December 24th and 25th.

Four days after the easing came into force, the government announced the first tightening again: New Year's Eve is to take place with the brakes on foam. A maximum of six adults (and six children) from two households can slide into the new year together. This was announced by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) and Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler (Greens) late on Friday evening.

"New Year's Eve parties would mean the catastrophe for January," argued the Chancellor of the decision. In general, the holidays are an "extremely challenging time". The risk of infection is particularly high when meeting friends and family. It is not for nothing that many other countries around Austria would go into a full lockdown during the holidays of all times. "We are trying to make a certain amount of freedom possible here," said Kurz, but that is why there is "an urgent request to adhere to the rules".

They will be a bit stricter than expected. In the previous week, the government announced exceptions for December 24th, 25th, 26th and 31st. In fact, these should only be given on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Ten people (regardless of how many households) are allowed to come together. The exit restrictions, which actually apply from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., also do not apply on these days. However, this no longer applies to Stefanitag.
"Even if everyone is looking forward to Christmas, it has to be different this time," says Vice Chancellor Kogler. According to the creed, the smaller the circle in which you celebrate, the better.

Night celebrations allowed

In general, nocturnal visits to other people's apartments between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. are currently prohibited. In addition, only six adults (plus six children) from two households are allowed to meet during the day. That will be the case on December 26th. On New Year's Eve, the contact restriction remains in place, but the exit restriction falls. So you can spend the night outdoors or in a friend's apartment.

The government agreed on these holiday rules with the state governors on Friday evening. At 7 p.m. they met for a video conference. However, this took significantly longer than the two hours allotted for it. As Kogler said, it was “a long, intensive exchange”. Recently, the relationship between the federal government and the federal states has been quite tense.

Mask compulsory outdoors

On Friday evening, however, it was finally agreed on further tightening. This includes the expansion of the mask requirement. It should also apply outdoors in “heavily frequented zones”. This means, for example, shopping streets or popular public places. In addition, mouth and nose protection is also becoming mandatory in the workplace - and in particular where the minimum distance cannot be maintained.

The federal and state governments have also agreed on a date for the second round of the mass tests. The nationwide nationwide testing is to take place from January 8th to 10th. In some federal states, however, it will take more days. In Vienna, the test should take place from January 8th to 17th.

In general, the government would like to test more in the new year. From a certain (and not further defined) incidence value, nationwide tests should be carried out in individual districts. This is how you can prevent regional quarantine requirements. As the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor announced, there will be tests for certain professions every two weeks. These include body-hugging services, professional groups with a lot of customer contact and teachers.