“Free” after five days – Lower Austria implements quarantine reduction – despite severe stomach ache

Health Minister Ulrike Königsberger-Ludwig (SPÖ) is anything but happy with the new quarantine rules that Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) announced yesterday. Like her Viennese colleague, City Councilor for Health Peter Hacker (SPÖ), she should see them as irresponsible. The two share the concern that the number of infections will be kept at a very high level for an unnecessarily long time. Nevertheless, they are implemented in Lower Austria.

The new regulations allow people who have tested positive to work, shop or go for a walk again from the fifth day of their quarantine – if they have not had any symptoms for 48 hours. Only traffic restrictions then apply to them. This means that they must always wear a mask and are not allowed to participate in leisure activities or visit bars.

Despite the concerns of the state health minister, the state has decided to support the federal quarantine rules. This was announced by Königsberger-Ludwig and State Vice Stephan Pernkopf (ÖVP).

This is argued with legal reasons. After hours of phoning around and getting legal advice, it became clear to Königsberger-Ludwig that a special path – like the one Vienna is striving for – is legally difficult. The country fears that it could be held accountable for deprivation of liberty if it does not let its compatriots end their quarantine, even though the federal government provides for it.

Very few people are symptom-free after five days

However, very few people are symptom-free on the fifth day anyway. So far, 85 percent of Lower Austrians have not been able to take the free test halfway through the regular quarantine because they still feel ill or have a CT value below 30.

The spoiler appeals to people to only end their quarantine if they no longer have any symptoms such as cough, fever, shortness of breath or the like, so as not to endanger anyone.

Those who test positive should only work in exceptional cases

Nevertheless, Lower Austria was even a pioneer in the state health agency, the umbrella for all hospitals and nursing homes, with the relaxation of quarantine: In theory, people who have tested positive for a few days can be voluntarily returned to corona wards if they have been symptom-free for two days and are wearing protective equipment.

Stephan Pernkopf (ÖVP) emphasizes that health workers in clinics and nursing homes should only work if they have tested positive in exceptional cases.


The reason for this is the high staff shortages in the health sector. According to the GÖD trade union, there is currently a 14 to 16 percent shortage of workers in this area in Lower Austria.

Deputy Governor Stephan Pernkopf (ÖVP) emphasizes that positives should only be used in urgent exceptional cases. “That should only be decided on site and with the involvement of the employee representatives,” he says.

It’s different in Vienna, as City Councilor for Health Hacker announced yesterday. He emphasized that those who tested positive in the health sector should under no circumstances go to work – not least because of legal concerns and liability issues.

The new quarantine rules at a glance:

  • From the fifth day the quarantine applies to at least 48 hours free of symptoms immediately that the segregation is over. Traffic restrictions are then imposed for a further five days.
  • To an early cancellation of the traffic restriction to obtain, one can free testing respectively. Here the rules remain: a negative test or a CT value above 30 is required. If this is below 30, the traffic restriction must be continued until the end of the 5 days (or if a CT value above 30 is reached before that).

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.