France, Austria begin fight back to normal

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A sense normalcy regained France and Austria on Wednesday as the countries took big steps to turn the page on the pandemic by rolling back a slew COVID-19 restrictions.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz described his country’s moves as the starting point for “our fight back to normal”.

“Starting from 19, we must rediscover our French way ”, French President Emmanuel Macron, who locked down the country October as a second wave of grew, said recently of the changes.

France’s famed restaurant terraces and outdoor cafes could again with capacity restrictions place.

Non-essential shops, cultural venues and cinemas can also welcome a limited number of patrons.

A greater freedom of also allowed with France’s Coronavirus evening starting by 9 pm instead of 7 pm.

Austria’s lockdown has been tightened and loosened at various points over the past six months, but starting from Wednesday, bars and hotels are allowed to reopen a move should help jump-start the country’s key tourism sector.

Theatres, cinemas, museums and gyms will also be able to receive visitors again.

Many non-essential shops and services had been since February.

For many of the venues reopening, however, patrons must evidence they have been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from the virus.

There are also capacity restrictions and limits to the number of people who can gather.

“The curve of those infected with Coronavirus points steeply downwards, the curve of those who have been vaccinated steeply upwards,’’ Kurz said about Austria able to ease up.