Cover photo: Face masks on display in a closed shop in Vienna: Reuters/Leonhard Foeger
Austria has become one of the first European countries to map out a concrete plan to loosen lockdown restrictions, announcing that it intends to open smaller shops from next Monday.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told a press conference that since Austria had acted earlier than most countries to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, it was also in a better position to reopen shops.
If the plan works out, Austria will reopen non-essential shops of less than 400 square metres and DIY shops on 14th April, followed by all shops and malls on 1st May.
Face masks will have to be worn in reopened shops and on public transport.