In the future, employees and visitors in hospitals, health resorts and nursing homes will be required to carry out a PCR test if they have not recovered or have not been vaccinated. The same applies to the staff in ordinations. The PCR tests must be evaluated by external laboratories. This means that tests in pharmacies, on test streets, but also the gurgle tests are still possible, said Health Councilor Juliane Bogner-Strauss (ÖVP) at the press conference in Graz when asked. The period of validity remains at 72 hours.
The new rules will come into force on November 8th with an ordinance that will be issued by the state by then. This is only made possible by the recently issued third Covid-19 Measures Ordinance of the federal government, explained Schützenhöfer: “The vaccination quota in Styria is 63 percent full immunization. That is a lot, but too little. That is why I have been calling for uniform nationwide regulations for weeks. I am committed to the federal government’s step-by-step plan, but we will make use of the new legal options. ” The phased plan is namely a “reaction plan”, but you need an “action plan”. “We want to tighten things up so that it doesn’t get worse,” said the governor of the new measures.
This is to prevent a fourth lockdown, because this is not affordable, according to Deputy Governor Anton Lang (SPÖ). The measures will come into force on November 8th, so everyone should have time to prepare for them. Football games, church institutions and cultural events are also affected. “Those who like to go to the sports field will get vaccinated or stay at home,” Schützenhöfer summed it up.
The measures are supported by the medical profession: Karlheinz Tscheliessnigg, board member of the Steiermärkische Krankenanstaltengesellschaft KAGes, made it clear that the numbers in the normal ward and in the intensive care bed occupancy are increasing: “We have to act.” Two weeks ago there was still a “sideways movement” in the number of infections, but now they are increasing significantly, according to the doctors who met with the state government before the measures were announced and who support the new rules.
The Styrian FPÖ state party leader Mario Kunasek let it be known in a broadcast that the measures would far exceed the “worst fears” of the Freedom Party Nothing can be seen for miles of the ‘end of the pandemic’ announced by the Chancellor and ministers. Instead, the Styrians are being harassed with ever new and stricter regulations. ” The ÖVP has meanwhile “given up any whitewashing and is taking ever bigger steps towards an actual vaccination requirement”.