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Austria's dance floors set to reopen

Austria's dance floors set to reopen

A closed bar pictured in downtown Vienna on Feb 15, 2021. (File photo: AP/Ronald Zak)

VIENNA: Austria said on Thursday (Jun 17) that partygoers will be allowed to hit the dance floor again in July as nightclubs reopen after a long pause induced by COVID-19, in line with a broader easing of measures.

Medical-grade masks also no longer need to be worn anywhere except for hospitals, with regular mouth-and-nose coverings once again allowed on public transport, in shops and other indoor places.

"The situation is much better than expected," Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told reporters, although he cautioned that people should get the vaccine and not become "overconfident" until they are immunised.

Crowd numbers will no longer be restricted at events, where people do not need to keep their distance or wear face coverings anymore.

A midnight curfew will also be lifted from Jul 1, allowing for nightlife to return.

READ: UK's Johnson delays COVID-19 lockdown easing for England by 4 weeks

READ: Spain opens borders to all vaccinated travellers

The only rule that remains is that those who attend an event, go to a nightclub or eat in a restaurant must show proof of either having received at least one vaccination shot more than three weeks ago, recovered from COVID-19 or tested negative.

Nightclubs closed in March last year as the pandemic spread through Europe, and were among the few venues that mostly stayed shut last summer during a lull in new cases.

The Alpine European Union member of almost 9 million people has reported more than 649,000 cases to date with some 10,670 deaths.

Almost half of the population has already received at least one shot, while a quarter is fully vaccinated.

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Source: AFP/kg

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