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Corona crisis: Austria is slowly restarting its economy

23. April 2020

Austria’s government is hoping to gradually loosen the restrictions in public and economic life that have been in force since mid-March.

The Corona crisis has hit Austria hard as well, but the wheels of the economy are set to turn again; in mid-April, the Austrian government took the first steps to get the economy back on its feet after weeks of lockdown. Opening up small businesses will nonetheless involve the retention of restrictions in public life. Face-masks have become a fact of life, and not just in supermarkets, chemists’, pharmacies and businesses (with a sales floor of up to 400m2) -  they are also routine in manufacturing facilities, on public transport and in taxis.

If things go as the government hope and the welcome decrease in numbers of new infections continues, other businesses and shopping malls will also resume trading at the beginning of May. Hospitality, hotels and the first educational establishments are likely to follow in the middle of the month, albeit under strict conditions to protect health and prevent a second wave of Coronavirus. By the same token, some restriction may be retained over the summer, including a ban on public events and border crossings, and this will particularly affect the normally thriving tourism, hospitality, culture and entertainments industries.

The government is nonetheless reacting to the financial losses arising from the compulsory closure of many businesses, rising unemployment and collapsing exports by instigating support measures – a crisis management fund amounting to some EUR 40 billion has been set up, financing an attractive short-time working scheme, and an aid package of payment deferments, credit guarantees, subsidies and grants to protect jobs and maintain liquidity of companies has been established.

Why not find out more about the economic, social and health situation in Austria, as well as of the resilience of its companies in the face of crisis. Further information about developments and options for long-term cooperation is available from your local ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA team.