News item

Consultative Committee puts outdoor plan on hold and asks schools to take measures

The Federal Government and the Governments of the Federated Entities discussed the corona situation today in the Consultative Committee.

The Consultative Committee notes that since 12 March, the number of new infections has been rising again, with increasing speed.

The positivity rate has also increased slightly. The increase is visible in all age brackets, except those over 65. The increase in the positivity rate is highest in the 10-19 year age bracket.

The overall proportion of new virus variants continues to increase; the variants now represent about 65 percent of all infections.

An increase in the number of infections and clusters is also found in schools.

The number of hospital admissions again shows a strong upward trend, in addition to a sharp increase in ICU occupancy. Hospitals have since switched to level 1B of the hospital emergency plan.

Based on these findings, the Consultative Committee made a series of decisions.

  1. Outdoor plan on old

The outdoor plan is put on hold for the time being, with the exception of youth activities (young people up to 18 years old) for up to 10 people, outdoor activities without an overnight stay. For children under 12, activities preferably take place outside.

  1. Measures related to education

The Consultative Committee is asking Education Ministers to submit a detailed and incisive plan by Monday, 22 March, to reduce the number of infections and clusters in schools as quickly as possible.

The Consultative Committee also decided:

  • to postpone until for the third and fourth years of secondary education to have full-time in-person education from March 29 until after the Easter vacations.
  • to require face mask to be worn at school by all pupils in the fifth and sixth year of primary school starting no later than Wednesday, 24 March.
  • to only allow full-time in-person education in secondary schools after the Easter vacations, starting 19 April.
  • full-time in-person education must be subject to repeated screening of teachers and, in a second phase, of pupils.
  1. Antigen testing for non-teleworkers in at-risk industries

Starting Monday, 22 March, antigen testing will be deployed in at-risk industries where working from home is not possible.

  1. Restrictions in trains

The number of seats on trains to tourist destinations will be restricted. Except on school days, only window seats may be used on trains, with the exception of children under 12 years of age.

Importance of the basic rules

The Consultative Committee reiterates the importance of:

  • complying with the applicable health measures by the population,
  • strict enforcement by the police and inspection services of these measures,
  • mandatory working from home, as well as its strict enforcement by the inspection services,
  • measures taken by local governments to avoid crowding in busy areas.

The Consultative Committee, the Corona Commissariat and the Risk Assessment Group will continue to monitor the situation closely day by day and will meet immediately when the situation requires it.

The Ministerial Decree is extended until 30 April, with the exception of the ban on non-essential travel which is extended until 18 April subject to parliamentary approval of the cooperation agreement regarding enforcement of mandatory testing and quarantine of travellers.