Austria Plans to Start Reopening Stores Next Week

VIENNA (Reuters) -
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz wears a protective face mask as he attends a session in the Parliament, during the coronavirus disease  outbreak, in Vienna, April 3. (Reuters/Leonhard Foeger)

Austria plans to reopen smaller shops from next week in its first step to loosen a lockdown that has slowed the spread of the coronavirus, as long as the public continues to observe the lockdown broadly, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Monday.

Kurz told a news conference that since Austria had acted earlier than most countries, that gave it the ability to reopen shops sooner as well.

If all goes well, it will reopen non-essential shops of less than 400 square meters and DIY shops on April 14, followed by all shops and malls on May 1, he said.