Austria Plans Mass Testing of Hotel Staff to Jump Start Tourism As Coronavirus Wanes

By Kurt Stolz on 22 May 2020
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The lobby bar at the InterContinental hotel in Vienna in March

Hotels in Austria will be allowed to reopen on May 29 as the country boldly moves to ensure it is “the safest vacation destination in the world.”

Health officials there plan to expand their efforts to test hotel staff for the novel coronavirus and will test as many as 65,000 workers, the government said Thursday.

“Starting May 29, it will be again be possible to go on vacation in Austria,” said Minister of Tourism Elisabeth Köstinger at a press conference with Kanzler Sebastian Kurz and the president of the country’s chamber of commerce, Harald Mahrer.

The country will market its restarted tourism industry using the motto, “Auf dich wartet ein guter Sommer” or “A good summer awaits you.”

“We will invest a great deal… to test as many hotel staff members who come into contact with guests as possible,” said Kurz.  One will be able to vacation safely in Austria, which will scarcely be possible in another country, he added.

Hotels where the tests have been conducted will receive a seal to display to guests.  The government will assume responsibility for the cost of testing.

Austria wants to banish the memory of a massive coronavirus outbreak in Ischgl, at one of its ski resort towns, in March, before the town was quarantined.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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