BERLIN — Austrian authorities are canceling the 2021 Vienna Opera Ball in February, a high society highlight, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told the Austria Press Agency that the ball is a “flagship” for Vienna and for Austria as a cultural nation but that it would be “irresponsible” to press ahead as usual.
Austria, like many other European countries, has seen a resurgence of new infections recently and has tightened some restrictions on public life.
Culture minister Andrea Mayer said the Opera Ball requires extensive planning and authorities can’t assume at the moment that a relaxed event with 7,000 people dancing will be feasible on Feb. 11.
But she said the decision doesn’t affect operas and concerts in Vienna, which are going ahead with hygiene precautions.