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Austria Takes Precautions as It Awaits Summer Tourist Season

Αssociated press

Guests sit in a restaurant with distance in front St. Stephen s Cathedral as part of the old town in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, May 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

VIENNA -- Austria is preparing for the summer tourist season while taking extra precautions to ensure the new coronavirus does not pick up again.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Thursday that people from countries where COVID-19 has stabilized could count on summer holidays with “maximum safety and maximum enjoyment.”

There is an agreement with Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland to fully open borders next month. Kurz was optimistic similar arrangements could be reached with Austria’s eastern neighbors in the coming week. He says negotiations have begun with Austrian Airline’s parent company Lufthansa for holiday flights.

Distancing measures in Austria will remain in place and hotel staffers will be tested regularly for COVID-19.

“We need to ensure that the infection rate remains low,” Kurz said. “The lower the infection numbers the more people will go out.”