Austria on Friday started a voluntary mass testing program that officials hope will prevent long, hard lockdowns in the future. The fast antigen tests started in Vienna and in the westernmost Vorarlberg and Tyrol provinces.

Austria postpones coronavirus testing after huge snowstorm

Several communities within the Austrian Alps put mass coronavirus testing on maintain Sunday and others had been urged to do the identical after a storm dumped enormous quantities of snow, sending some avalanche warnings to their highest stage.

Some elements of the province of Tyrol noticed 70 centimeters (27.5 inches) of blizzard in a single day Friday into Saturday, and one other 110 centimeters (43 inches) had been anticipated on Sunday, Austria’s APA information company reported.

In East Tyrol, 500 households had been left with out electrical energy after bushes introduced down energy traces and the avalanche warning was at its highest stage of 5. Several areas in East Tyrol postponed virus testing.

In North Tyrol, the avalanche warning was at four on Sunday.

Neighbouring Italy and Switzerland additionally issued avalanche warnings, and the Brenner Pass freeway between Austria and Italy was partially closed, as had been some practice connections, APA reported.

More than a meter (three ft) of snow fell inside just a few hours within the Italian Dolomites and rain burst riverbanks of the Panaro river, forcing just a few dozen households to evacuate from the Modena space as a precaution, the ANSA information company reported.

The regional governor of Veneto urged residents to only keep house, noting in a Facebook publish some areas of flash flooding the place round 30 centimeters (one foot) of rain fell inside a brief interval, isolating some small villages within the province of hard-hit Belluno.

In Austria, Tyrol authorities advised native communities to evaluate whether or not the situations warranted suspending coronavirus testing deliberate for Sunday.

“The safety of the population comes first,” authorities mentioned.

Austria on Friday began a voluntary mass testing program that officers hope will forestall lengthy, onerous lockdowns sooner or later. The quick antigen exams began in Vienna and within the westernmost Vorarlberg and Tyrol provinces.

Over the primary two days, some 300,000 individuals had been examined out of Austria’s almost 9 million. The authorities is hoping that a number of million may have been examined by mid December.

The testing is a part of Austria’s technique to sluggish the unfold of the coronavirus even because it begins to ease restrictions this coming week. Tough lockdown measures that took impact Nov. 17 expire on Sunday.

Going forward, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz mentioned Austria will maintain eating places, bars and lodges closed till Jan. 7 however will enable snowboarding from Dec. 24.

In different modifications, a restricted curfew that has utilized across the clock will probably be eased and can apply solely between eight p.m. and 6 a.m. Schools will principally be reopened, as will non-essential outlets, museums, libraries and another companies.

Austria has seen greater than 300,000 coronavirus infections and greater than 3,800 deaths, though its an infection charge has declined in current weeks. It is at present recording 266.5 new infections per 100,000 residents over seven days, down from round 600 final month.