Austria ends COVID-19 quarantine for those with no symptoms

BERLIN — (AP) — People infected with COVID-19 will no longer have to quarantine themselves in Austria if they don't exhibit any symptoms, the country's health minister announced Tuesday.

The alpine country is scrapping mandatory quarantine for people who have tested positive but don't feel ill, Austrian news agency APA reported. The new regulations will apply next month.

However, infected people still need to wear masks if they leave their homes unless they are outside or can keep a distance of at least two meters (six feet) from others. They are also not allowed to enter places catering to especially vulnerable people such as hospitals nursing homes or facilities for the disabled.

The decision was also made taking into account the pandemic's psychological and social impact, Austrian Health Minister Johannes Rauch said.

He told daily Tiroler Tageszeitung that one must “simply take note that we cannot live with this level of pandemic-related crisis mood for years.”

Mandatory reporting of COVID-19 infections to local health authorities remains in place.

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