Control of control: Austrian police with ‘Aktion Scharf’

VIENNA (dpa-AFX) – In Austria, police officers in uniform and civilian clothes are to check compliance with corona controls in retail, gastronomy and popular sights from Tuesday. “We will continue to increase the control pressure,” announced Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) on Monday in Vienna. The so-called Aktion Scharf is directed against unteachable people who did not adhere to the regulations. This applies to companies that do not take the duty to inspect seriously, as well as to unvaccinated people who are only allowed to enter shops for daily needs.

There has been a lockdown for unvaccinated people in Austria since mid-November. Since then, more than 12,000 violations have been found in 1.6 million controls, said Karner. Every measure taken by the police – be it traffic control or intervention in the event of a criminal offense – will be used to review the Covid regulations. At the border, 5100 people were denied entry.

Video tutorials should help retailers deal with aggressive customers, said a spokesman for the Federal Criminal Police Office. A spokeswoman for the trade association said they were glad that the tightening prevented another lockdown. In addition, the check can be carried out at the cash register and does not have to happen at the entrance. This is important for small and medium-sized companies. In February, a corona vaccination should come into force in Austria.

Meanwhile, the fifth corona wave, characterized by the Omikron variant, is also picking up speed there. On Monday, almost 11,000 new infections were counted within 24 hours, which, taking into account the number of inhabitants, corresponds to around 100,000 cases in Germany./mrd/DP/eas

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