#0211w. Vienna is shocked. The second lock down that started yesterday was not enough,.... The more we need to think about positive times - like Christmas. Christmas time in Vienna is about the illuminated streets and places and of course about the Christmas markets with their smells and tastes and happy people. And yes, I do have good news for you! Even this year there will be the Christmas markets in Vienna, of course with a Covid-19 safety concept, and with a slightly belated start....
Some shops are already decorated 'Christmassy' since weeks, the preparation work for illuminating the streets of Vienna have already started. So, Christmas cannot be too far then, right? Well, there are missing not even two months.
Exactly these last weeks before Christmas are so magical in Vienna. It is the time when the Christmas markets are opening - in front of the city hall, between the two museums, in front of the Karlskirche, in Schoenbrunn, etc
On November 13, so next week, the first Christmas markets should have opened. With the lock down, the opening has been postponed to beginning of December - always with an eye on the infections and the development of those figures. BUT: there is the absolute will to open - and this is how it will look like:
- The already common rules apply as well when visiting the markets:
- Keeping a minimum distance of 1 m to others
- Wearing the nose-mouth mask. There are masks available at the entrance to the markets as well as at each and every single stand.
- Disinfecting hands regularly. There will be disinfectant dispenser at the entrance to the markets as well as at each and every single stand.
- When feeling sick, stay at home
- avoid group like gatherings
- Food and beverages might be consumed in designated areas only and not in front of the food stands
- There is a maximum of 4 persons allowed per bar table (in standing)
- There will be a counting and frequency measurement system at the entrance to the markets with 'traffic lights'. In the market areas will be designated staff to help the guests to keep the regulations and the distance to ensure a safe visit at the Viennese Christmas markets.
- It is - as per the current regulations - not obligatory to register in a list, but the visitors of the Christmas markets can do so voluntarily at the food stands to facilitate eventual contact tracing.
Also, Viennese hotels are more than looking forward to welcoming guests from all over the world. Some hotels, like the 5* Palais Hansen Hotel Kempinski, are even Covid-19 certified and count to the 'Safe Stay Vienna Hotels' with special measurements.
Last week I have been for breakfast in this luxurious hotel. Of course, the nose-mouth mask has to be worn in the public areas of the hotel, such as in the lobby, at the reception, in the restaurants until you get seated. Waiting for my appointment in the lobby, one of the friendly staff brought my very personal disinfection gel. Then, going to the restaurant, we have to register using the QR code which gives then access to the exhaustive breakfast menu that you can order to the table. Well, I picked Egg Benedict. The service staff in the restaurant 'The Kitchen' was very attentive - and very quick. So, before we could start to explore the rich breakfast buffet - and I was really, really curious how they adapted to the new situation, as the breakfast in this hotel counts for me to the best breakfasts in Vienna -, the Egg Benedict was served. Nevertheless, we started to explore the buffet which waited for us with so many great details: salmon, ham, salami, cheese, hummus and so much more served in mini-portions on mini plates, different muesli packed in sealed paper-packs, jams in small, closed glasses, or - very important especially during the colder months of the year - 2 vitamin shots to choose from. Delicious! As there were so many details to be discovered and inspected it took more time and when we came back to the table.... the Egg Benedict was gone. Some minutes later the waiter brought a new, fresh one. What a service!
So, even with all the regulations and restrictions, it is important to get pampered from time to time and to enjoy life. For all those, who are allowed to come to Austria, to Vienna, come and enjoy this amazing before-Christmas time. Safe. Because we need to think and #staypositive.