Opposition politicians representing Austria’s federal states have decided to block an amendment to the The Epidemic and Covid Measures Act in the state chamber of Parliament (Bundesrat).
The state chamber does not currently have an OVP/Green majority unlike in Austria’s National Council.
This means plans to introduce testing for customers in non-essential shops in Austria and an Austrian digital Green Certificate which would show vaccination or test results will be temporarily put on hold.
While the Bundesrat cannot prevent the legislation from coming into force, it can delay it by up to eight weeks.
‘No legal basis’ for testing shoppers
According to Austria’s ministry of health, without the amendment there is currently no legal basis for asking customers visiting shops to show a test certificate.
The opposition SPÖ party said it would not approve the amendment in the Federal Council because it allow an Austrian Green Pass showing vaccination, recovery or a negative test for the coronavirus, Austrian newspaper Der Standard reported.
This would give unfair privileges to vaccinated people, as many have not been offered a jab, the party said, it was reported.
It may be possible to introduce coronavirus testing for retail in any case without an amendment to the Act, according to constitutional lawyer Heinz Mayer in an interview with Austrian newspaper Der Standard earlier in the week.