eXXpress readers can still remember it well. It was the excitement in November last year. In the middle of the Corona lockdown, the ORF celebrated undeterred (and exuberantly) the “Licht ins Dunkel” gala. Now it is clear that the champagne party no administrative penalties entails. It was an urgent professional meeting within the meaning of the Covid 19 Emergency Measures Ordinance that was in force at the time, said the responsible Vienna Municipal Directorate. In total, the authority dealt with 150 reports against all participants.
An extensive investigation into the entire course of the event was conducted. Its result: “With the fulfillment of the prevention concept, the 2G+ proof (note: vaccinated or recovered and currently tested) and since it was an urgent professional meeting within the meaning of the 5th Covid-19 Emergency Measures Ordinance, the presence of the Participants are legally permissible and there was no obligation to wear a mask,” said the municipal administration. Because of the scope of planning and the technical requirements for production, the ORF gala could not be held in digital form.
That’s exactly what the imprisoned Austrians had expected. “You could have done all that via Skype,” said eXXpress editor-in-chief Richard Schmitt at the time. But that would probably have been too much hassle. And so you just tell the people that it’s the strictest lockdown and Christmas markets are taboo. “While the rabble isn’t allowed to go to the mulled wine stand, the patricians just keep partying”.