By Lisi Niesner
VIENNA (Reuters) – Austrians flocked to newly reopened hairdressers, beauticians and electronics shops on Saturday, as they relished the loosening of a seven-week-old coronavirus lockdown, although the move could yet cause a rebound in infections.
The Alpine republic acted early in its outbreak to close restaurants, bars, theatres, schools, non-essential shops and other gathering places, which helped reduce the daily increase in infections to less than 1%. Austria has reported about 15,500 cases and 589 deaths so far.
The conservative-led government has said those relatively low numbers justify a phased reopening. The second phase – shopping centres, larger shops and service providers including hairdressers – began on Friday, a public holiday, meaning almost all those reopened on Saturday.
“After seven weeks in which no…