Austria’s president sorry for breaking virus rules for restaurants

Austria’s president apologizes after police find him at a Vienna restaurant later than restaurants are permitted to be open.

The Krone newspaper reports that police found President Alexander Van der Bellen and his wife in the Italian restaurant’s garden during a routine check after midnight on Sunday, with drinks on their table. Restaurants must close at 11 p.m. under rules that allowed them to reopen this month.

Police confirm Van der Bellen’s presence.

The Austria Press Agency reports that Van der Bellen expressed regret. He says: “I went to eat with two friends and my wife for the first time since the lockdown. We were talking away and unfortunately lost sight of the time.”

He adds: “I am truly sorry. It was a mistake.”

Austria’s president has a largely ceremonial role. The government of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz sets the coronavirus rules.


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