If you are a German in Austria these days, you will get to know for the first time in a long time the feeling of moving around the interiors of hotels and restaurants without a mask - provided you belong to the 3G group: as a vaccinated person, as a tested person or as a recovered.

For quite a few people, this is not only an unfamiliar experience, but also a somewhat unsettling experience.

However, an assessment of Austrian practice requires knowledge of the secondary conditions.

Because Austrian freedom, which was decided not least in the interests of tourism, works on the basis of strict controls and registrations not only indoors, but also in outdoor catering. Visitors to restaurants in Germany can judge for themselves whether the rules are also consistently adhered to here.

Finding the right level of regulation is difficult for any government, and at best it can be judged in retrospect which measures were appropriate and which were not. After all, the spread of the virus depends very much on people's behavior. Surveys show that since the outbreak of the pandemic, a majority in Germany has always pleaded for a certain degree of caution when dealing with the virus and has also accepted restrictions on freedom. Critics see it as proof of blind trust in the state, supporters as an expression of common sense in the face of a danger that fortunately seems to be subsiding, but has probably not yet been finally averted.

It cannot be stressed enough: with an increase in the proportion of vaccinated people in the population, it would be easier to cope with the remaining dangers. It probably makes no sense to rely on insight into oblique parallel worlds of living lateral thinkers. But the number of people who can be won over to vaccination, even if there are incentives, should not be small. Politics plays an important role, but it is not alone in fighting the pandemic.