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'Lost Track of Time': Austrian President Apologises for Breaking Lockdown Rules While Dining Out

Austria President Alexander Van der Bellen / Facebook.

Austria President Alexander Van der Bellen / Facebook.

'I went out for the first time since the lockdown with two friends and my wife. We then lost track of the time while chatting,' the Austrian President said.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 25, 2020, 2:42 PM IST
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Austria's President Alexander Van der Bellen has apologised after staying at a restaurant beyond the country's coronavirus-related closing time of 11 pm

The President was spotted by police on the outside dining area of the restaurant shortly after midnight on Sunday, the BBC reported citing a local media report as saying.

But according to the government's latest rules, restaurants and cafes, which were allowed to reopen last week, must close no later than 11 pm.

The restaurant could be fined for a breach, but Van der Bellen said he would "take responsibility" if the owner suffers any losses as a result of the incident.

"I'm sincerely sorry. It was a mistake," Van der Bellen said in a tweet on Sunday.

"I went out for the first time since the lockdown with two friends and my wife. We then lost track of the time while chatting."

Austria was one of the first countries in Europe to follow Italy in imposing a strict lockdown, the BBC reported.

It was also one of the first to begin easing its restrictions.

Gatherings of up to 10 people have been allowed since the start of May, and public parks, small shops, DIY stores and garden centres have been open since last month.

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