Austria’s reopening plans in jeopardy as coronavirus infections hit three-month high

Austria’s reopening plans in jeopardy as coronavirus infections hit three-month high
Photo: CHRISTOF STACHE / AFP
The number of new coronavirus infections crossed the 3,000 mark on Friday, the first time since mid-December.

The increase has put Austria’s planned March 27th loosening in doubt, while several districts are at risk of being put under isolation. 

On Friday, March 12th, 3,126 new coronavirus infections were detected. This is the first time since December 12th when more than 3,000 infections were detected in a 24-hour period. 

The mark has been steadily climbing in Austria since lockdown measures were relaxed on February 8th. 

On Thursday, March 11th, infections approached the 3,000 mark – with 2,997 infections recorded over a 24-hour period. 

The increase throws into question Austria’s planned next round of lockdown loosening, which is set to take place on March 27th. 

More exit restrictions on the way?

Several districts in Austria are approaching a seven-day incidence of 400 coronavirus cases per 100,000, the level which triggers exit restrictions.

In areas subject to exit restrictions, people are not allowed to leave without evidence of a negative test, with police setting up checkpoints and carrying out random checks. 

The number of new infections continues to rise nationwide. Wiener Neustadt and Hermagor are currently above the critical limit, as are Jennersdorf and St. Johann im Pongau. 

On Thursday exit restrictions were extended to the entire Gastein Valley.

 The districts of Lienz in East Tyrol, Weiz, Perg and Wels-Land could also soon reach the limit, Wiener Zeitung newspaper reported on Friday. 

Which states are hardest hit? 

The the 7-day incidence, or number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 191.6 according to the Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES).

The number is highest in Salzburg (257.2), Burgenland (238.1) and Vienna (230.7). The value is still lowest in Vorarlberg (72.5) and Tyrol (106.8).

Around 631,427 people or about 7 percent of the population have received a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Around 256,268 people have received both vaccination.


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