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Today in Austria: A round-up of the latest news on Friday

Find out what's going on today in Austria with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Pamela Rendi-Wagner
VLADIMIR SIMICEK / AFP)

‘Lockdown needed’ says opposition SPÖ leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner

SPÖ leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner says Austria should lockdown soon, in order to stop the “worrying upward trend” of infections which risk overwhelming the country’s  intensive care units, she told the Ö1 “Morgenjournal” on Friday.

She said school closings or an extension of the Easter holidays, should be “the last resort”, the Der Standard newspaper reports.

Deaths fall in care homes

Deaths are falling among people in retirement homes, due to the vaccination campaign, figures from the Ministry of Health show. Patient advocate Gerald Bachinger is now calling for the visiting rules to be relaxed.

Scientist Niki Popper has urged the vaccination campaign to now focus on people aged 65 and over as these make up a large proportion of intensive care patients.

He says if this “vaccination gap” is closed, further openings are possible in May, broadcaster ORF reports. 

Paper version of Digital Green Certificate for travel

Austria’s Ministry of Health has said there will also be a paper version of the EU Commission’s proposed Digital Green Certificate for travel. This would be in addition to a mobile application, which should also allow access for the elderly. Every second person between 65 and 74 uses a smartphone in Austria, according to the newspaper Wiener Zeitung

End in sight for border controls in Tyrol? 

Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz showed confidence in a visit to Berlin on Thursday that the German border controls to Tyrol will soon be ended.

Kurz: ‘The danger is the virus, not the vaccine’

After his meeting with the German Interior Minister Seehofer, Kurz said he was assuming “that if the infection process continues to develop so well in Tyrol”, the controls could be ended within two weeks, according to the APA agency.

FPÖ deputy in intensive care with coronavirus

The deputy chairman of the FPÖ party, Manfred Haimbuchner, is intensive care on a ventilator after contracting Covid 19. He tested positive for the corona virus on 11th March, two days after allegedly attending a baby shower with up to 30 people in his home town of Steinhaus near Wels, broadcaster ORF reports. 

AstraZeneca vaccine ‘central’ to Austria’s rollout

Health Minister Rudolf Anschober has said the AstraZeneca vaccine is central to Austria and the EU’s vaccination programmes because the drug does not need to be heavily refrigerated, is easier to transport and can also be used by GPs.

AstraZeneca vaccine ‘safe and effective’ against Covid-19: European Medicines Agency 

By the end of the second quarter of 2021, 4.6 million people in Austria, or 63 per cent of adults, should have received vaccination protection, including 5.9 million doses from AstraZeneca, ORF reports. 

New Hedy Lamarr museum in Vienna

Vienna is planning a museum for Hollywood icon Hedy Lamarr. Lamarr was born in Vienna before becoming a celebrated actress who also invented torpedo defence technology which is considered a forerunner of Bluetooth.

Vienna’s Jewish Museum bought the Lamarr’s estate of the US actress, which includes an archive of photos, personal letters and documents as well as items of clothing and her legendary drawings on torpedo defense.

It is now looking for a suitable exhibition location, ORF reports. 

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DISCOVER AUSTRIA

Discover Austria: How to make the most of 24 hours in Innsbruck

Looking for a short break in Austria that combines city life with the great outdoors? Then make your way to Innsbruck, where you can explore the mountains by day and the city by night.

Discover Austria: How to make the most of 24 hours in Innsbruck

Innsbruck is a small city nestled in the heart of the Austrian Alps in Tyrol.

It’s surrounded by mountains and has a strong connection with nature. But at the same time it has a strong arts and culture scene and a vibrant nightlife.

Here’s how to make the most of both worlds with The Local’s guide to 24 hours in Innsbruck.

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Outdoor adventures

When it comes to outdoor adventures in Innsbruck, exploring the Nordkette mountain range is a must-do.

The Nordkette (or North Chain) is located just north of the city and is part of the stunning Karwendel Nature Park – Austria’s largest nature park covering 727 sqm.

This mountain range is easily accessible from the city centre with the Nordkettenbahn (Nordkette cable car). In just eight minutes, visitors can go from Congress Station on Rennweg (near the Golden Roof – see more below) to the Hungerburg Station via the Hungerburgbahn. 

From there, you can visit Hermann Buhl Square to find out more about the famous Austrian mountaineer. Or simply take in the panoramic views across the city.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can then head to the Seegrube Panorama Trail or to the Seegrube Restaurant to try Tyrolean cuisine like homemade soups and Gröstl (a bacon, onion and potato fry up).

The cable car runs every 15 minutes from 7.15am to 7.15pm, Monday to Friday. On Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, the operating hours are 8am to 7.15pm.

Tickets for the Hungerburgbahn start at €10.90.

READ MORE: Discover Austria: 19 ways to make the most of autumn this year

History and culture

The Goldenes Dachl (or Golden Roof) is a landmark structure. It’s located in the Old Town (Altstadt) and is considered Innsbruck’s most important and historic symbol.

The building was completed in 1500 and finished with 2,657 fire-gilt copper tiles on the roof, which give the effect of a roof made from gold (hence the name). It was built for Emperor Maximilian I.

Visitors can take in the structure from outside for free – or from the comfort of one the nearby cafes if you can get a seat on the terrace. Alternatively, you can pay a fee to go inside and explore the museum, depending on how much time you have.

From October to April, the Goldenes Dachl is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

While you’re at the Goldenes Dachl, it’s also worth taking some time to wander around the Old Town and then down to the river. There is a pretty view across the water of different coloured houses, all of which have stunning mountains as the backdrop.

READ ALSO: How to keep safe and avoid problems when hiking in the Austrian Alps

(Photo by Harold Wainwright on Unsplash)

Food and drink

If you’re on a budget, or just want to sample some local and seasonal produce while you’re in Innsbruck, then add the Markthalle (market hall) to your itinerary.

The Markthalle has more than 40 vendors and sells everything from Speck (cured ham) to Austrian cheeses and fruit and vegetables. 

On the weekend, the Markthalle is only open from 7am to 1pm on Saturday and is closed on Sunday. But it’s open from 7am to 6.30pm from Monday to Friday.

For craft beer fans, add Tribaun bar to your list of things to do in Innsbruck.

Tribaun is centrally located on Museumstrasse (about a five-minute walk from the Goldenes Dachl). It has around 16 different craft beers on tap, as well as a food menu with pizzas and burgers. 

Tribaun is open Monday to Saturday from 6pm and customers can book a 90 minute beer tasting for the full experience.

Another recommendation for food is burrito hotspot, Machete, on Anichstrasse, where you can sample Mexican cuisine while sipping on cocktails.

Unfortunately, Machete does not take bookings, so it’s worth arriving early if you really want to get a table. Machete is open from 11.30am to 1am from Tuesday to Saturday, and from 11.30am to 12am on Sunday. 

READ NEXT: Schwammerl season: What is it and when does it start in Austria?

Shopping

Maria-Theresian-Strasse is the main shopping street in Innsbruck. It is home to Kaufhaus Tyrol and the RathausGalerien, both indoor centres with shops and cafes.

All the usual high street shops can be found on Maria-Theresian-Strasse. As well as some Austrian favourites, like Swarovski, and stores selling traditional dirndls and lederhosen.

If you want an alternative to high street stores then stroll through the Old Town where there are many small, independent shops selling jewellery, souvenirs and local food. This is the place to go to pick up some Tyrolean gifts.

READ ALSO: One day in Vienna: How to spend 24 hours in the Austrian capital

And just outside of the city centre there is the DEZ shopping centre, where you can find stores like H&M, Zara, Humanic and even IKEA.

Got a recommendation for our 24 hours in Innsbruck guide? Let us know in the comments section below or email [email protected].

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