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

A bonfire
NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Austria with The Local's short roundup of the news.

More restrictions for east Austria

A tightening of restrictions in the east of Austria will be announced later today, broadcaster ORF reports.

Health Minister Rudolf Anschober and the governors of Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland agreed on the new rules on Tuesday after hours of talks.

Record numbers of patients in intensive care in Vienna

A record number of people are in intensive care with coronavirus in Vienna and planned operations are being postponed.

Patients are younger and have more severe cases of the disease due to the British mutation of the virus Der Standard newspaper reports. 

Seven day incidence is at 243

The seven-day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 243.

The number is highest in Vienna (312), followed by Salzburg (298.9). The value is lowest in Vorarlberg (78.1) and Styria (190.8). Around 3,415 newly coronavirus infections were registered on Tuesday. 

Plans to allow doctors to vaccinate pushed back

A plan to allow around 1,000 doctors in Vienna to carry out coronavirus vaccinations has been postponed until mid-April, rather than mid-March as originally planned, due to delivery delays to AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Around 6,700 people are currently getting a jab each day in Vienna. However, if there was enough vaccine, the city says it could manage 40,000 vaccinations per day, ORF reports.

Police will be vaccinated after Easter, with paramedics and doctors taking priority. 

Curfew extended

The current nighttime curfew restrictions to combat the pandemic were formally extended to 3rd April in Austria’s main committee of the National Council yesterday.

The corresponding ordinance was passed with votes from the ÖVP and the Greens, ORF reports. Changes to the rules include allowing dog schools to open outdoors.

People accompanying minors on visits to health service providers will also be exempted from testing. 

Restrictions on traditional Easter bonfires

Traditional Easter bonfires will only be allowed in public between 6am and 8pm in Carinthia, ORF reports. The number of participants will also be limited. 

Unemployment falls

Unemployment in Austria has fallen since retail and other services were allowed to open. The Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports the number of people without a job this week has fallen by 7,000 compared to the previous week.

386,000 people are currently registered as unemployed with the Public Employment Service (AMS). Austrian Institute for Economic Research (Wifo) figures show the GDP loss after a year of the Corona crisis is €39 billion. 

No decision made on vaccine

No concrete decisions have been made about production of the Sputnik vaccine in Austria, but adds German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim has rebuffed approaches from Russia to produce the vaccine, the Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports.

The company told the paper it was not active in the vaccine sector. 

Exit restrictions continue to apply in Tyrol

Exit restrictions will continue to apply in Tyrol until 1 April, although coronavirus cases with the mutant B.1.351 in the Schwaz district have decreased significantly.

Cases with a further development of the mutant B.1.1.7 recently emerged, broadcaster ORF reports. 


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