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

Closed restaurants at Vienna's Naschmarkt
JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
Find out what's going on today in Austria with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Stricter lockdown for Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland

As The Local reported yesterday, a strict lockdown will come into place with shops and hairdressers closing from 1 April to 6 April in Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland.

People will also be asked to stay home. More tests will be required for cross border commuters. Schools will close for an extra week over Easter, due to a rise in the number of intensive care patients. 

Read more: Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland to re-enter strict coronavirus lockdown

‘Operations will have to be postponed’

A shortage of intensive care beds in Vienna due to coronavirus patients means some planned operations will have to be postponed, according to a spokeswoman for the Vienna Health Association, the Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports.

Seven day incidence at 247

The seven-day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 247 according to AGES.

The number is highest in Salzburg (298.9), followed by Vienna (298.4) and Burgenland (283.9). With the exception of Vorarlberg (81.3), the value is currently over 200 in all federal states.

The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of the Interior reported 3,289 newly registered coronavirus cases on Wednesday. There are currently 2,086 people in hospital treatment due to the coronavirus, 447 of them in intensive care units.

Over a million people given first dose of coronavirus vaccine in Austria

Around 1,013,332 people (13 percent of the vaccinable population) have received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccination in Austria. Around 341,362 people (4.5 percent  have received both doses, Austria’s coronavirus dashboard shows.

Corporate insolvencies at record low

The number of corporate insolvencies fell to its lowest level since 1977 in the first quarter in Austria, according to Der Standard newspaper.

The outlet quotes insolvency expert Karl-Heinz Götze from the creditors’ advocate KSV 1870, who criticises the government’s decision to extend the bankruptcy law until the end of June, fearing it will keep failing companies alive.

Wifo economist Thomas Url points out government aid, short-time work and other measures have a stronger effect on avoiding company bankruptcies than the relaxation of insolvency law.

Further scandal at Hygiene Austria

Hygiene Austria, which is involved in a scandal over selling Made in Austria masks which were actually made in China, made profits at the expense of the employees and the taxpayers the Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports.

The company paid wages below the collective agreement, and  in some cases no wages paid since October.

The newspaper also reports in some cases social security contributions or taxes were not paid. Christoph Klein, Director of the Vienna Chamber of Labor (AK) said it was important to prevent a “modern slave society” from emerging.  

Car lobby protests against plans to stop selling cars with internal combustion engines

The car lobby industry has written an open letter to Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz about the plan of the federal government and eight other EU countries to set an exit date for the sale of cars with internal combustion engines.

Broadcaster ORF report around 25,000 employees are directly involved in the production of engines and transmission parts for cars.


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