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

Kids going to school
Philippe LOPEZ / AFP
Find out what's going on today with The Local's short round up of the news.

AstraZeneca vaccination unchanged in Austria 

Austria’s National Vaccination Committee said on Wednesday evening the vaccination program in Austria will continue unchanged, despite the rare cases of blood clots after vaccination with AstraZeneca, following the recommendation of EMA, the Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports. 

Some classes in eastern states to return to school 

Children in the final grades of elementary (Volksschule) or middle school (AHS/ BMHS) are being told they can return to school next week in Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland, although distance learning for all other classes has been extended until 16th April, broadcaster ORF reports.

Minister of Education Heinz Faßmann told the APA agency the school had become “an instrument for fighting pandemics”, and pointed out Austria tests more than any other country in Europe. In addition two thirds to three quarters of teachers have been vaccinated. 

Seven day incidence is 232

The seven-day incidence in Austria, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 232. The number is still highest in Vienna (324.0), followed by Lower Austria (251.6) and Salzburg (218.5). The value is lowest in Vorarlberg (131.9) and Styria (172.0).

Austria’s foreign trade slows

Data from Statistics Austria data shows foreign trade slowed massively at the start of the year. Goods exports fell by 9.5 percent in January compared to the same month last year. Imports were also down by 10 per cent, leading to a trade deficit of €230 million, Wiener Zeitung reports.

‘Entry tests’ for universities

A new law will allow universities to evidence of a negative test – known as ‘entry tests’ – to take part in classroom teaching and exams, broadcaster ORF reports. Testing will be required for students to gain access to laboratories, individual lessons, smaller courses and exams, for example.

Large lectures are not possible because of the distance rules, most of the teaching and probably also the examins will continue to be held online.

Increase in unemployment benefit

The federal government has extended the increase in emergency assistance to the level of unemployment benefit until the end of June. The situation on the labour market is still tense according to Labour Minister Kocher, Die Presse newspaper reports. 


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