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

Stadtpark blossom
JOE KLAMAR / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Austria with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Green passport for Austria and 12 other EU countries

Austria and twelve other EU countries have agreed on seven criteria for the creation of a “Green Passport” for tourism.

The aim is to implement the “Green Pass” quickly and as uniformly as possible at European level, Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger told APA, saying it was a “question of survival” for European tourism.

The twelve other countries are Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain.

There should be no introduction of a compulsory vaccination through the back door, Der Standard newspaper reports.

Intensive care situation continues to worsen

The situation in the Austrian intensive care units continues to worsen, particularly in the east of the country. More than 600 Covid-19 sufferers had to receive intensive care on Sunday, as bad as the situation in December.

In Vienna 243 seriously ill people had to be cared for in intensive care units there, more than ever before, Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports.

Vaccination reaches new milestones in Austria

From Thursday to Saturday last week more than 200,000 people in Austria received a corona vaccination, and over 60,000 people were vaccinated per day for three days in a row.

Last Friday set a new record with 77,036 jabs administered to protect against SARS-CoV-2. The total number of vaccinations given now exceeds two million according to Austria’s coronavirus dashboard.

Work begins on Austria’s ‘comeback plan’

Ministers Martin Kocher (ÖVP), Leonore Gewessler (Greens) and Gernot Blümel (ÖVP) will meet today in the Federal Chancellery to start work on an “economic comeback plan” for the Federal Government. A target has been set for half a million people to be brought back into regular employment within a year.

The plan will be based on “work”, “greening & digitization” and “strengthening the location”, according to Labor Minister Kocher, Der Standard newspaper reports. 

Test requirement dropped for Braunau district

As of Monday, there will no longer be an exit test obligation from the Upper Austrian district of Braunau. The increased test capacities as well as the police’s main checks on the generally applicable Corona rules will be retained for the time being, Der Standard reports.

Infections fall sharply in Schwaz

After more than half of the population of Schwaz received a BioNTech Pfizer vaccination between March 11 and 16, 2021 in a pilot project to combat an outbreak of the South African variant of the coronavirus, there was a significant decrease in infections.

On April 10, the seven-day incidence fell to 80 in Schwaz, while it remains at 180 in nearby Innsbruck-Land and Kufstein, Der Standard newspaper reports.

Criminal procedure change defended by minister

ÖVP Interior Minister Nehammer has defended the planned amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure on Sunday, according to which the judiciary will in future usually request documents from authorities via administrative assistance and confiscation in a raid should only be possible in exceptional cases.

Nehammer told ORF he could “guarantee” house searches would still be possible, but it was about proportionality, Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports.

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Iran talks ‘overshadowed’ by Iranian violations of nuclear agreement

The new attempt at nuclear talks with Iran in Vienna is being overshadowed by Iranian violations of the nuclear agreement, according to media reports. On Saturday, there was an incident in Natan’s nuclear facility shortly after new centrifuges had been put into operation.

Iran’s state TV spoke of a “nuclear terrorist attack”, it is reported. The Israeli radio said that it was a cyber attack by Mossad, Die Presse newspaper reports.

Talks begin to rescue MAN truck plant

Opposition SPÖ leader Rendi-Wagner is calling for a new state investment fund of €10 billion to help rescue the MAN truck plant in Steyr and boost the economy after the pandemic, Der Standard newspaper report. 

ÖVP-Wirtschaftsbund Secretary General Kurt Egger is not in favour of the plan, saying socialist concepts for saving companies have never worked. The plant closure would put 8,400 jobs in the region at risk. Talks will start today on a possible solution. 


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