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

Emma Midgley
Emma Midgley - [email protected] • 21 Apr, 2021 Updated Wed 21 Apr 2021 08:45 CEST
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A farmer drives a tractor in front of a blooming apricot trees on March 29, 2019 in the village of Bacharnsdorf, in the cultural landscapes of the Wachau World Heritage Site, located 80 km west of Vienna. - The Wachau apricot has the Protected designation of origin (PDO) label. Due to the unusually warm weather, the flowering started three weeks earlier and only lasted one week. (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)

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


No support for extending lockdown past 3 May 

Chamber of Commerce trade chairman Rainer Trefelik believes neither the population or companies would support any further lockdown in Lower Austria and Vienna past May 3rd, Der Standard newspaper reports.

The government plans to waive previous plans for entry tests for retail, after the trade association, Chamber of Commerce and trade union all opposed it. There are also concerns from industry representatives over testing for access for restaurants’ outside terraces.


New Health Minister supports opening up across Austria in May

The new Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein told the ZIB2 programme he believes opening up in all states across Austria in mid-May is a good idea, although he admitted the coronavirus infection situation in the individual federal states is very different. 

Exactly which areas should be opened are currently being negotiated. The results of the negotiations are to be presented on Thursday or Friday together with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler.

He also appealed to the population to get vaccinated as soon as possible. 

READ MORE: 'Freedom is near': Austria to relax most coronavirus measures in May

Seven day incidence is at 192

According to the AGES database, the seven-day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 192.3.

Vienna has the highest 7-day incidence of all federal states with 236.1, Burgenland the lowest with 118.2. There are currently 2,112 people in hospital treatment due to the coronavirus, 565 of them in intensive care units.


Confusion over vaccination priority groups

Lower Austria has began vaccinating people aged 60 and over, while Vienna is prioritising high risk patients of all ages, broadcaster ORF reports.

The broadcaster points out the prioritisation in the vaccination plan is not entirely clear, quoting patient advocate Gerald Bachinger. However, neither state is in the wrong, according to the Ministry of Health, as there is room for interpretation according to the requirements of individual states. 

READ MORE: How can I get vaccinated for Covid-19 in Austria?

Burgenland governor’s phone confiscated

Police have confiscated the phone of Burgenland's governor Hans Peter Doskozil (SPÖ) after he was accused of having made a false statement before the Commerzialbank U Committee, Die Presse newspaper reports.

Doskozil and the head of the financial market supervisory authority, Helmut Ettl made different statements about the decline of the commercial bank and who informed whom on 14 July 2020. The phone of Ettl has also been seized, it reports. 

Industry performing well in Austria

The Federation of Austrian Industries says Austria's industry is likely to have exceeded the pre-Covid production level in the first quarter of this year, but expects the entire economy to need at least five quarters longer.

The recovery was particularly strong in the automotive and chemical industries the Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports.

Few details announced in ‘come-back plan’

The government made an announcement on Tuesday that it wants to get 50,000 long-term unemployed into jobs, but details and a budget are still lacking following the two-day government meeting to discuss Austria’s “come-back plan” Der Standard newspaper reports.



Emma Midgley 2021/04/21 08:45

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