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.
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.
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.