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TODAY IN AUSTRIA

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

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

Runners jog in a garden of Schönbrunn palace in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
Runners jog in a garden of Schönbrunn palace in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Vienna to open up on May 19th 

Vienna will join with the rest of Austria and open its indoor and outdoor restaurants, hotels, culture, sports, and swimming pools on May 19th, Mayor Ludwig announced on Thursday.

READ MORE: Vienna to open restaurants, hotels and events on May 19th

Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig said on Thursday that the state was taking a risk in reopening, but was doing so with full confidence in its testing regime. 

“On May 19th, we will reopen the cultural institutions in Vienna that are particularly close to my heart and also reopen the sports facilities in accordance with federal guidelines, as well as the hotel and catering trade,” Ludwig said. 

Ludwig urged Viennese to proceed with caution, but said the city-state had adopted the “gold standard” in testing in order to identify and isolate the spread of the virus. 

In addition to restaurants, hotels, sports facilities and cultural establishments opening up again on May 19th, face-to-face lessons will also start up again at schools in Vienna on May 17th. 

Law passed giving vaccinated people freedom from testing

The Austrian Federal Council has passed a law boosting the rights of fully vaccinated people, giving them the same freedoms as those who can show a negative test result or prove that they have been cured.

The law relieves fully vaccinated people from mandatory testing to gain access to various events and venues.

Paper, plastic or digital: How will Austria’s coronavirus immunity card work?

Castle owned by bear-shooting prince given hundreds of one star Google ratings

The Riegersburg hilltop castle in Styria saw its Google rating plummet yesterday after hundreds of people expressed their outrage, after its owner, Prince Emanuel from Liechtenstein, shot dead a brown bear called Arthur in Romania.

The destination suddenly received many one star rates, with the comment “for Arthur, from Romania”, broadcaster ORF reports. 

Ibiza inquiry continues

The Constitutional Court asked President Van der Bellen on May 6th to officially require Finance Minister Blümel to hand over evidence that had been requested by the parliamentary inquiry into the Ibiza scandal. Blümel responded immediately by sending the evidence to the inquiry before Van der Bellen could sign the order to disclose, the newspaper Die Presse reported.

 READ MORE: What you need to know about Austria’s Ibiza-gate video

Summer weather predicted for Mother’s Day

After an unusually cold April, bright sunshine and summer temperatures are predicted for parts of Austria, with lovely weather forecast for Mother’s Day on Sunday according to broadcaster ORF. On Saturday morning, however, it will be slightly frosty in some Alpine valleys.

In the afternoon, temperatures should be over 20 degrees in western Austria. Low winds will mean good conditions for cycling.

On Sunday it will be much warmer, with temperatures reaching 28 or 29 degrees in the Inn Valley, the Salzburger region and Upper Austria as well as  western Lower Austria.

It will be cooler in Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland, due to a brisk wind, though temperatures will reach 20 to 24 degrees in eastern Austria and there will be lots of sunshine. 

Seven day incidence at 124

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 124, according to the AGES database.

The number is still highest in Vorarlberg (198.7) – the value is below 100 in Burgenland (71.3) and in Lower Austria (78.7).

People aged 30 and older can register for vaccination appointment in Lower Austria

Starting today, people aged 30 and over can register for a coronavirus vaccination in Lower Austria. 

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TODAY IN AUSTRIA

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

Gas storage levels filling up, inflation at 10.5 percent, controversy with the Lobau Tunnel and more news from Austria on Friday.

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

Gas storage levels to reach 80 percent ‘soon’

Austria’s domestic gas storage systems are filling up, the head of E-Control, the country’s energy regulator, told ZiB. Carola Millgramm said the storage levels should be 80 percent full by October 1st.

This means that industry, as well as households, can count on enough natural gas for the winter.

The situation would have to be re-evaluated if gas deliveries were to be stopped completely. In general, though, Austria is “well prepared for winter”, a representative of the Austrian Energy Ministry told broadcaster ORF.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: How reliant is Austria on Russia for energy

Is this the end of the Lobau Tunnel?

Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) wants to bring down the Lobau Tunnel for good: “Just because something was worth considering 20 years ago doesn’t mean it’s still the right decision today”, she said.

The controversial project was created to ease traffic from the outskirts of Vienna (east of the Danube river) to the capital centre. However, the tunnel would go below protected green areas in the 22nd district, and environmentalists alerted to the dangers it could bring to the Lobau region.

Additionally, many people complained that creating more roads for cars was not the best way to deal with traffic – saying the government should focus on giving the population better public transport options instead.

But the project is polarised, with many, including leading party ÖVP, still in favour of it, claiming Vienna urgently needs efficient traffic relief.

READ ALSO: The best spots to recharge on the weekend in Vienna

Inflation estimated at 10.5 percent in September

The inflation rate for September 2022 is expected to be 10.5 percent, according to calculations by Statistics Austria, as part of a flash estimate. Compared to the previous month, consumer prices rose by 1.6 percent.

The inflation rate thus exceeds the values during the oil crises of the 1970s and rises to the highest level since July 1952, when it was 14.1 percent.

The main reason for the rise in consumer prices is substantial increases in household energy, which is also the most important driver of inflation in September. The second most important price driver is fuel prices, which remain at a high level. There were moderate price increases in food and restaurants.

READ ALSO: Reader question: I’ve received my Austrian Klimabonus as a voucher, now what?

Weather

Screenshot from ZAMG

Apart from a few clearings, abundant clouds will prevail and there will be intermittent rain, especially in the south. Still, there will also be some rain in the other regions, Austria’s meteorologic institute ZAMG said.

The snow line rises from 1900 to 2500m.

The wind will blow weakly to moderately from different directions. Daytime highs are between 12 and 17 degrees.

If you have any questions about life in Austria, ideas for articles or news tips for The Local, please get in touch with us at [email protected].

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