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

Today in Austria: A round up of the latest news on Wednesday
It's going to be a bit rainy in Austria today (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)
Find out what's going on on Wednesday in Austria with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Risk of planned openings is ‘manageable’, experts say

The seven day incidence, or number of people per 100,000 infected with the coronavirus, has fallen to 95.5, the first time it is under 100 since October.

Simulation researcher Niki Popper from the Technical University of Vienna has told broadcaster ORF that progress in vaccinations mean the current reproduction number is 0.85, and this is expected to decrease in the second half of May.

READ MORE: Austria to relax most coronavirus measures on May 19th

Experts also say the risk of planned openings on 19th May is “manageable”, although they expect a slight increase in the number of infections, particularly among younger people who have not yet been vaccinated. 

Pregnant women can register for a vaccine in Vienna

Registration for vaccination appointments for pregnant women is possible from today in Vienna. The vaccinations will take place from May 20th at the Austria Centre. A total of 5,000 appointments are available. 

Vienna’s swimming pools to open on May 19th without registration

At the same time as the general opening announced by the federal government, the Viennese baths will open on May 19. Strict strict safety measures will remain in place, but there will be no registration by name at the entrance.

Austrian government ‘does not want to take in extra refugees’

Migration is back on the agenda of the EU this week after good weather saw a surge in people crossing the Mediterranean, according to The Irish Times.

Following the arrival of more than 2,100 people in Italy at the weekend, Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson called on member states to show solidarity with Italy by taking in some of the arrivals.

However, Austria has said it does not want to take in refugees from Italy as part of a distribution by the EU states, as Johansson had suggested. The country’s Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told the Die Welt newspaper that distribution is “not a solution, but rather part of the problem”.

Conference with victims’ support organisations following series of murders

The Federal Chancellery will today host a conference with victims’ support organisations, after a series of murders against women in Austria since January raised concerns about growing domestic violence and a lack of social services for women facing abuse.

The organisations call for significant funding increases to €228 million per year. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said that boosting such protection “will not fail because of money”.

Banks criticised for fee hikes

The Chamber for Workers and Employees (AK) has criticised Austrian banks for having raised banking fees at rates higher than inflation in recent years. Account management fees have risen 134 percent compared to 2011, and 116 percent for payment deferrals, Der Standard newspaper reports. AK wants additional protections for those running an overdraft, including a 5 percent limit on charges.

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Opposition calls for more appraisal of “Green Pass” legislation

The opposition SPÖ party is demanding more time to scrutinise the draft law for the “Green Pass”, with which one is supposed to prove that one has been vaccinated, recovered or tested.

The party says data protection experts, and social security, interest groups and individual states should be involved.

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

Health spokesman Philip Kucher accused the government of rushing the legislation through Parliament, saying it could have been put forward for assessment one week ago. 


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