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

It has been the worst May for 25 years. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
It has been the coldest May for 25 years. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
Find out what's going on in Austria on Wednesday with The Local's short roundup of today's important news.

Further easing of restrictions planned

A further easing of Austria’s pandemic restrictions is expected on June 10th, broadcaster ORF reports.

According to the Minister of Health, the plan is to relax the mask requirement, move the curfew back to midnight, double the number of people per table at restaurants and allow larger celebrations such as weddings. The opening steps of course depend on how the situation in Austria progresses. 

Austria’s Green Pass to be launched 

Austria’s governing coalition (ÖVP and Greens) hopes to launch its Green Pass on Wednesday at a special session of the National Council.

The change in the law forms the legal basis for electronic proof of vaccination, recovery or testing to be provided by means of a QR code. The opposition SPÖ have signalled they will approve the legislation, meaning the Federal Council is unlikely to block it, ORF reports 

READ MORE: Austria to implement nationwide immunity card by mid-May

Free quarantine for tourists in Vienna

Vienna will offer free quarantine for tourists, if they become infected during a stay in the capital and need to isolate, at a location at the Steinhof and the Hotel de France, broadcaster ORF reports. Tourists can also use the city’s PCR tests and the Wien Gurgelt offer free of charge. 

READ MORE: How can tourists and visitors in Austria get a free Covid test?

The Hotel Sacher, the Palais Hansen Kempinski and the Hotel Park Hyatt also offer tests for guests in-house. It reports Vienna’s cultural establishment reports good ticket sales.

READ MORE: How can tourists and visitors in Austria get a free covid test

Coldest May since 1996

It has been the coldest May in Austria since 1996, the Krone newspaper reports. The weather is only expected to improve at the beginning of June. 

Austria bans direct flights from UK

As The Local reported yesterday, Austria has decided  to ban direct flights from the UK from June 1st due to concerns over the so called Indian variant. In practice, this means only Austrian citizens and residents can enter the country from the UK. 

READ MORE: Austria to reinstate ban on direct flights from UK

Unemployment falls in Styria

Unemployment has fallen rapidly in Styria since Austria opened up on May 19th, broadcaster ORF reports. Karl-Heinz Snobe, Managing Director of the Styrian Employment Service said 23 percent fewer people were unemployed since the beginning of May. 

Seven day incidence at 45.3

The seven-day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 45.3. In all federal states the number is now well below 100 – with Vorarlberg (73.8) and Burgenland (27.2) having the highest and lowest values ​​respectively.

Survey finds Kurz should resign if he is indicted

A majority of the Austrian population believe Chancellor Sebastian Kurz should resign if he is found to have given false testimony to the Ibiza committee. The Krone newspaper reports 58 percent of those questioned said Kurz should resign if indicted.

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READ MORE: Austrian Chancellor Kurz sees image dented as he faces investigations

Reform package for sentencing 

Austria’s Justice Minister Zadic [Greens] presented a first reform package with Interior Minister Nehammer [ÖVP] following criticism from The European Court of Human Rights over sentencing for people with mental illness and younger people. There will also be longer sentencing for re-offenders involved with terrorism, the Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports 

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