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TODAY IN AUSTRIA

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

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

Summer is on the way in Austria (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)
Summer is on the way in Austria (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)

More holiday destinations open up for Austria 

Croatia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden and Cyprus are now listed as “countries with a low level of infection” in Austria.

This means people coming to Austria from these countries will no longer have to quarantine, and must only show evidence that they have tested negative, recovered from or been vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter the country.

EXPLAINED: The rules for entering Austria

Flight ban for UK

A ban on direct flights from the UK and Austria came into effect on June 1st. The flight ban has been introduced by Austria due to the spread of the so-called “Indian” variant in parts of the UK. The UK will join South Africa, Brazil and India on a register of country where variants of the coronavirus are a concern in Austria.

UPDATE: What rules do European countries have in place for travel from the UK

More vaccines to be delivered in June

The amount of vaccines delivered to Austria will rise again this month. In May, 500,000 vaccine doses per week were delivered to Austria, in June it should be up to 700,000 per week.

This could mean children aged twelve could be vaccinated as early as June in some states such as Lower Austria, especially if they belong to a risk group, according to ORF. By the end of June, Vienna plans to have 55 to 60 percent of the total population living in Vienna vaccinated, and 70 percent by mid-July. 

Harsh penalties for faking documents

The City of Vienna has warned people not to try and use fake certificates to prove they have tested negative for Covid-19 or been vaccinated to enter restaurants, pubs or other venues. The penalty could be a year in prison, broadcaster ORF reports. 

Real estate prices go through roof 

Austrian real estate prices went through the roof with an average price rise of 6.9 percent in 2020, according to newly published data from Statistics Austria. The price rises are attributed to increasing demand, driven by low interest rates and population growth.

READ MORE: The hidden costs of buying a home in Austria

Seven day incidence at 36

The seven-day incidence or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 36. With the exception of Vorarlberg (87), all federal states are now below 50 – with Salzburg (22) and Burgenland (22) having the lowest values.

Austria will recover better economically than expected

The OECD expects Austria to recover better than expected, with a growth rate of 3.4 percent  projected for 2021, and 4.2 percent for 2022. However this takes Austria to a full recovery at a slower pace than other western countries, broadcaster ORF reports.

Short term working to be discussed

Short-time working will be discussed today by the government and social partners, broadcaster ORF reports.  Finance Minister Gernot Blümel and Labor Minister Martin Kocher have both said they want to reduce short time work as the coronavirus pandemic measures are eased. The current short-time working regulation is in force until the end of June. Government and social partners are negotiating an extension, which could be agreed on Tuesday.

Car industry representatives meet with Kurz

Car industry representatives are meeting with Chancellor Sebastian  Kurz on June 1st to plead against a complete ban of internal combustion engines, ahead of the EU traffic ministers’ meeting on June 3rd, the Kronen Zeitung reports. Austria is among nine countries to support the proposal to phase out internal combustion engines.

Minister threatened over ‘Islam map’

Integration Minister Susanne Raab has received threats on social media, resulting in an investigation by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counterterrorism BVT, according to the Kronen Zeitung. The threats are associated with the recent publication of a map of Islamic life in Austria published by the Documentation Centre for Political Islam, which has been criticised for allegedly placing the Islamic community under suspicion of acting against Austrian democratic values.

Austrian government comes under fire over Islam map

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TODAY IN AUSTRIA

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

Hot weather today in Vienna and storms in Austria this weekend, parents wait for school information, no plans to tax profits of energy companies and more news from Austria on Friday.

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

Vienna to bake in scorching temperatures on Friday

Today (Friday) will be one of the hottest days of the year in Vienna, with temperatures predicted to soar to 37 degrees by the afternoon. During the day, clouds will form over Austria’s mountains and from midday there will be heavy showers and thunderstorms from the Silvretta to western Upper Styria. Away from the mountains it  will stay  sunny for a long time, though towards evening the chance of thunderstorms increases from Lake Constance to Upper Austria.

Over the weekend there will also be storms across much of Austria, particularly on the north side of the alps, and there will be a brisk north-east wind in the east. Temperatures will drop to between 22 and 31 degrees. 

School Covid-19 measures to be revealed on August 29th

Parents will not know what exact measures schools will take to combat Covid-19 infections in the autumn term until August 29th, when the Education Minister Martin Polaschek (ÖVP) will release guidance based on the measures taken by the Ministry of Health, the newspaper Heute reports.

As The Local has previously reported, the Austrian government has already released a four-point plan for schools the next academic year, including an “early warning system”, an advanced testing strategy, vaccination, and air purification equipment to be used in classrooms. 

READ MORE: What will the rules be for children returning to school in Austria this autumn

No plan to tax profits of high-earning energy companies 

Austria’s federal government is not planning to tax the excess profits of high-earning energy companies, although UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has accused  corporations of making “excessive” profits from the energy crisis caused by the Ukraine war and the European Parliament passed a resolution in May calling for the introduction of an excess profit tax. Finance Minister Magnus Brunner (ÖVP) has told the Wiener Zeitung newspaper that a windfall profit tax would also have affected renewable providers, broadcaster ORF reports. He believes federal states should take measures if there are unfair profits. The opposition SPÖ party continues to push for a special tax on excessively high corporate profits from energy companies. They estimate the additional income of the energy producers and suppliers at four to six billion euros.

ÖGB Trade Union Confederation calls for nationwide protests against ‘price explosion’

The Austrian Trade Union Confederation (ÖGB) is planning protests throughout Austria for September 17 – and is calling on the government to act quickly to combat inflation. 

A statement by the ÖGB states prices are “rising without end” while corporations are “reaching record profits in energy, fuel and food”. The bill would be paid by the population, and “if nothing happens now, then this will only be the beginning of the inflation wave”. That has to end now. The statement concludes: “Politicians must finally act and can no longer stand idly by and see how our lives become unaffordable.”

Few international tourists visiting Wachau region

International tourists have not returned to the wine-growing Wachau region of Austria in large numbers, broadcaster ORF reports. Although many cruise ships are now sailing along the Danube, many are only 20 percent full. Australian, American, Asian and Russian tourists have not been visiting the area since the pandemic, the broadcaster reports.

Large-scale operation because of illegal campfires on Schneeberg

According to the fire brigade, an illegal campfire led to a large-scale operation on Schneeberg in Lower Austria yesterday. The fire had spread in steep terrain. The fire brigade warns against carelessness as there was a major fire in Hirschwang last year, broadcaster ORF reports.

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