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

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

Mountain biking is becoming more popular Photo by ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP)
Mountain biking is becoming more popular. Photo by ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP)

No testing in schools for vaccinated children

Vaccinated children will no longer have to be tested for Covid-19 this autumn, Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein has told the OE24 newspaper.

There are plans to vaccinate children aged 12 to 16 over the summer in Austria.

Show of harmony for Austria’s ruling coalition 

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) and Deputy Chancellor Werner  Kogler (Greens) showed coalition harmony in a joint press statement on Sunday, following significant coalition tensions over criticisms against the justice system by Kurz’s ÖVP, the Kurier and Kronen Zeitung newspapers report. As The Local reported on Sunday, during an interview with broadcaster ORF on June 6th, Kogler said  it was “unimaginable” that Kurz would continue in office if a current investigation against him for allegedly lying to the Ibiza inquiry were to result in a conviction. 

READ MORE: Unimaginable for Kurz to continue as Austria’s leader if convicted, says Vice Chancellor

Seven day incidence is 28

The seven-day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 28.4 according to the AGES database. With the exception of Vorarlberg (65.5), all federal states are below 50 – with Salzburg (15.6) and Burgenland (9.5) having the lowest values.

Chancellor Kurz vaccinated with AstraZeneca

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz received his vaccination on Friday. As he previously promised, he was given the AstraZenenca vaccine. 

Germany removes Austria from its coronavirus risk list

Germany has removed Austria from its coronavirus risk list, with the exception of Vorarlberg and Tyrol, Der Standard newspaper reports. The move ensures that those traveling from Austria to Germany will no longer need to quarantine or pre-register their travel plans. 

Quarantine rules dropped for vaccinated people in Vienna

Those who have been vaccinated and live in Vienna no longer have to be in quarantine for 14 days after close contact with someone infected with Covid-19 – broadcaster ORF reported on Saturday. The new rules also apply to those who can prove they were infected with the coronavirus in the past six months. 

Mountain bikers annoying hikers

The mountain bike boom and the rise in popularity of e-bikes is affecting hikers, according to the Saalfelden Alpine Club.

The hiking trail to the 1,750 meter high Peter Wiechenthaler Hut is now being used more often as a downhill bike route, club chairman Josef Straif, told broadcaster ORF, appealing to bikers to be more considerate.

Austrian President visits Pope and meets Italian President Mattarella

Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen is visiting Rome today and tomorrow. He will meet Pope Francis for talks about the climate crisis and the coronavirus pandemic, and will then be received by his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella.

The two will discuss the Western Balkans states. He will then meet with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and the South Tyrolean MPs, where he will discuss transit over the Brenner Pass, broadcaster ORF reports. 

Cost of building a home soars

The cost of constructing a family home has risen by 7.5 percent compared to 2020, according to Statistics Austria. This is due to the rising cost of construction materials Der Standard newspaper reports. 

Hotels are filling up in August

The Austrian National Tourist Office is reporting a holiday hotel occupancy rate of 70 percent for August, Die Presse newspaper reports. The tourist office has also noted that its post-pandemic campaign will be focusing on visitors from nearby countries, the newspaper added.

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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.