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

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
A farmer in Tyrol's Karwendel Alpine nature park near Pertisau, Austria. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
Find out what's going on in Austria on Thursday with The Local's short roundup of today's news

Further opening steps for July to be announced 

Further opening steps will be announced on Thursday for July, with Austria’s night economy planned to reopen properly again. In addition, the FFP2 mask rules for shops and restaurants could be relaxed.

At the beginning of July, almost all restrictions that still existed – for example for large gatherings and parties will end, but with the new requirement of proof that one is tested negative, recovered from, or vaccinated against Covid-19.

Now it may be possible to dance as well as drink at the bar at clubs and discos in July. Only table service in restaurants and bars has been allowed so far.

READ MORE: Austria to lift almost all coronavirus restrictions by July 1st

Sputnik approval in the EU is ‘delayed’

The approval of the Russian Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V in the EU will be postponed “probably to September, maybe even to the end of the year”, according to German government circles, Der Standard newspaper reports.

The Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF is still maintaining it will receive approval within the next two months.

The reason is that the Russian manufacturer has not yet submitted the necessary clinical trial data to the European Medicines Agency, the Reuters news agency learned.

The clinical dossier was supposed to be available by June 10th. Austria has bought one million doses of the Sputnik vaccine but is waiting for EMA approval before using them. 

READ MORE: Austria: When will Russia’s Sputnik V be available?

More Covid-19 mandatory vaccinations for people working in Vienna

It may become mandatory to have a Covid-19 vaccination to work in a retirement home, with homeless people or even to go to a nightclub in Vienna, City Councillor for Health Peter Hacker (SPÖ) has told the Wien Heute programme.

Anyone wishing to work for the Vienna Health Association already has to show proof of vaccination or willingness to vaccinate.

Hacker said in future there could be compulsory vaccination for all workers in the social and health sector. An expansion of the compulsory vaccination to other professional groups is not ruled out. 

Seven day incidence is 15.5

The seven-day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 15.5. No federal state has a value more than 30, Styria (7.3), Salzburg (8.8) and Burgenland (8.5) are below, Carinthia at 10.0. Vienna has the highest value with 29.2.

Hungary to open border with Austria

Hungary plans to open its border with Austria, Slovakia and Slovenia on June 24th, according to the MTI news agency. “Normal border traffic” would mean that controls at Hungary’s internal Schengen land borders would cease and that there would no longer be any pandemic restrictions.

In the course of fighting the pandemic, Hungary had completely closed numerous small border crossings. Foreigners have not been allowed into Hungary since September 1st last year, apart from business travellers and commuters. 

More funding for electric cars

Additional funding will be made available to subsidise electric cars, Transport Minister Leonore Gewessler has announced. There will be a further 55 million euros in addition to the previously planned 46 million euros.

Gewessler promises, “everyone who wants to buy an e-car should also receive funding.” People who buy a private e-car costing less than 60,000 euros can get a subsidy of 5,000 euros. There is funding of 1,200 euros for e-motorcycles and up to 1,800 euros for charging stations. 

President Van der Bellen still popular

A survey from the Institute for Public Opinion and Data Research finds that 45 percent of Austrians are in favour of Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen standing in the next election, Der Standard newspaper reports.

The institute suggests his popularity is largely due to the pandemic, when the president spoke to the people everyday and maintained close contact with them through the media.

Austria’s budget deficit predicted to decrease

Austria’s budget deficit caused by the pandemic is predicted to decrease by 2025, according to forecasts from the Fiscal Council. Fiscal Council President Christoph Badelt is therefore advocating for a “return to a sustainable budget policy” to prepare for future crises, the Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports.

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More than a third of Austrian households lost income during pandemic

In Austria 35 percent of households experienced a loss of income due to the pandemic, according to a survey by comparison site durchblicker.at.

Of that number, 45 percent had to get by with less income for over a year, and every sixth was unable to meet their fixed costs. 45 percent also do not believe their situation will improve over the next year, the Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports.


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