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

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Wörthersee lake is a great temperature for swimming now. (Photo by ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP)
Find out what's going on in Austria on Wednesday with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

‘Vaccination is working’ says Kurz

Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has met with Christian Drosten, the head of virology at the Berlin Charite to discuss the delta variant. The Chancellor was extremely optimistic about the fight against the mutant in the autumn, broadcaster ORF reports, and believes lockdowns will not be necessary in the autumn.

“The most important message is: the vaccination is working,” he said. The vaccination protects against all variants of the virus, including the delta variant. 

Drosten said Austria and Germany might fare better than Great Britain over the delta variant as the school holidays will soon be underway. 

Third country nationals can visit Austria more easily

Americans, Serbs and citizens from nine other countries will be able to come to Austria again more easily from Thursday. In addition to the USA, Serbia, North Macedonia, Albania, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam are also on the list of safe countries.

People from these countries wishing to visit Austria must only show that they have been vaccinated against, tested negative for or recovered from Covid-19. 

Huge hailstones fall in Salzburg region

Huge hailstones fell after heavy thunderstorms hit the Salzburg region on Tuesday evening. The storms caused delays on roads and railway lines. Fire brigades had to tackle floods, pump out basements and removed uprooted trees.

 No patients in intensive care in Salzburg

For the first time in almost nine months, there is not a single patient in the intensive care unit in Salzburg due to Covid-19, Der Standard newspaper reports. This has not been the case since October 1st,  Der Standard reports. Only eight people with Covid-19 symptoms are currently being treated in the hospitals. Around 56 percent of the population aged twelve and over have now received at least one vaccination.

Seven day incidence is 11.2

The seven day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 11.2. No federal state has a value above 30, many have a value below 10.0, and the trend has recently been falling. Styria (4.7) has the lowest, Vienna with 23.4 the highest.

Lake Wörthersee is at 26 degrees

The beautiful Wörthersee lake has soared in temperature from just 15 degrees a month ago to  26 degrees this week, due to the current heat wave, broadcaster ORF reports. Johannes Moser from the state’s hydrographic service says it is the most rapid rise in temperature for 30 to 40 years.

Vaccination of teenagers picks up pace

Around 10,000 Covid-19 vaccination appointments in Vienna for children between 12 and 17 years of age were  booked within two hours on Tuesday, according to a tweet from Mario Dujakovic, press spokesman for City Councilor Peter Hacker (SPÖ). He told Der Standard newspaper another 30,000 appointments will be activated in the next two to three hours – parents can also come and be vaccinated without registering.

Austria does not join in criticism of Hungary

Austria has not joined a group of 13 EU countries, who have called on the European Commission to take immediate action against the controversial Hungarian anti-LGBT anti-paedophile law, broadcaster ORF reports.

Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands were among countries who expressed their “deep concern” about the law passed by the Hungarian parliament last week. It discriminates against LGBT people and violates “the right to freedom of expression under the pretext of protecting children”, the statement says.

European Minister Karoline Edtstadler (ÖVP) said while the protection of minors from paedophilia was “very important” and should attract “strict penalties,”  a link with homosexuality and the withholding of information for young people and children was “really worrying”.


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