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

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
A man rides his bike through a pasture field near the village of Tahl near Graz (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
Find out what's going on in Austria on Friday, with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

Shorter interval between vaccine doses

Austria’s National Vaccination Board (NIG) has recommended shorter intervals between both vaccination doses due to the spread of the Delta Covid-19 variant. Experts believe the new Delta variant will become dominant in late June or early July, and already makes up 25 percent of those infected with Covid-19. In Austria, 30 percent of the population are currently fully immunised.

The new recommendation means for the BioNtech and Pfizer vaccine, an interval of 21 days is now recommended, for Moderna an interval of 28 days, and for AstraZeneca, eight weeks rather than twelve. 

All ages can now register for a Covid-19 vaccine in Vienna

People in all age groups can now register for a vaccine in Vienna. The first 20,000 vaccination appointments for people aged 31 to 39 will be made available on Friday.

Previous appointments for parents and children aged between twelve and 17 were very popular. On Tuesday all 10,000 vaccination appointments were assigned within two hours and 30,000 further vaccination appointments were activated on the same day, broadcaster ORF reports.

You can register here for an appointment. 

Seven day incidence is 9.6

The seven-day incidence, or the number of new Covid-19 infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, stood at 9.6 on Friday.

No federal state has a value above 25, many have a value below 10.0, and the trend has recently been falling. Styria (3.5) has the lowest, Vienna has the highest rate at 19.6.

Styria is first state to go ‘green’

Styria is the first state to go ‘green’ on Austria’s Covid traffic light system. This means there is an officially “very low” risk of contracting the coronavirus in Styria.

Styria is currently the only federal state that fulfils the requirement that both the number of cases and the risk-adjusted number of cases are below five per 100,000 inhabitants. In the rest of the country there is low risk, so all other states fall into the yellow-green category. 

READ MORE: What is Austria’s new five-colour Covid traffic light system?

Night train services run again in Vienna

Night trains in Vienna are returning for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020.  With the extended opening times and the end of the curfew from July 1st, the use of the night subway makes sense again, according to Wiener Linien.

Underground trains will run every 15 minutes all night before Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. A night tram will also be in use in the future.

FFP2 masks will still be mandatory on public transport until June 30th, when mouth and nose protection must still be worn. 

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

Mandatory vaccination for state kindergarten workers in Vienna

In order to work in Vienna’s state kindergartens, you must be willing to be vaccinated against Covid-19, Education City Councilor Christoph Wiederkehr has announced today. Newly hired workers must present proof, broadcaster ORF reports.  

Austria enjoys strong economic upswing

Austria is experiencing a strong economic upswing. The head of the Austrian Institute for Economic Research (Wifo) Christoph Badelt now expects Gross Domestic Product to rise by four percent in 2021, noting that even negative effects of the delta variant would not jeopardise this prognosis.

For 2022, Badelt predicts accelerated growth of five percent with a view to increasing tourism, the Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports.


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