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

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
A girl enjoys the sun in a garden of the Hofburg Palace during a hot sunny day in Vienna (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.

Vaccine co-ordinator warns against getting rid of masks

Austria’s vaccine coordinator Katharina Reich has warned against government plans to potentially stop making masks mandatory on public transport or in retail in an interview with broadcaster ORF.

She defended the move from FPP-2 masks to MNS (mouth and nose protection) masks  as well as relaxations planned for Austria which will  come on July 1st. However, she warned that Austria was “not an island”. 

ANALYSIS: Is Austria relaxing Covid-19 measures too quickly?

READ MORE: Masks no longer required at hairdressers, gyms or cinema from Thursday

Tax is due in Austria

People who have deferred paying their taxes and duties due to the Covid-19 pandemic must start paying back what they owe. Today (June 30th) is the last day on which companies can apply for an instalment payment for their tax debts in FinanzOnline, Austria’s tax system.

Broadcaster ORF reports that managing directors of companies that become insolvent be made personally liable for their company’s tax debts, because they had to state when applying for the deferral, that it would not endanger the collectibility of the debt. According to the Ministry of Finance, taxes of 5.7 billion euros were deferred or reduced as of June 10th.

Gender gap for pensions increases in 2020

Austria’s gender gap for pensions has increased even more in 2020. Women who retired in 2020 received only 56 percent of the men’s pension. In 2019, the average pension level was 60 percent of that of men. This emerges from the latest data from the Pension Insurance Institution (PVA), broadcaster ORF reports.

Five million target almost reached

Austrian Chancellor  Sebastian Kurz’s promise of vaccinating five million people before the end of June will be just barely missed, with the target expected to be hit before Monday next week, Der Standard newspaper reports. The latest data from Austria’s vaccine dashboard shows that on June 30th, 4.692.442 people have received a vaccination so far.

Federal states ‘looking for people to vaccinate’

Many federal states are now looking for people to vaccinate, broadcaster ORF reports. Burgenland, Styria, Salzburg and Carinthia all report having more vaccine doses than people willing to vaccinate.

Styria has an additional 70,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the coming weeks that has not yet been allocated.

Other tactics are being used in Vienna. Young people in Vienna who attended a “vaccination party” on the Badeschiff at Schwedenplatz on Tuesday were able to talk to the Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein (Greens) about their vaccination concerns, and were given the chance to get a Johnson and Johnson vaccine while listening to live music.

Football games are also being screened in waiting areas. 

Walk-in vaccination pilot project

A pilot project to allow people walk-in vaccinations at inns and fire stations will begin next week in the Upper Austria municipality of Neumarkt im Mühlkreis (Freistadt district).

No appointment is needed and those willing to vaccinate will receive the Johnson and Johson vaccine, which requires just one shot for full immunity.

The villages of Dingdorf, Matzelsdorf and Trosselsdorf will take part in the project, although people from neighbouring villages can book an appointment to receive any unused doses left over on Friday, broadcaster ORF reports. 

Seven day incidence is 7.9

The seven-day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 7.9. No federal state has a value above 20, many have a value below 10.0. Carinthia (2.1) has the lowest, Vienna with 18.3 has the highest.

Kurz will not stop deportations to Afghanistan

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has said he will not stop deportations to Afghanistan, following the murder of a 13-year-old girl,  in which two Afghani men are suspects.

“With me, there will definitely not be a deportation stop to Afghanistan and no relaxation of the asylum laws,” said Kurz, according to Die Presse newspaper on Tuesday. The paper notes that spokespeople from all other major Austrian parties agree with Kurz’s stance.


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