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

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
It should be cooler today, including in the Salzburg region. (Photo by ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP)
Find out what's going on in Austria on Friday, with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

Judgement from ‘Ibiza’ trial could be today

A judgement in the bribery case against the former Vice-Chancellor Strache is possible today. In the past three days, several witnesses have been heard at the Vienna Regional Criminal Court, including the former health minister under the former ÖVP-FPÖ coalition government, Beate Hartinger-Klein.

Both of the accused had pleaded not guilty, broadcaster ORF reports

READ MORE: ‘Ibizagate’: What you need to know about the scandal which continues to grip Austrian politics

Thirty politicians have to isolate after nine test positive for Covid-19

30 politicians who took part in the Ibiza U committee, are now having to self-isolate for two weeks after nine people including the MP David Stögmüller, Neos parliamentary group leader Stephanie Krisper and FPÖ parliamentary group leader Christian Hafenecker all tested positive for Covid-19, Der Standard newspaper reports. 

Hafenecker was the first to report his corona infection on Monday, and has been blamed for being a “superspreader”.

He denies being the starting point of the infection. Der Standard notes the three G rule (having to prove you have been vaccinated, tested negative or recovered from Covid-19), which applies to all citizens, was apparently not observed by a parliamentarian.

However, the mask requirement and the three-G rule do not apply to parliamentarians, nor does the infected person have to inform his contact person, it reports.

Report shows attacks on LGBTQI community are increasing

The number of attacks on members of the LGBTQI community in Austria is increasing. A report from the centre-left SPÖ party summarises flag burning, insults, beatings and a disruptive action at the Pride in Vienna, Der Standard newspaper reports.

Thousands of children have signed up for summer school

Around 38,800 children and young people have registered for the second round of the summer school in the last two weeks of the holiday, according to current figures from the Ministry of Education. In the previous year it was 22,500.

The offer has also been expanded: to include mathematics as well as German at elementary, middle and special schools and lower levels of AHS, and additional material lessons in elementary schools. There will also be courses at some upper levels, broadcaster ORF reports.

Most registrations were in Vienna (around 10,100) followed by Lower Austria (7,400), Upper Austria (5,000), Styria (4,500), Salzburg (3,000), Vorarlberg (2,700), Carinthia (2,600), Tyrol (2,400) and Burgenland (1,100).

Now is the ‘calm before the storm’ virologist warns

The virologist Monika Redlberger-Fritz has said is only “a matter of weeks” until the Delta variant in Austria  makes up “90 to 100 percent” of cases, in a In a ZIB2 interview on Thursday. The time now is “the calm before the storm”, she said. 

Redlberger-Fritz was reluctant to comment on the final removal of the mask requirement in Austria, but said it would give the population “a false sense of security”, and imply that the “pandemic is over”. 

She added the pandemic is “not over yet”, “the virus continues to circulate, and the masks are a very well established, easy-to-use measure that works very well”.

Austria’s Covid-19 traffic light commission also expects fourth wave

The Covid-19 traffic light forecast consortium expects a fourth wave of Covid-19. Thanks to the “increased transmissibility” of the Delta variant,  there is  “a high degree of probability” of a fourth wave, according to a policy brief on behalf of the Ministry of Health yesterday.

However, the timing of this wave and its extent is unclear. Maximizing the vaccination coverage (full immunization) must therefore have “top priority”. The consortium emphasized that from the data available (especially from Great Britain) it can be concluded that “the Delta variant is significantly more transmissible than the previously dominant alpha variant (B.1.1.7)”.

According to broadcaster ORF, picking up on an APA report, the consortium recommended that the mask requirement be reintroduced, if possible with the FFP2 standard, should the number of cases increase. A risk-adjusted 7-day incidence of 253 is cited as the threshold value. Such a high value was last reached at the end of March.

Graz mosque is vaccination centre

A mosque has opened in Graz as a vaccination centre. It is a project between the state and the Academy for Preventive Medicine, which hopes to give people with a migration background the opportunity to be vaccinated in a mosque, broadcaster ORF reports. 

READ MORE: Several Austrian states open Covid vaccinations without appointments

Seven day incidence is 8.4

The seven-day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 8.4. The number is still highest in Vienna (19.9) and Burgenland (10.1). The value is lowest in Carinthia (0.9).

Austria cools down

The extreme heat is over for now, with maximum temperatures of 26 degrees today. In the first half of the day it will be cloudy with rain showers. There could also be thunderstorms. In the afternoon it will soon stop raining and the sun will come out. Strong west wind with gusts over 60 km are expected. 

Extra money for Covid-19 vaccines

Austria’s National Council has approved by a large majority additional funds for the purchase of coronavirus vaccines, Die Presse newspaper reports. In total, there will be €916 million available for the Ministry of Health in 2022 and 2023.


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