MAPS: Where are Austria’s new coronavirus hotspots?

Coronavirus infections are again on the rise in Austria. Here are the country’s new hotspots.

MAPS: Where are Austria’s new coronavirus hotspots?
Austria's Covid-19 Hotspots at July 14th. Image: Google Maps

For the first time since the middle of June, coronavirus infections are again on the rise in Austria, with more than 200 new infections per day as at mid-July. 

READ MORE: Vaccination rates declining in Austria despite Delta variant concerns

The seven-day incidence is at 12.6 per 100,000 people, much higher than the 5.4 of two weeks prior. 

Due to the low overall numbers, outbreaks can often be traced back to one incident, Austrian media reports

Outbreaks in nightclubs, among returning travellers and infections in nightclubs or restaurants have often been behind rapid increases. 

Reutte on top

Atop the list is the region of Reutte, where there has been an increase of 440 percent over the previous week. 

The reason for the increase? A group of returning students from a school trip in Malta. 

Vienna has also seen several outbreaks in nightclubs, where more than 1,500 infections have been recorded. 

The following map shows the top ten Covid hotspots in Austria, on the basis of the seven-day incidence figure. 

Some of the locations are understandably towns and villages with a smaller population, but larger cities such as Vienna also feature. 

REVEALED: What do Austrians think about foreigners?

As can be seen from the map, the top eight locations are spread out across the country and are therefore related to different outbreaks. 

The top eight locations per seven-day incidence according to the AGES are as follows: 

1. Reutte

2. Steyr-Land

3. Rust

4. Lienz

5. Klagenfurt

6. Vienna

7. Saint Pölten/Sankt Pölten

8. Voitsberg 

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Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”