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

Emma Midgley
Emma Midgley - [email protected] • 20 Jul, 2021 Updated Tue 20 Jul 2021 08:39 CEST
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The Steineres Meer mountains are seen in the background on a sunny day as sheep graze in a field in Leogang, near Salzburg, Austria. Photo: ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP

Find out what's going on in Austria on Tuesday, with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

'Too early to say' how much food damage will cost

It is too early to estimate the total cost of the damage caused by the devastating floods in the past few days, broadcaster ORF reports. However, many millions of euros will be needed for the cleanup operation.

The worst-hit areas were Hallstein in the Salzburg region, Lower Austrian towns such as Neuhofen, Ybbs, Ferschnitz and Euratsfeld in the Amstetten district, Paudorf and Furth in the  Krems district and Aggsbach-Dorf, which have been declared “disaster areas” and Kufstein in Tyrol. 

Vienna, which was hit by flooding and hail storms at the weekend, estimates €10 million worth of damage was done. 

READ MORE: How the New Danube protects Vienna from catastrophic floods

READ MORE: Flooding causes chaos across Austria

'More civil alarm exercises needed' in Austria, says expert

An expert on mudslides and flooding, Johannes Hübl from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna told the ZiB2 programme that more civil alarm exercises are needed in Austria as extreme weather events become more common due to climate change.

He said not only the warning chain is important but the population must know how to behave when they receive such a warning. Such large civil alarm exercises are practically non-existent in Austria, according to Hübl.

Salzach River levels fall significantly

The civil protection alarm for Mittersill in Pinzgau, Salzburg region ended on Monday morning, after the water levels of the Salzach River fell significantly. On Sunday around 5 p.m., a disaster had been declared in the municipality after the Salzach and its surrounding river basin threatened to overflow.

However, the waters will be closely monitored over the coming days. Mittersill’s Mayor Wolfgang Viertler said the existing flood protection facilities around the Salzach  would need to be strengthened in the long term, broadcaster ORF reports. 

Lower Austria, Burgenland and Vienna introduce mandatory vaccinations

Lower Austria, Burgenland, and Vienna are all introducing mandatory vaccinations for certain groups, causing disagreements between states on whether this should become a nationwide measure, particularly for healthcare and childcare workers, Der Standard newspaper reports.

Salzburg Festival visitors must wear FFP2 masks

Those visiting the Salzburg festival will now have to wear FFP2 masks, after a fully vaccinated person attending the event tested positive for Covid-19 at the Everyman premiere.

As tickets contain the contact details of those who attend, festival employees were able to give the data of 44 people who were in contact with the infected person to the authorities for contract tracing, broadcaster ORF reports.

Salzburg has highest seven day incidence after 'superspreader' event

Salzburg now has the highest seven day incidence in Austria following a “super spreader” event in which a woman is believed to have infected up to 16 people with the Delta variant of Covid-19, the Kronen Zeitung newspaper reports. The woman visited a nightspot in Kaprun in the Salzburg region. 

Seven day incidence is 24.5

The seven-day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 24.5. The number is highest in Salzburg (39.9) and Vienna (37.8) - the lowest is in Burgenland (7.4).

Financial advice in other languages cancelled

Financial advice in more languages to cater for immigrants living in Austria has been cancelled due to budgetary restrictions, the Wiener Zeitung reports.

According to the Austrian Trade Union Confederation (ÖGB), around 3,500 people have made use of the legal advice that began in 2017 in languages ​​such as Bulgarian, Romanian, Hungarian, Turkish and Arabic in the past two years.

The project offers free support with official channels, communication and keeping in contact with associations and embassies. "In this way, many clients can be brought out of illegality and into legal employment," according to the trade union federation.

The Ministry of Labour maintains that there is still a "sufficient multilingual offer available".




Emma Midgley 2021/07/20 08:39

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