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

 Austria's Magdalena Lobnig reacts after winning bronze in the women's single sculls final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (Photo by Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP)
Austria's Magdalena Lobnig reacts after winning bronze in the women's single sculls final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (Photo by Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP)
Find out what's going on in Austria on Friday, with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

Disparities in vaccinations by federal state in Austria

As of Wednesday, more than half of the Austrian population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. However, there are clear regional and local differences in vaccination progress, according to a data visualization of the data by broadcaster ORF.

In general there is an East/West divide, with the exception of Vorarlberg. East of the Enns – in Lower Austria, Vienna, Burgenland, and  Styria, there are significantly more communities in which 57.1 percent of the population are fully immunised than in Upper Austria, Salzburg or Tyrol.

According to a Gallup poll, around a third of people in Salzburg and Lower Austria are vaccine sceptics, whereas only 20 percent of those in other states fall into this category.

READ MORE: More than half of Austrians now fully vaccinated

Salzburg turns orange on Austria’s Covid-19 traffic light

Salzburg has been classed as “high risk” in terms of infections at a meeting of Austria’s Covid-19  traffic light commission on Thursday, the only state in the country to be given this status. Vienna, Carinthia, Upper Austria, Vorarlberg and Tyrol are classified as “medium risk” or yellow. In the rest of the country the risk is still seen as low. Last week 1,226 suspected cases of the Delta variant were identified, which corresponds to a share of 77.45 percent of all cases tested, broadcaster ORF reports.

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

Rainbow crossing painted in front of far right political group headquarters

After a far-right political group, the Identitarians, opened a new headquarters in Steyregg, near Linz in Upper Austria, the municipal authorities painted a rainbow crossing in front of the building. The Identitarians have links to neo-Nazism and believe in the mass deportation of all European residents with a migrant background or non-white skin, according to the news site Politico.

They also warn against the threat of “Islamization”.  The aim of the crossing is to set an example for openness, thoughtfulness and tolerance, said Mayor Johann Würzburger (SBU), according to broadcaster ORF.

People who attended Zrce festival in Croatia asked to take PCR tests 

Around 250 people have now tested positive for Covid-19 in Austria after attending the Zrce Festival in Croatia, broadcaster ORF reports. However, the true number is likely to be significantly higher. Those who attended have been asked to get PCR tests immediately to prevent the infections spreading further. 

Seven day incidence is 31.9

The seven-day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 31.9. The number is still highest at 53.7 in Salzburg and Vienna (42.2). The value is lowest in Burgenland with 18.2 and in Lower Austria (22.1).

Austria wins bronze in rowing

Austria has won its first rowing medal for 29 years at the Olympics on Friday. Magdalena Lobnig won a bronze medal  in the final of the women’s singles in the Sea Forest Waterway. Austria’s  Anna Kiesenhofer has already won gold in the road bike race, and in judo there was bronze medal for Shamil Borchashvili and a silver medial for Michaela Polleres, the Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports.

Austria must bring in text emergency warning messages, EU rules

Austria must change its laws to allow people to be warned of emergencies such as floods or a sudden rise in Covid-19 infections by SMS message, the EU has ruled.

The changes must be in place by by summer 2022. At present, the country relies on 8,000 cold war sirens as disaster alerts, which are sounded on the first weekend, every October. The Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports that Telekom Austria says it is not possible to send emergency SMS messages at present because there is (still) no public contract for this and neither the legal prerequisites nor the corresponding financing are in place.

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


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