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

Austria's Jakob Schubert competes in the men's sport climbing lead qualification during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (Photo by Jeff ROBERSON / POOL / AFP)
Austria's Jakob Schubert competes in the men's sport climbing lead qualification during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (Photo by Jeff ROBERSON / POOL / AFP)
Find out what's going on in Austria on Wednesday, with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

Belarusian sprinter takes flight to Vienna according to Austria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Belarusian sprinter Timanovskaya, who was previously believed to have flown to Poland to seek asylum, is reported to be now on the way to Vienna, according to the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Der Standard newspaper says according to eyewitnesses, the Olympic athlete is said to have changed flights at the last minute.

The Foreign Ministry has now confirmed the athlete’s arrival. The paper reports a member of the Belarusian community who is in contact with her told Reuters on Wednesday night that consulate officials had changed their flight route due to security concerns. The AUA plane is supposed to land around 15:00. It is not clear if the plane to Vienna is just a stopover to Poland.

Austrian bank restricts dealings with Belarus due to sanctions

Due to sanctions against Belarus, the Austrian bank Raiffeisen Bank International is restricting its cooperation with the state-owned Belarusbank, Die Presse newspaper reports. It is the only Western European credit institution in Belarus. The bank will no longer carry out international transfers for the state-owned Belarusbank in the future.

Broadcaster ORF reports the Austrian Foreign Ministry wrote on Twitter they were “deeply shocked” by the news of the death of the Belarusian activist Vitaly Shishov, adding Austria is demanding a thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances that led to his death.

Good news for those recovered and vaccinated once against Covid-19

From 15 August onwards, those who have proof of recovering from Covid-19 in Austria and who have also been given one vaccination against the disease will be given the status of fully immunised in the “Green Pass”. The health system Elga has already received 736,000 entries covering those who have recovered and will work on the technical implementation until 15 August, Der Standard reports.

Spain classifies Salzburg and Vienna as risk areas

Spain has classified Salzburg and Vienna as risk areas, meaning when residents of these cities enter Spain by air, land or sea from Salzburg or Vienna, online registration via the Spain Travel Health Portal as well as a vaccination certificate, a negative COVID-19 test, a recovery certificate or the digital Covid- EU certificate (“Green Pass”) are now required. The rules came into force on 2nd August. 

Seven day incidence is 37.1

​​The seven-day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 37.1. The number is highest in Vienna (49.2) and Salzburg (46.4). The value is lowest in Burgenland (22) and Lower Austria (26.8).

Vienna and Burgenland will not implement compulsory vaccination for all states employees

Vienna and Burgenland have said they will not join Lower Austria in making a rule that all state employees must be vaccinated, broadcaster ORF reports. Carinthia, Tyrol and Styria are all calling for the vaccination rules to be adopted at a federal level and apply to the whole of Austria. 

Covid-19 vaccine calculated as around 91 percent effective

This year, 1,656 people fell ill with Covid-19 despite being fully vaccinated – 96 of them after a vaccination from Johnson and Johnson, broadcaster ORF reports. However, as there were 266,000 Covid-19 infections in Austria this year, the Ministry of Health calculates the vaccine is 91 percent effective. A further 2,690 people fell ill despite the first vaccination.

The statistics are based on data collected for the first time by the Ministry of Health from the epidemiological reporting system (EMS) on vaccination breakthroughs. So far, only 376 breakthroughs in vaccination have been reported to the Federal Office for Safety in Health Care by doctors and pharmacists in accordance with their reporting obligation.

Jö Bonus Club card fined millions over data security

Customers who use the Jö Bonus Club will be able to do so without being “profiled” for the foreseeable future, after the scheme was fined €2 million for breaching data protection rules. The data protection authority (DSB)  has found the declarations of consent for the card, which is used by around half of all Austrians at Billa, Bipa, OMV, Pearle, Penny, Pagro, Adeg, Zgonc and other stores,  “did not comply with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)”. This was the case for declarations of consent obtained from customers for the customer loyalty program between May 2019 and February 2020, according to the website Vienna AT.


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