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

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
What will schools look like when they go back in Austria? Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Find out what's going on in Austria on Thursday, with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

Plan unveiled for school start

More measures have been unveiled regarding the reopening of schools in Vienna. Schools will begin in a ‘safety phase’, which will now last three rather than two weeks.

During this period, children will be tested three times a week and must wear facemasks outside the classroom, broadcaster ORF reports.

After this, there will be three different safety levels, which will be determined on the basis of the recommendations made by the Corona Commission for each federal state.

When there is a low incidence, there will be no mask requirement, although unvaccinated teachers must always show a valid test certificate.

With an incidence between 100 and 199 (medium risk), unvaccinated students have to take a Covid-19 test three times a week, one of which must be a PCR test. Children and adults (regardless of vaccination status) outside of the class must wear mouth and nose protection.

Only with a risk-adjusted incidence above 199 (high risk) must the mask also be worn in class from the ninth grade onwards; the same applies to teachers. Children will be required to isolate if they have been in a class with a large number of infections.

UPDATED: Austria announces new rules for schools

Number of patients in intensive care forecast to double in two weeks

The Covid-19 forecasting consortium has predicted the number of patients in intensive care in Austria will more than double from 87 on Wednesday in two weeks.

They forecast 180 seriously ill patients for September 8th, plus 626 patients in normal wards. This would mean that more than 800 Covid 19 infected people would be in the hospital again. According to the experts, the utilization of the intensive care units will increase in the next two weeks from 4.2 percent to 8.9 percent of the reported total capacity of intensive care beds for adults. 

Vienna to change building regulations

Vienna will change its building regulations to force people to build smaller apartment blocks, after people complained their homes were becoming dwarfed by new developments. According to broadcaster ORF, anyone who has a plot of land can build a third of it, creating a property with a  maximum of 470 square meters.

While few use up this allowance to build a single family house, apartment buildings are created of this size. In the future the maximum build will be 350 square meters.

Every fifth person in Austria has an e-bike

Almost every fifth person in Austria has an e-bike – and the trend is rising sharply, according to Der Standard newspaper. It reports last year, around 40 percent of bikes sold were e-bikes. If the trend continues, by 2028 half of all bikes sold will be e-bikes.


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