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

Despite offering walk-in vaccinations in supermarkets, such as this BILLA Plus (REWE Group) supermarket in Vienna, Austria's vaccination rate has been lower than the 'worst case scenario' over the summer. (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)
Despite offering walk-in vaccinations in supermarkets, such as this BILLA Plus (REWE Group) supermarket in Vienna, Austria's vaccination rate has been lower than the 'worst case scenario' over the summer. (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)
Find out what's going on in Austria on Friday, with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

Vaccination in Austria ‘below worst case scenario’, Covid-19 consortium says

Three more federal states are now orange in Austria according to the country’s corona traffic light system. Overall, Austria remains unchanged with a medium risk (yellow), although the seven day incidence for the entire country has risen above 100, it is now 107.5. The federal states of Upper Austria, Salzburg and Vorarlberg join Vienna in being rated as having a high risk (orange). The consortium expressed concern about Austria’s very low vaccination rate over the summer, saying it was “below” the worst case scenario imagined, broadcaster ORF reports. 

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

Intensive care ‘medium risk’

 For all of Austria and for the federal states of Vienna, Lower and Upper Austria, the systemic risk in the area of ​​intensive care patients was also classified by the Covid-19 consortium as medium risk, which means a possible occupancy of more than ten percent of the available beds within 14 days. The Covid-19 consortium assumes there will be a 65 percent rise in intensive care patients, predicting nationwide 219 people will be in intensive care by September 15th. 

Government to meet regional governors to discuss next steps

The federal government will meet with governors of Austria’s federal states next Wednesday to discuss the next steps to be taken in tackling the pandemic. They will discuss how to increase vaccination uptake, whether to start charging unvaccinated people for Covid-19 tests, and possibly introduce an FFP2 mask requirement, according to Der Standard newspaper. 

Vienna gives third Covid-19 booster jabs

Vienna started to give third Covid-19 booster jabs in its nursing homes on Thursday. Employees in the health and care sector who already received their second vaccination in January or February / March can receive their booster in Vienna from next Monday.  From Friday it will also be possible to register for a third vaccination online via impfservice.wien, by calling 1450 or with your family doctor, the city announced. 

Austria ‘sceptical’ about EU taking military action

A meeting of European defence ministers chaired by Austria’s  Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner has taken place in Slovenia following the withdrawal from Afghanistan, to discuss to what extent the EU should be militarily active. Broadcaster ORF says recent events in Afghanistan have shown the EU is militarily “incapable of action”. However, it also reports there is great “scepticism” in Europe against taking military action, in Austria and other member states, quoting Harald Vilimsky, saying that Austria, which is neutral, should not allow itself to be drawn in. 

Stricter rules for homeschooling

Following a rise in parents choosing to homeschool due to the pandemic, the Austrian government has decided to tighten the rules around education at home. Around double the number of children (5,600) will be homeschooled this year compared to the previous year. Children who are being homeschooled can no longer choose where they take a yearly exam at a school which shows they are keeping pace with their peers in learning, and children’s learning will be assessed after the first semester of homeschool. Children who do not take a yearly exam will have to go back to school and repeat the year they have missed. Learning groups of several children will not be allowed in home lessons, broadcaster ORF reports.


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