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

Younger people are being hospitalised in Austria. (Photo: Ina FASSBENDER / AFP)
Younger people are being hospitalised in Austria. (Photo: Ina FASSBENDER / AFP)
Find out what's going on in Austria on Thursday, with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

Reactions to latest Covid-19 measures in Austria

Businesses have responded to Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s new Covid-19 rules, which were announced on Wednesday. The whole of Austria will adopt many of Vienna’s latest measures, such as shortening the validity period of antigen tests to 24 hours and PCR tests to 48 hours, and introducing a mask requirement in non-essential retail. FFP2 masks will once again be mandatory on public transport and in shops.

The mask requirement in non-essential retail should only apply to non-vaccinated people. However, the shopping centre association ACSP warned it would be difficult to check if people had received the vaccine or not.

Police trade unionist Hermann Greylinger said the police had other tasks as well as carrying out spot checks, broadcaster ORF reports.

Austria’s Chief Medical Officer Katharina Reich, told the Ö1 morning journal programme she would have liked the measures to have been stricter with a mask requirement for everyone.  

READ MORE: Austria to tighten Covid measures for unvaccinated from Wednesday

Younger people in Covid-19 intensive care units

Around 96 percent of the people occupying Vienna hospital intensive care wards due to Covid-19 are unvaccinated, broadcaster ORF reports. The age of patients in intensive care units is also falling. In Vienna almost two thirds of the intensive care Covid-19 patients are under 60 years of age and four patients are younger than 30.

In Tyrol, two of four intensive care patients are between 30 and 44 years old, while half of ten patients in Salzburg are between 45 and 59 years old. In Styria, seven patients are younger than 54, and three aged between 30 and 44 years old.

In Upper Austria, two patients are younger than 30, two are aged between 30 and 44 and twelve are between 45 and 59 years old. Lower Austria has one patient in their thirties, five patients aged between 40 and 50, and ten others between 50 and 59 years old.

Austrian employers ‘have right’ to ask if employees are vaccinated

Employers in Austria have the right to ask if their employees have been vaccinated and to receive a truthful answer, according to labor law expert Wolfgang Mazal, speaking to the Kurier newspaper.

However, employees are also entitled to reply that they do not wish to reveal this information.

Pub gardens in Vienna to stay open this winter

Vienna’s pub gardens will be given permission to stay open this winter, following an announcement by the capital’s City Councilor for Economic Affairs Peter Hanke (SPÖ).

Broadcaster ORF reports last summer, 4,200 tented outdoor areas were approved in Vienna, and 1,750 restaurateurs had a winter permit to put tables and armchairs outdoors. However, due to the winter lockdown these were never used. 

Carinthia to start administering third jabs

Carinthia will start administering third booster jabs against the coronavirus on September 16th, broadcaster ORF reports. First residents of nursing homes will be jabbed, then people aged over 80 who live at home.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Austria to roll out Covid booster shots in autumn

Finance minister fails to get injunction against Twitter user

Austria’s finance minister Gernot Blümel has been unsuccessful in the courts in seeking an injunction against a pensioner who tweeted Austria’s ÖVP party were either “forgetful or corrupt”, the Wiener Zeitung reports. Vienna Commercial Court saw the tweet as a “justified value judgment”, the paper reports.


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