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

Travel requirements will change in Austria, including the length of time before vaccines 'expire' (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)
Travel requirements will change in Austria, including the length of time before vaccines 'expire' (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)
Find out what's going on in Austria on Monday, with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

Vaccines now stay valid for one year in Austria

Vaccinations will now be eligible for one year as proof of being a low epidemiological risk and therefore gaining access to Austria, according to new regulations from the Austrian Ministry of Health, the Die Presse newspaper reports. Previously, coronavirus vaccinations ‘expired’ 270 days after the final jab. The other change is that the US and the Balkans are no longer on Austria’s ‘Green List’ for travel.

READ MORE: What Austria’s vaccine expiry date means for travellers

New school year begins in Austria’s western states

The new school year has begun in in Upper Austria, Salzburg, Tyrol, Vorarlberg, Carinthia and Styria for around 650,000 children and young people. During an initial three week ‘safety phase’, three CoV tests per week must be carried out in order to participate in lessons, at least one of which is a PCR test.

One week after start of school in Vienna, 120 classes are in quarantine

Schools in Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland started last week. The Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports that one week after the start of school, 120 classes are already in quarantine in Vienna. The Education Minister Heinz Faßmann (ÖVP) told the Zib2 programme that he wants the quarantine period for school students to be shortened, allowing children to “test out” of quarantine after five days with a PCR test as is the case in Germany, rather than the current 10 days in Austria, though his department is not responsible for the quarantine regulation. However, the minister has changed school guidelines so that teachers and students who have recovered from Covid-19 will be on an equal footing with those who have been vaccinated, meaning they can take fewer tests. 

Virologist calls for nationwide antibody study

The Innsbruck virologist Dorothee von Laer has called for a nationwide antibody study in an interview with the “Tiroler Tageszeitung” newspaper. Testing 5,000 people in representative locations would be enough, according to the virologist. However, for the study to go ahead it would need the approval of the ethics committee and an order from the federal government.

She also claims that if a further million people were vaccinated in Austria, the pandemic would be “over”, the Krone Zeitung reports. 

NATO aircraft ‘massively’ violated Austrian airspace on Friday morning

A NATO aircraft “massively” violated Austrian airspace on Friday morning, according to defence ministry spokesman, Michael Bauer, Der Standard reports  The aircraft dropped from the regulated altitude of between 10,000 and 11,000 metres to just 1,000 metres and was escorted from the area by two Eurofighters. Bauer went on to say that such a large deviation from the flight path has not happened for at least 20 years.

Record vacancies in tourism and retail jobs sectors

There are a record number of job vacancies in Austria’s tourism, temporary and retail jobs sectors as the economy picks up sharply following the Covid-19 pandemic, Die Presse newspaper reports. At the end of August, public employment agency AMS reported 113, 849 vacancies, up 72.5% compared to the same time last year. There were around 27,500 jobs in the temporary sector and 18,200 in retail being advertised. 

Vaccination bus coming to 50 schools in Vienna

Around 50 schools in Vienna will be visited by the vaccination bus in the coming weeks, where children and adults will have the chance to be given the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine.The aim is to significantly increase the vaccination rate among young people. Currently around 30 percent of 12 to 15 year olds have received at least one vaccination. For 16 to 19 year olds it is around 50 percent, broadcaster ORF reports.


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