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

Skiers use a ski lift in Austria (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)
The winter tourism rules will be revealed this week (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)
Find out what's going on in Austria on Tuesday, with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

Latest Covid rules means unvaccinated people must wear masks in museums and libraries

More details have been revealed about Austria’s latest rules to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest revelation is that  those who have not been vaccinated (and those who have not recovered from Covid-19 during the past six months) have to wear a FFP2 mask in museums, libraries, libraries and archives. However, in concerts and in the theatre, a test is sufficient.

Rules for winter tourism to be unveiled this week

Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger (ÖVP) will unveil the government’s Covid-19 rules for winter tourism this week after consultations with the Ministry of Health.

Restrictions will depend on the situation in the ICU, as in the rest of Austria. The rules for après-ski will be similar to those for nightclubs and restaurants, and rules for people using cable cars are also planned, the ministry announced today. Specific quarantine measures for people working in winter tourism will be outlined.

The aim is to prevent Austria’s hospitals from being overwhelmed and to prevent Austria being classified as a ‘risk area’ by other countries. Tyrolean governor Günther Platter (ÖVP) said after the tourism summit that the season would go ahead and there would  be no capacity restrictions on the cable cars, broadcaster ORF reports.

Pandemic has changed shopping habits

The pandemic has permanently changed how Austrians shop, according to a Gallup survey picked up by broadcaster ORF. Every or every second respondent in the poll made more purchases online in the wake of the pandemic. Clothes, shoes, electrical goods/electronics and books were the most popular items to order online.

The survey found the US retail giant Amazon has a very dominant position in Austria, and smaller domestic competitors find it difficult to compete. Seven out of ten buyers surveyed gave Amazon as their preferred supplier, and one in seven people has never bought online from an Austrian provider, according to the Gallup survey.

The pandemic led to people going shopping less often, spending less time in shops and making significantly fewer spontaneous purchases. 

Labour law around employers and vaccinations explored

The labour lawyer Georg Schima has attempted to answer the question whether employees can make being vaccinated against Covid-19 a condition of employment.

He also explores if an employee who refuses to be vaccinated can be dismissed in a blog post in  Der Standard newspaper.

He says employers are allowed to require applicants for a job to be vaccinated. If the applicant lies that she or has been vaccinated, or refuses to vaccinate, having promised to do so, they can be dismissed.

He says it is not possible to dismiss employees who were hired before a vaccine requirement was in place if they refuse to get the jab. However, these people could be asked to wear masks at work or bear the cost of testing for Covid-19.

Vaccination campaign in Tyrolean schools

Children aged twelve and up will be taken to their vaccination appointments in Tyrol with buses during school hours as part of a new vaccine campaign in the state aimed at schoolchildren. Participation is voluntary and free of charge and the students will be supervised by their teachers, the state announced on Monday. Special time slots have been reserved for the pupils at the vaccination centres, and they will be given the Biontech Pfizer vaccine the Der Standard newspaper reports. Children under 14 years of age need the consent of their parents or legal guardians, but young people from the age of 14 can decide for themselves whether they want to be vaccinated or not, the state said. 

Gibbons enjoy internet date

A pair of gibbons had a “first date” today at Salzburg Zoo: After searching for a partner on the Internet, the male gibbon Pamuk found a new female date from Hungary. The zoo reports the first direct contact between the two “little great apes” was successful, broadcaster ORF reports.


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