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

Will there be a ski season this year and what form will it take? (Photo by Jörg Angeli on Unsplash)
Will there be a ski season this year and what form will it take? (Photo by Jörg Angeli on Unsplash)
Find out what's going on in Austria on Monday, with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

Winter tourism rules to be unveiled today

The rules for winter tourism in Austria this year are set to be unveiled on Monday morning at 11am. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has said previously if there is an increase in infections, only vaccinated people will have access to après-ski bars.

The Ministry of Tourism and Health are still negotiating over the rules which should apply. However the Tourism Councillor for the federal state of Vorarlberg, Christian Gantner, speaking on behalf of Austria’s federal states, believes the ski-lifts should be allowed to run at full capacity with the 3-G rule (people must show they have been vaccinated, recovered from or tested negative for Covid-19).

The lift operators would check day tickets, season tickets would only be available to those who have been vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19. He also believes the 3-G rule should apply with après-ski. One problem is workers from Eastern Europe, who have been vaccinated with Sputnik, which is currently not approved in Austria, broadcaster ORF reports. 

READ MORE: Austria mulls banning unvaccinated from cafes, restaurants and gyms if ICU situation worsens

German tourism commission believes ‘carefree skiing holidays’ could happen again

The tourism commissioner of the German federal government, Thomas Bareiß, also believes a corona winter season in the mountains including après-ski, could be possible under certain conditions. “We want to go on a carefree skiing holiday again,” said the CDU politician to the newspapers of the Funke media groupon Monday, Der Standard newspaper reports. He said it was right to open certain events “only to groups of people who are at low risk of infection”. 

Ten year high in inflation driven by higher fuel costs

Austria’s current rising inflation, which hit 3.2 percent in August – its highest level in a decade – is being driven by the sharp rise in fuel and energy prices, the Die Presse newspaper reports. Compared to August 2020, diesel was more than a fifth more expensive and premium gasoline rose by a quarter. Heating oil was 30 percent more expensive, Statistics Austria announced on Friday.

Call for mandatory vaccination for teachers and hospital workers

Austria’s patient advocate Sigrid Pilz has criticised the government’s Covid-19 policy in an interview with broadcaster ORF.  She called for mandatory vaccination for people working in education and health worker, arguing it is “absolutely unacceptable” that parents have to allow their children to be exposed to unvaccinated personnel.

She also said it was unacceptable that people were brought into contact with unvaccinated people in hospitals. 

READ MORE: Can employers in Austria ask if staff are vaccinated against Covid-19?

A ‘few dozen’ Austrians remain in Afghanistan

There are still a ‘few dozen’ Austrians in Afghanistan, according to comments made by foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) on ORF’s “press hour” on Sunday Der Standard newspaper reports.

Now that evacuation flights from Afghanistan have stopped, the foreign ministry has set up crisis teams in Pakistan and Iran to help try to get remaining Austrians out of the country.

Schallenberg also tried to defend the government’s stance on refusing to accept additional Afghani refugees by pointing out aid that Austria has previously provided and other indirect assistance.


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