Vienna mulling further Covid restrictions as ICU beds dwindle

Vienna mulling further Covid restrictions as ICU beds dwindle
Photo by MARIO TAMA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP
Mayor of Vienna Michael Ludwig (SPÖ) is today expected to advise on the possible tightening of Covid-19 restrictions in Vienna. What is the situation in the capital?

As Covid-19 cases and the number of Covid patients in Vienna’s hospitals continue to rise, Mayor Ludwig is meeting with a team of experts to discuss a possible tightening of restrictions in the city.

As of Monday September 20th, 17 percent of intensive care beds in Vienna were occupied with Covid-19 patients and the capital has the highest seven-day incidence rate at 221.6.

The average incidence rate nationwide is 156.4 and the average occupancy rate of ICU beds in Austria is 10 percent.

Medical teams are already postponing some non-urgent surgeries in Vienna and religious and private hospitals are once again opening Covid-19 stations.

READ MORE: What are Austria’s new Covid rules for winter sports and Christmas markets?

According to the Kurier, Level 5 of Vienna’s step-by-step plan for managing Covid-19 has now been breached by the number of people in intensive care units. 

Level 5 is reached when 139 beds are occupied in the intensive care unit. Level 3 currently applies to normal beds (up to 299 beds) in Vienna.

Following Ludwig’s meeting with medical experts, there could be an announcement later today about further restrictions for the capital city.

Stricter rules already in force in Vienna

Compared to the rest of Austria, there are already stricter Covid-19 rules in Vienna.

For example, a mask is mandatory in all shops, but FFP2 masks are only required for unvaccinated people. The same rules apply in museums, libraries and libraries. 

In addition, PCR tests are now only valid for 48 hours in Vienna and no longer for 72 hours. 

Antigen test results are valid for 24 hours across the country, including Vienna.

Elsewhere in Austria, FFP2 masks are once again mandatory in certain public spaces, like supermarkets, pharmacies and on public transport. 

Masks are only required in non-essential shops for unvaccinated people, although there is a recommendation for everyone to wear a mask (including vaccinated people).

Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz last week announced that bed occupancy in intensive care units will become the new lead indicator for Covid-19 measures instead of the seven-day incidence. 

FOR MEMBERS: What are Austria’s new tighter Covid measures for unvaccinated?


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