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

What's next for schools in Austria? (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
What's next for schools in Austria? (Photo
Find out what's going on in Austria on Thursday, with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

‘Safety phase’ about to end in Austria’s schools

The three-week safety phase for school reopening, which meant a mixture of PCR and antigen tests were given three times a week, is about to expire. Health Minister Faßmann has said in an interview with Der Standard what will happen next.

He said they would continue to test in schools, but only children who have not been vaccinated. Nothing will change for six to twelve year olds, who are not eligible for a Covid-19 vaccination. It is hoped this will increase the vaccination rate, for twelve to 14 year olds this is around 25 percent, and over half of over 14 year olds have now been jabbed. 

Faßmann said it would not be possible for schools to switch entirely to PCR testing due to a lack of capacity. He said if Austria goes to level three of ICU capacity, high school students would have to wear masks in school (at this point Vienna would also impose an FFP2 mask requirement on all retailers). 

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“2G” in sport: decline in visitors expected

Football teams and ice-hockey venues are expecting fewer fans this season due to the new 2-G rule, which means only those who have been vaccinated or can prove they have recovered from Covid-19 can attend large sports events from 1st October.

Broadcaster ORF reports the Bundesliga football league is preparing for a decline in visitors, and the Vienna Capitals are also expecting fewer fans in the ice rink. Rapid tried to reassure fans by saying it had a vaccination rate of almost 100 percent among employees, including coaches and players. 

However, the organisers of the Erste Bank Open tennis in the town hall say they expect to sell out for the tournament, which runs from 25th to 31st October. 

New shark experience in Vienna

A new shark aquarium has been unveiled at the Haus des Meeres aquarium in Vienna. Visitors will be able to walk around the pool on the seventh floor, which is home to two white tip and two black tip reef sharks.

The experience is intended to give the same views as “diving in the Maldives” according to the aquatic zoo. It will give almost 120 square meters space, twice as much as the old one. A further 1,000 sea animals will live alongside the shark, such as rays and coral fish. 

Viennese composer goes viral on TikTok 

A score called Pieces composed by the Viennese composer Danilo Stankovic in Vienna has had 21 million views on TikTok, broadcaster ORF reports. It says that the composition sounds “melancholy, romantic and, above all, very familiar”.

@danilostankovicmusic

Thank you for loving my song ❤️ ‘Pieces’ is shared in over 700k videos on @tiktok @tiktok_deutschland 😍 ##composer ##danilostankovic ##piecespiano

♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) – Danilo Stankovic

Pension increase

The Austrian government has decided to increase pensions. This will mean gross pensions of up to €1,000 increase by three percent on 1 January 2022, ​​Die Presse newspaper reports.


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