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

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (R) and President of the European Council Charles Michel pay respects to the victims of the recent terrorist attack in Vienna Austria on November 9,2020.
A ceremony is planned for the one year anniversary of the terrorist attack in Vienna. The attack took place on November 2nd, 2020. (AFP/Joe Klamar)
Find out what's going on in Austria on Wednesday, with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

Covid-19 infection numbers are rising again, especially in Upper Austria and Salzburg

Following a recent plateau, there has been a significant increase in Covid-19 infections in Austria for a few days, broadcaster ORF reports. The increase is particularly marked in  Upper Austria and Salzburg, which have a respective seven day incidence of 264 and 253.

Across Austria the seven-day incidence is increasing significantly and was 183 on Tuesday – almost 40 higher than a week ago. The number of those hospitalized is currently stable. 

READ MORE: Covid-19 in Austria: The latest developments, rules and updates

Exit controls introduced in two Salzburg towns, and could return for Braunau district for third time

Police have been carrying out exit controls since midnight for the Salzburg municipalities of Adnet and Annaberg-Lungötz. This means people may only leave these areas if they have a valid vaccination, recovery or PCR test certificate (2.5G rule).  

Similar exit controls are likely to be implemented in the Braunau district of Upper Austria as well, ORF reports – this would be the third time they would be in place. The average seven-day incidence has risen to 416.1 in the district and the vaccination level remains low, it reports. 

‘3G’ rule coming to Austria’s workplaces

As The Local reported on Tuesday, an impasse on the new “3G rule” in the workplace regulation in Austria has been resolved following an agreement between Austria’s governing coalition and the centre-left opposition SPÖ party.

The agreement ensures that company coronavirus tests will continue to be free after October. This means the SPÖ party will lend its support to the new law allowing the 3G rule in workplaces. The “3G rule” means only those who have been vaccinated, recovered from or tested negative for Covid-19 are allowed in the workplace.

READ MORE: Covid-19: Austria set to require proof of 3G in workplaces

Commemoration of first anniversary of Austria’s 2020 terrorist attack 

Vienna will remember the victims of last year’s terrorist attack on November 2nd, the anniversary of the fatal shooting, Der Standard newspaper reports. A wreath will be laid at the memorial stone on Desider-Friedmann-Platz. Relatives of the victims are also invited

In addition, interim results from the investigation into the attack will be released at around 10am on Wednesday.

During the attack in Vienna, four people were killed and more than 20 people were injured, some seriously. The killer was caught by the police after a few minutes and shot. 

READ MORE: Analysis: Vienna terror attack was ‘only a matter of time’

Women less likely to benefit from Austria’s tax reform and budget according to  Chamber of Labour

The Chamber of Labour (AK) says Austria’s recent tax reform and budget do not reward women for their important role during the Covid-19 pandemic, broadcaster ORF reports.

The Chamber of Labour cites the family bonus as an example. It reports in 2019, around 70 percent of recipients of this bonus were men and almost 30 percent women. Men received an average of €2,187 and women €1,436, according to calculations by the AK, meaning around 78 percent of the 681 million euros family bonus benefited men, and only 22 percent benefitted women. 

The AK is demanding more money for childcare and care, more funding to allow men and women to both work part time, and greater wage transparency in companies. It argues as women make up the majority of key workers in kindergartens, supermarkets and care homes they were “top performers” in the pandemic, but the recent budget and reforms do not reflect that. 

‘No risk’ of Austria’s vaccines expiring

There are currently more than four million vaccine doses in stock in Austria, but there are “no significant quantities in Austria threatened with expiry,” according to the Ministry of Health, broadcaster ORF reports. No major donation campaigns for poorer countries are planned until next year, it said. 

Students have mixed views on online studies

A research team from the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Vienna has been investigating how online learning has affected students during the pandemic. All universities in Austria were closed in mid-March 2020 and changed to online learning.

The team found around a quarter of students would like to continue with online teaching (29 percent); almost as many (26 percent) would like to do without it in the future. 45 percent – almost half – would prefer a mixture of online and face-to-face teaching, Der Standard newspaper reports. 

What does Austria’s new chancellor means for its role in Europe?

There is a divergence of views amongst Austria’s MEPs on what they expect from the new Schallenberg Chancellery in Europe, broadcaster ORF reports.

The head of the centre-left SPÖ delegation in the European Parliament, Andreas Schieder, believes the country will shift to become a more diplomatic actor in Europe, with Schallenberg at the helm. His ÖVP counterpart, Angelika Winzig, hopes to see the continued tough approach presented by Kurz – giving the former chancellor’s response to AstraZeneca delivery problems as an example.

The liberal Neos party predict it will be business as usual, whilst the extreme right FPÖ party expect to see the country take a more “EU centrist” approach.


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