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

E-scooter
Vienna is cracking down on e-scooter misuse, plus the rest of the day's top headlines. Photo: Frederic J Brown/AFP
Find out what's going on in Austria today, with The Local's short roundup of the news you need to know.

New Holocaust memorial to be unveiled in Vienna

November 9th marks 83 years since Kristallnacht, a series of violent attacks and vandalism on Jewish synagogues, businesses and homes.

Today, a memorial will be unveiled in Vienna: the Shoah Wall of Names, featuring the names of 64,000 Austrian Jews who were murdered under the Nazis. Holocaust survivor Kurt Yakov Tutter is the person who initiated the project. It will be located in Ostarrichipark in Vienna’s ninth district north of the city centre, and will be officially inaugurated at a ceremony including politicians, Jewish leaders as well as some descendants of Holocaust victims, including those who have recently taken up Austrian citizenship under a new law

Interior Minister vows to step up 2G checks

A further 800 police officers will be brought in to check that Austria’s new 2G rule is being followed, in addition to the 4,000 already working on checks, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said on Monday.

This is to ensure that places like restaurants, hotels and salons actually carry out the checks of visitors’ Covid passes. There are currently around 10,000 checks of venues each week but the number will increase as Austria tries to battle the spread of the virus.

Individuals who enter a 2G venue without the required proof face fines of up to €500 if caught, while for the businesses responsible for checking, the fines can reach €30,000.

More universities tighten Covid rules

As The Local reported yesterday, Klagenfurt’s Alpen-Adria-Universität has tightened its own entry rules to 2G, and several other universities are also bringing in stricter restrictions, although none quite so significant.

According to a survey carried out by press agency APA, the University of Vienna, Vienna University of Economics and Business, and University of Salzburg have switched to 2.5G (vaccination, recovery or negative PCR test), while others including the University of Graz, University of Innsbruck, and Vienna University of Technology are considering introducing 2.5G. These rules apply for entry to university buildings, but are stricter for events.

Vienna to crack down on poor e-scooter parking with ‘scooter sheriffs’

In January, Vienna’s Chamber of Commerce and e-scooter company Lime launched a pilot project where so-called ‘scooter sheriffs’ carried out checks in the city centre to make sure the vehicles were being parked in the right places, and to explain rules to users.

Now, the Chamber of Commerce says two other scooter providers have joined the project in a first for Europe.  

The team will consist of two people from the companies who carry out patrols four times a week, with a focus on the weekend, in the following areas: the first district, Mariahilfer Straße, the Danube Canal, Praterstern and Spittelberg. The companies will share the costs, and the tasks of the ‘sheriffs’ are to collect any e-scooters parked incorrectly, alert any scooter users who are using them incorrectly, and raise awareness of the correct way to use them.


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