Covid-19 in Austria: Follow the latest developments as they happen
Catch up on the latest Covid-19 news and current statistics in The Local's roundup as they happen throughout the week.
Overview of the Covid-19 situation in Austria
As of November 18th, the 7-day incidence rate (new infections per 100,000 people) was 991. Salzburg (1,740) has the highest incidence, followed by Upper Austria (1,591), while Styria (668) and Vienna (557) have the lowest rates but are still classed as "very high risk" by Austria's Corona Commission.
A total of 152,179 people in Austria were currently positive for Covid-19 on November 18th, with 2,837 people being treated for the disease in hospital, according to AGES. A total of 508 Covid patients are currently in intensive care
A total of 6,170,406 people (69 percent of the total population, and 78 percent of the population eligible for vaccination) have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, according to the Health Ministry, and 5,860,006 (65.6 percent) have received two doses as of November 18th.
Friday, November 19th
Austria will go into its fourth nationwide lockdown on Monday, and also announced that it will make vaccines mandatory from February next year. You can read more on this in the articles below:
- Austria announces general lockdown and compulsory vaccination
- How will Austria’s new national lockdown work?
- What we know about Austria’s plan for compulsory Covid vaccination
The Health Ministry reported that 15,809 new cases of Covid were recorded in the last 24 hours, yet another all-time high.
And the incidence rate nationwide has now passed 1,000 for the first time since the start of the pandemic.
It will now be possible for everyone in Austria to get their third dose of a Covid-19 vaccine from four months after their second dose.
Thursday, November 18th
The main update today is that Salzburg and Upper Austria will be introducing a lockdown for their whole populations regardless of vaccination status, starting next week. We will find out tomorrow whether the lockdown will be implemented nationwide.
Austria has tightened its Covid rules for demonstrations, meaning FFP2 masks must be worn at demonstrations or gatherings with more than 50 people, regardless of whether the participants are vaccinated against Covid or have a recent negative test.
Wednesday, November 17th
After yesterday's lower than usual daily reported cases, today Austria hit an all-time high with 14,416 new cases reported in the past 24 hours.
Austria also tightened some of the rules for entering the country, mainly relating to the proof of negative test or vaccination that you need to show. Click here to read more.
In Vienna, 140 school classes are currently studying from home due to Covid outbreaks at school, according to city authorities.
Tuesday, November 16th
A total of 15,000 police checks were carried out yesterday on the first day of the lockdown for unvaccinated people and 120 violations, according to the Interior Ministry.
And a total of 10,363 new Covid cases were reported in the last 24 hours -- a high figure, but slightly less than the numbers we've been seeing in recent days, albeit too early to say if this is the start of a plateau or downward trend, particularly since several regions have seen delays in getting PCR test results back.
Monday, November 15th
The leader of the far right Freedom Party (FPÖ), Herbert Kickl, has tested positive for the coronavirus, he said on his Facebook page today. This means he will be unable to take part in a demonstration against Covid-19 measures planned for later this week.
A new set of strict Covid rules come into effect across Austria from today.
Nationwide, Austria has put people without proof of 2G (full vaccination or recent recovery from Covid-19) under lockdown, meaning people in this group can only leave their homes for certain essential purposes. The move is intended to reduce the high level of spread of the virus and to push up Austria's sluggish vaccination rate -- people can avoid the lockdown by showing proof of a first dose of the vaccine together with a negative PCR test.
One of the big questions related to the partial lockdown is how to enforce it. Police will now check for proof of 2G at regular police controls, such as traffic stops, and additional patrols will check for 2G in areas with a risk of crowding such as near restaurants or busy shopping centres.
Three regions (Salzburg, Vienna and Upper Austria) also have new sets of tougher rules which come into force today. Catch up on the current rules nationwide and regionally in our summary.
Carinthia announced stricter Covid-19 measures this afternoon, extending the FFP2 mask mandate to apply also in services requiring close physical contact (like hairdressers and salons), as well as at restaurants when not seated at a table.
Lower Austria is also tightening its rules, with an expansion of the FFP2 mask mandate to come into effect on Wednesday -- according to today's statement, details are still being worked out.
Also today, Vienna began its roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines for children aged 5-11, despite formal approval from the European Medicines Agency not being expected until next week. All the initial slots, more than 9,000 in total, have already been booked but the mayor has pledged to open up more.
One international parent in Vienna told The Local she had decided to take her children to receive the vaccine because "one of us works in a situation where protecting themselves is quite difficult, and one of our children also has a medical issue which means that a Covid infection could be very dangerous indeed for them". Read more on the roll-out here.
How does Austria compare to its neighbours?
The chart below from Our World in Data shows how the number of reported daily Covid cases in Austria compares to those in neighbouring countries.
Note that case numbers depend on rates of testing as well as the prevalence of the virus, so this is not necessarily a true comparison of the spread of the virus in each country.
Do you have a question about Covid-19 in Austria? Contact our editorial team at [email protected] and they will get back to you and do their best to help.