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

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
A woman builds a snowman in Vienna on February 16, 2021. Photo credit Helmut Fohringer/APA/AFP
Every weekday, The Local brings you an English-language summary of the news you need to know in Austria.

Austria remains deep red in the Covid-19 traffic light system

Following a meeting by Austria’s Coronavirus Commission yesterday, the entire country will remain deep red (high risk) in the Covid-19 traffic light system.

The Commission declared “the medical care of the Austrian population in large parts of the country is seriously threatened” and recommended booster vaccinations as a way to tackle the fourth wave.

There are some glimmers of hope though as experts believe the peak has been reached in Upper Austria. The lowest incidence rate is in Vienna at 603, followed by Burgenland at 700.

Heavy snow forecast in Vienna on Friday

Residents in Austria’s capital city can expect a blanket of snow on Friday afternoon as winter weather sweeps across the country for the first weekend of Advent.

Meteorologists at Ubimet are predicting up to 5cm of snow in the Vienna Woods and motorists in the city are advised to drive carefully.

Elsewhere in the country, up to half a meter of snow is forecast to fall in the Alps over the weekend, with 20 to 30cm of snow expected up to 1,000 meters above sea level.

Medical experts in Salzburg ask residents to avoid “risk sports”

Regional Clinics Manager Paul Sungler has appealed to Salzburg residents to adjust their behaviour as Covid-19 case rates remain high and intensive care unit capacity dwindles.

Sungler told ORF: “It’s not the time for risky sports because the intensive care units are needed elsewhere.”

Medical teams in Salzburg recently increased their ICU bed capacity and all elective surgeries have been cancelled.

Vienna’s Covid-19 protest camp removed by police

A Covid-19 protest camp in Vienna’s Stadtpark has been cleared in an early morning police operation, including officers from WEGA – Vienna’s special police unit.

According to the Kronen Zeitung, around 35 “Covid deniers” who refuse to be vaccinated had been camped out at the park since last Friday, but police closed down the camp after complaints of bullying and harassment by the protesters. 

At 4am, 14 protesters were woken up by 80 police officers and removed from the park.


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