Overview of the Covid-19 situation in Austria
As of December 10th the 7-day incidence rate (new infections per 100,000 people) was 382. Vorarlberg (729) has the highest incidence, followed by Tyrol (494), while Burgenland (274) and Vienna (255) have the lowest rates but are still classed as “very high risk” by Austria’s Corona Commission.
A total of 99,310 people in Austria are currently positive for Covid-19 as of December 10th, with 2,049 people being treated for the disease in hospital outside ICUs, according to AGES. An additional 588 Covid patients are currently in intensive care.
A total of 6,444,430 people (72.1 percent of the total population) have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, according to the Health Ministry, and 6,076,249 (68 percent) have a valid vaccine pass as of December 9th.
Friday, December 10th
In what is becoming a weekly occurrence, protests against Austria’s Covid-19 measures are planned in Vienna and several other cities for Saturday afternoon.
Austria’s schools will be closed on Friday, January 7th (which would have been a ‘bridge day’ between the Epiphany public holiday and the weekend) in order to make Covid-19 testing simpler.
Austria is the EU country which has administered the second highest proportion of Covid-19 booster doses. According to OurWorldInData, which gathers data from official national sources, 28.6 percent of the Austrian population have had a third vaccine dose, outdone only by Hungary in the EU at 29.7 percent. Worldwide, Chile (47.9 percent), Israel (44.3 percent), Uruguay (40.8 percent), the UK (31.2 percent) and UAE (29.2 percent) are also ahead.
The number of people requiring intensive care treatment for Covid-19 in Austria remains high at 588, but is back below the threshold of 600, which represents 30 percent of total intensive care capacity in the country.
Thursday, December 9th
In case you missed it, Austria’s government announced its roadmap out of lockdown yesterday: most businesses can re-open from Monday with 2G rules and FFP2 requirements, though several regions are imposing their own stricter rules. Read the details by clicking here.
Carinthia was the last region to announce its own plans, but confirmed today that while retail and services like hairdressers will open from Monday, restaurants and hotels will re-open only from December 17th.
And Austria’s government presented its first draft of a law making vaccination against Covid-19 mandatory. Here’s what we know.
All of Austria is still marked as red or ‘very high risk’ by the country’s Corona Commission, but falls in incidence rates during the lockdown mean that Vienna and Burgenland at least are coming closer to the level needed to be downgraded to orange or ‘high risk’.
Tuesday, December 7th
It’s official: the Chancellor has confirmed this Saturday will be the last day of lockdown, though we don’t yet know exactly which rules will replace it.
Vienna’s mayor has shared a few details of the plan for the capital region. Retail will re-open after the lockdown ends, with the Christmas markets back from December 13th (but food and drink only available for take-away). Restaurants and hotels will wait a week longer for their re-opening.
Several thousand people have de-registered from digital health portal Elga, after rumours spread in anti-vaccine circles that this would help them avoid future fines under the vaccine mandate (Elga has said this will not be the case).
The far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) has called its supporters to join a demonstration against Austria’s Covid-19 measures in central Vienna on Saturday.
While the Covid incidence rate is falling, on Tuesday more Covid-19 patients were receiving intensive care treatment for the virus than at any other time in the pandemic at 670. This figure comes from the nationwide crisis management team and is a bit higher than the latest figure from AGES, 658.
And a total of 77 Covid deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, which is the highest figure of 2021.
Monday, December 6th
Thousands of vaccine passes become invalid today, due to a rule change that means second doses of Covid vaccines are valid for 270 days instead of 360.
Five arrests were made at mostly peaceful protests against Austria’s planned vaccine mandate at the weekend after a small minority of over 40,000 demonstrators clashed with police.
A parliamentarian from the far-right Freedom Party, Dagmar Belakowitsch, falsely stated in a speech at the protests that Austria’s hospitals are full not with Covid patients but with people requiring treatment as a result of the vaccine. Austria’s medical association has said this is false and appealed to the public to get information regarding Covid from public health authorities; intensive care stations are currently occupied by 654 patients receiving treatment for Covid-19 and 769 patients receiving care for other reasons.
By November 27th, there had been 270 applications made under the law which gives compensation for damage caused by Covid-19 vaccines (the majority of which are still pending, so it is not confirmed if the vaccine directly caused any harm), while over 13 million vaccine doses had been administered. Since the start of the pandemic, over 60,000 people in Austria have required hospital treatment for Covid-19, compared to 1,360 who have been treated in hospital or had a hospital stay extended close to the time of their vaccination.
A draft of the mandate law has reportedly been seen by several Austrian newspapers, who say it sets out fines of €600 for people who do not get the vaccine, up to a maximum of €2,400 a year.
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.