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

people walk in Vienna snow
The news you need to know in Austria on a snowy morning. Photo: Alex Halada/AFP
Every weekday, The Local brings you an English-language summary of the news you need to know in Austria.

Applications open for companies to apply for support for lost lockdown revenue

If your company’s revenue fell as a result of Austria’s fourth lockdown, you can apply for support in the form of the ‘Ausfallsbonus’ from today, via FinanzOnline, with the Ministry of Finance expecting the first payments to be made before Christmas. The measure is primarily targeted at small and medium-sized businesses.

If your sales in November and December fell by at least 30 percent compared to 2019, you can claim for between ten and 40 percent of the decline.

Here’s what we know about the draft vaccine mandate law

Austria’s first draft of its vaccine mandate law was presented on Thursday. The fines for violating the mandate could be issued every three months or a maximum of four times a year. They would be set at €600, but the fine for refusing to pay the penalty would be higher, at a maximum of €3,600. People’s personal financial situation would be taken into account when setting the fine, according to the draft.

Doctors who issue a false certificate of exemption will also face fines of up to €3,600.

Police have worked almost one million hours in overtime during the pandemic

That’s according to an exclusive in Der Standard this morning, with more than 450,000 hours’ overtime recorded for Austrian police in both 2020 and 2021. That includes working on regular Covid checks, for example to ensure businesses were enforcing Covid measures, as well as the police presence at demos against the measures.

In Vienna, that works out to 39 hours’ overtime per police officer per month.

According to the Interior Ministry, four police officers have died of Covid-19 and over 7,000 have fallen ill with the disease.

Carinthia announces roadmap out of lockdown

Carinthia was the last Austrian region to announce its own Covid measures for when the general lockdown is lifted this weekend. Gastronomy and hotels will not re-open until December 17th. Catch up on the rules for all the regions by clicking here.

More details on the post-lockdown rule changes

There has been some confusion over what exactly is allowed to open on Sunday, December 12th, the first day after the lockdown ends, but with the new Covid ordinance we have some more clarity.

Parts of trade that are usually allowed to open on Sundays will be allowed to operate this Sunday, which includes an extra day of Christmas markets (though it’s up to the individual organisers whether to open), as will cultural and sports facilities, services like hairdressers and so on Vienna’s mayor Michael Ludwig confirmed on Thursday that this would be the case in the capital, though December 13th was previously named as the re-opening day for Vienna.

Schools to stay closed on January 7th

Friday, January 7th is a ‘bridge day’, coming between the Epiphany holiday and the weekend. Now, pupils will only return to school from January 10th, to simplify the regular testing process in schools. This isn’t a change for everyone, as many schools had already made this a day off.

Students currently need to take three Covid-19 tests each week, at least one of them (two in Vienna and Upper Austria) being a PCR test, and schools should be giving students tests to take home over Christmas so they can get tested before they return to classes.


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