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 December 17th the 7-day incidence rate (new infections per 100,000 people) was 271. Vorarlberg (500) has the highest incidence, followed by Tyrol (343), while Burgenland (150) and Vienna (219) have the lowest rates.
A total of 62,132 people in Austria are currently positive for Covid-19 as of December 17th, with 1,440 people being treated for the disease in hospital outside ICUs, according to AGES. An additional 505 Covid patients are currently in intensive care.
A total of 6,522,376 people (73 percent of the total population) have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, according to the Health Ministry, and 6,178,608 (69.2 percent) have a valid vaccine pass as of December 16th.
Friday, December 17th
Upper Austria ends its regional lockdown today, while four other regions see the re-opening of restaurants, hotels and cafes. Click here to catch up on the changes.
...But an exception has been added so that on December 24th, 25th and 26th as well as on December 31st, up to ten people will be allowed to meet privately without a requirement for 2G proof.
The 11pm curfew for the gastronomy sector will be removed on December 31st.
Salzburg has followed Vienna in banning daytime protests this weekend.
Thursday, December 16th
The proportion of Austrian residents considered fully vaccinated has reached 69 percent (or 68.98 percent to be exact, according to Health Ministry data). Meanwhile, 3,074,367 third doses have been issued, which makes just under 34 percent of the population according to our calculation.
Protests in Vienna might only be allowed to take place in the evening following several weekends of afternoon demonstrations in the capital against Covid-19 measures.
Wednesday, December 15th
Austria's first school has closed due to a reported case of the Omicron Covid variant after contact tracing rules were tightened this week.
There have so far been 71 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant across Austria.
Tuesday, December 14th
In a briefing from Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein today, he appealed to people to get their Covid-19 booster dose before Christmas, warning of a severe wave of the virus in January due to the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant. There are currently 59 confirmed cases of Omicron in Austria.
For people with proof of 2G, private gatherings of up to four adults from different households can take place without needing additional measures such as masks. Find out more about the current rules for socialising here.
Monday, December 13th
Today, non-essential retail as well as services like hairdressers and beauty salons re-open in most parts of the country, except Upper Austria which remains in lockdown. 2G rules (proof of vaccination or recovery) apply in these venues, as well as an FFP2 mask requirement. Catch up on the different rules here.
Although the last day of the lockdown was Saturday, Austria's rules on Sunday closing meant today is the re-opening day for retail -- although shops have been granted a rare exception to the Sunday closing rules for this weekend, December 19th.
Over the weekend, tens of thousands of protestors gathered once again in many of Austria's cities to protest the country's Covid measures and in particular those targeted at unvaccinated people.
Austria has significantly tightened its quarantine rules for people who have been in contact with someone positive for the Omicron variant of Covid-19. In this situation there is now a 14-day quarantine, including for vaccinated people.
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.