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

Five Austrian regions relax their Covid rules slightly today. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Every weekday, The Local brings you an English-language summary of the news you need to know in Austria.

Upper Austria comes out of lockdown

One region of Austria, Upper Austria, had almost an extra week of lockdown, but it ends today. 

Unlike many regions which had a staggered re-opening, Upper Austria re-opens non-essential retail, culture and sports, events, hotels and gastronomy at the same time.

And four regions re-open hotels and catering today

In Carinthia, Lower Austria, Salzburg and Styria, lockdown ended last weekend but hotels and gastronomy businesses remained closed. Now these sectors can re-open. 

Only Vienna has a little longer to wait, with hotels and gastronomy set to re-open only on December 20th.

Don’t forget: There’s an extra shopping day this weekend

Shops have been given a special exemption to Austria’s usually strict Sunday closing laws this weekend, in a bid to support businesses affected by the lockdown. This only applies to businesses that were closed during the lockdown such as those selling clothes, furniture, books, toys or homeware, but not to supermarkets or pharmacies for example.

If you’re doing your shopping in Vienna, two extra things to note: keep your receipt from any brick and mortar stores you go to this weekend because you can apply for free restaurant vouchers in a new scheme, and note that demonstrations and other public gatherings are only allowed from 6pm onwards this weekend, in a bid to stop the city centre getting too congested after a request from the Chamber of Commerce. A daytime ban on demonstrations is also being considered in Salzburg, ORF reports.

How much does it cost to raise a child in Austria?

In the first study of its kind in over 50 years, Statistics Austria says the answer is €494 per month in a two-adult household and €900 to raise a child in a single-parent household.

Austrian parliament votes in favour of new assisted dying law

A parliamentary majority voted in favour of Austria’s new planned regulation on assisted suicide on Thursday. This means that from 2022 onwards, people who are seriously or terminally ill and who want to make use of assisted suicide can draw up a death will, similar to the living will. The far-right Freedom Party was the only party to vote against the proposal.

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