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

Every weekday, The Local brings you an English-language summary of the news you need to know in Austria.

Vienna street
Changes to travel and contact tracing rules, re-opening in Vienna, and more news from across Austria today. Photo: Dan V/Unsplash

Austria’s travel rules change from today

A significant change to Austria’s travel rules was announced on Friday evening, prompted by the global spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of Covid-19.

It means that as of today, only travellers with proof of 2G (vaccination or recovery) will be allowed to enter Austria, and in addition, people who have not received three doses of the vaccine will need to either show a negative PCR test on entry or self-isolate on arrival until they can show a negative PCR test result. Read more on the new rules here.

Restaurants and hotels re-open in Vienna

Vienna today becomes the last of Austria’s regions to fully re-open to the extent allowed by national law.

That means restaurants, cafes and hotels are open again, with the national 11pm curfew on gastronomy, a 2G rule and FFP2 mask requirements in place, and night gastronomy venues (nightclubs and late-night drinking and dining) still closed.

Contact tracing rules changed

On Sunday, Austria updated its isolation rules for people who have been in close contact with a suspected Omicron case.

People in this situation can now end their quarantine after five days with a negative PCR test; otherwise, they must quarantine for a full ten days. The change is based on the fact that there is no scientific evidence to suggest the incubation period (time between infection and testing positive for the virus) is longer with Omicron than with the Delta variant.

More than 30,000 people join silent Covid memorial

Candles were lit along the length of Vienna’s ring road over the weekend in a silent memorial to Austria’s victims of Covid-19 and a show of solidarity.

Similar events were also held in Vorarlberg and Upper Austria.

13,000 rounds of ammunition seized in Vienna

Police seized several dozen guns, other weapons, Nazi memorabilia and more than 13,000 rounds of ammunition from a home after a 64-year-old man in Vienna called paramedics to his home.

The man has been charged with violating weapons laws, but police said there is currently no suspicion that the man had links to any extremist groups or otherwise posed an “acute danger”.

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

Covid-19 numbers on the rise, wages shrinking as cost of living increases, Finance Ministry official online communication and more news from Austria on Friday.

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

Austria’s Covid commission alerts to 70,000 daily infections soon

Austria’s commission to assess the pandemic situation, known as GECKO (Gesamtstaatliche COVID-Krisenkoordination), has alerted to rising Covid-19 numbers, Der Standard reports.

The commission believes the daily number of coronavirus infections could reach 70,000 already this summer. This is mainly because people have been travelling more than in previous years while wearing masks less often.

READ ALSO: Will Austria bring back its mask mandate before autumn?

Wages are shrinking and consumption is rising

Austria’s economy will grow somewhat more strongly this year than expected in March, ORF reported.

However, according to the June forecast of the economic research institutes WIFO and IHS, the outlook for the year’s second half is much gloomier.

Since inflation is higher than expected in March, gross real wages will fall by a historic 3.9 percent. However, if inflation falls, the real wages should increase significantly, about 5.3 percent, in 2023.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How Austria’s new finance measures could benefit you

Finance Ministry to contact FinanzOnline users

If Austria’s Finance Ministry contacts you, don’t worry: they will be checking everyone’s data on the FinanzOnline platform.

The goal is to have up-to-date account data so that all the announced bonuses and payments to counter the rising cost of living to be made quickly and with no issues.

The contact will happen via the FinanzOnline website and e-mail to users who allow email contact.

Of course, whenever the government or authorities announce they will reach out to people, there are always criminals looking to take advantage of it. Therefore, ensure that the message you received is from FinanzOnline and check the official website directly instead of clicking on links.

READ ALSO: When will you get your cost of living ‘bonus’ payments in Austria?

School holidays start in the east

Vienna, Lower Austria, and Burgenland students have started their nine-week summer vacations. In the remaining Austrian states, school holidays will only begin next week.

Classes will resume on September 5th for the east and September 12th in the Western states. Austria’s ÖAMTC traffic authority expects heavy traffic jams at the beginning of the month, especially as the summer holidays have also started in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and two German federal states.

READ ALSO: Everything that changes in Austria in July 2022

A break in the heatwave

The west of Austria will have a small break from the heatwave this Friday, Austria’s meteorologic central ZAMG says. A cold front arrives from the west, and maximum temperatures will be between 18C to 21C in the region, with thunderstorms.

In Vienna and Burgenland, though, maximum temperatures continue high, reaching 35C during the day.

READ ALSO: Wild weather in Austria: How to protect yourself during summer storms