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

An ÖBB train in the Austrian city of Innsbruck. Image: Pixlr
An ÖBB train in the Austrian city of Innsbruck. Image: Pixlr
Every weekday, The Local brings you an English-language summary of the news you need to know in Austria.

Omicron cases expected to rise in the coming days

Austria’s Covid-19 Forecast Consortium is predicting the number of Omicron cases to rise significantly in the coming days, especially in Vienna.

The 7-day incidence across Austria is currently around 174 cases for every 100,000 inhabitants, but the Consortium is expecting it to rise to 226 at best or up to 373 in the worst scenario by January 5th 2022. In Vienna, the 7-day incidence is forecast to rise to between 447 and 736.

However, the Consortium expects the number of patients in Intensive Care Units to be less than in previous waves.

€500 bonus: How Austria wants to incentivise Covid vaccination

Protection zones considered for hospitals

The Ministry of the Interior is considering the introduction of protection zones around hospitals to prohibit demonstrations by Covid-19 deniers and vaccination opponents from taking place.

This is in response to increasingly radicalised behaviour, including threats against health workers, according to Der Standard.

Representatives from the federal states and medical associations have called for extra protection in recent weeks and a proposal should be available from the Ministry of the Interior in early 2022.

EXPLAINED: What will change about life in Austria in 2022?

Almost 20,000 items lost on ÖBB trains in 2021

Austrian train operator ÖBB says 19,000 items were left on its trains in the past year, including dentures, musical instruments and crutches, with 34 percent of lost belongings since returned to owners.

The most common forgotten items on trains were suitcases, bags and rucksacks (5,200 items), followed by money and bank cards (2,800 pieces). There were also 11 prams and 104 bikes left on trains. ÖBB is now operating an online lost and found system to help owners find their missing items.


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