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.

FFP2 mask sign
Face masks will continue to be required an all Austrian flights. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

Overview of the Covid-19 situation in Austria

As of January 21st the 7-day incidence rate (new infections per 100,000 people) was 1,674. Tyrol (2,488) has the highest incidence, followed by Salzburg (2,488), while Burgenland (1,064) and Styria (1,023) have the lowest rates.

A total of 220,705 people in Austria are currently positive for Covid-19 as of January 21st, with 904 people being treated for the disease in hospital outside ICUs, according to AGES. An additional 198 Covid patients are currently in intensive care.

A total of 6,714,519 people (75.2 percent of the total population) have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, according to the Health Ministry, and 6,431,595 (72 percent) have a valid vaccine pass as of January 20th.

Friday, January 21st

All of Austria’s nine regions now have seven-day incidence rates over 1,000 (new cases per 100,000 residents) according to the latest data from AGES.

In Carinthia, testing capacity has been stretched so much that it will now no longer be possible to ‘test out’ of quarantine as a contact person after five days. Instead, people will need to quarantine for the full ten days, with exceptions for key workers.

After Austria’s vaccine mandate was passed by parliament yesterday, we’ve been looking at how this compares to restrictions in other countries, and at which groups are exempt from the compulsory vaccination.

From next week, schools outside Vienna and Lower Austria will only carry out one PCR test per week instead of the two that were initially agreed, due to difficulties for the test company to analyse all results in time.

Investigations are ongoing into four people suspected of Covid-19 vaccination fraud at a centre in St. Pölten, Lower Austria. The police shared more details today, saying a 58-year-old employee at the centre faked the certificates and was helped by three accomplices. Eleven people who received faked certificates have been identified.

Thursday, January 20th

Today the vaccine mandate is set to be passed in Austrian parliament. This will make vaccination against Covid-19 compulsory for all adults except those with a valid medical exemption.

As well as the mandate, the government announced a nationwide lottery where every tenth vaccinated person in Austria will be in with a chance of winning a €500 gift voucher and participants would receive one lottery ticket for every Covid shot they have had.

And as expected, Austria’s Covid measures have been extended for another ten days. That includes the lockdown for people without proof of 2G and the 10pm curfew for restaurants and bars.

Austria is scrapping its virus variant list for travel as of next week, meaning that the 2G+ rule (proof of vaccination or recovery, plus either a negative test or booster vaccine) will apply to travellers from all countries.

In three regions the seven-day incidence rate has now passed 2,000 new cases per 100,000 residents: Tyrol (2,464), Salzburg (2,320) and Vienna (2,050). 

Wednesday, January 19th

Antigen tests carried out at home will soon be accepted as 3G proof in most of Austria, but not Vienna. Read more on the changes here.

Three quarters of the total Austrian population have officially received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, with the exact proportion reaching 75.03 percent as of yesterday.

The Ministry of Health is ending its funding for the Stopp Corona app, to focus on other tools such as the Green Pass.

According to Austria’s Covid Forecasting Consortium, the Omicron wave has not yet reached its peak and around 40,000 daily cases can be expected next week after an all-time high of nearly 30,000 was reported today.

Tuesday, January 18th

There are once again more than 1,000 people receiving treatment for Covid in Austria’s hospitals. However, the number in intensive care is still dropping — it remains to be seen if the Omicron wave has a significant impact on that important number.

Yesterday 15,717 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded, more than ever before on a Monday. 

Austria’s vaccine mandate bill was passed by a majority in the parliamentary healthcare committee yesterday evening, so will go to a vote in the National Council on Thursday.

Large groups of school students are on ‘strike’ today to protest what they say are inadequate Covid measures in Austria’s schools, and to call for more flexibility around the secondary school leaving exam.

Authorities in the Alpine town of Kitzbühel have tightened Covid measures after videos of lively (and illegal) apres-ski parties surfaced. They have closed outdoor gastronomy for the rest of the week, while the Hahnenkamm Races ski event is ongoing, and stepped up Covid checks in the town.

Monday, January 17th

As we start the week, four regions have seven-day incidence rates over 1,000: Salzburg (2,124), Tyrol (1,958), Vienna (1,629) and Vorarlberg (1,057).

Today the vaccine mandate bill will be discussed in the parliamentary healthcare committee, before it is expected to be passed in a vote later this week. There were a few changes to the bill since the earlier published draft; you can read more about it by clicking here.

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.

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