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COVID-19 STATS

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.

Crowds walk down the famous shopping street Mariahilferstrasse, in Vienna, Austria
Steps towards normality? The latest on the Covid situation in Austria. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP

Overview of the Covid-19 situation in Austria

As of February 2nd the 7-day incidence rate (new infections per 100,000 people) was 2,572. Tyrol (2,943) has the highest incidence, followed by Vorarlberg (2,904), while Carinthia (2,255) and Lower Austria (2,138) have the lowest rates.

A total of 380,268 people in Austria are currently positive for Covid-19 as of February 2nd, with 1,509 people being treated for the disease in hospital outside ICUs, according to AGES. An additional 184 Covid patients are currently in intensive care.

A total of 6,756,574 people (75.6 percent of the total population) have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, according to the Health Ministry, and 6,126,752 (68.6 percent) have a valid vaccine pass as of January 31st.

Wednesday, February 2nd

Only 6,126,752 people are currently considered fully vaccinated because of the change in vaccine pass validity yesterday. That’s 68.6 percent of the total population, down from 72.6 percent.

A person suspected of vaccine pass forgery at Vienna’s Austria Centre has been arrested and taken into custody.

Tuesday, February 1st

Today’s the day that the validity of two vaccine doses shortens to six months, meaning hundreds of thousands of people lose their status as fully vaccinated.

But it’s not yet the day that the vaccine mandate comes into effect; that’s not until this Friday.

Monday, January 31st

Austria’s lockdown for people without proof of 2G is over as of today.

And further relaxations were announced over the weekend, with the 2G rule on track to be removed in shops and restaurants later this month.

Meanwhile, Austria’s Constitutional Court is currently working to establish how legally justified the Covid ordinances were.

Around 300,000 vaccine passes are set to lose their validity in Austria tomorrow as the validity for two vaccine doses will be shortened from nine to six months. After that, a booster dose is required.

New data from Austria show that up to October, seven out of every 100 confirmed Covid infections required hospital treatment. This data doesn’t take into account the Omicron variant.

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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COVID-19 STATS

Ba.4 and Ba.5 Covid variants detected in Austria: What you need to know

Austria has detected new subvariants Ba.4 and Ba.5, with cases reported in Vienna, Styria and Salzburg so far.

Ba.4 and Ba.5 Covid variants detected in Austria: What you need to know

The pandemic is not over, as we repeatedly hear the Austrian authorities saying. The news that sub-variants of the coronavirus have been found in the country has led to some concern.

Here is what we know so far about the pandemic situation in Austria.

New variants BA.4 and BA.5 in Austria

Austrian media reported that the new Covid-19 sub-variants known as BA.4 and BA.5 have been detected for the first time in the country.

The city of Vienna has reported its first cases to the Ministry of Health, and some individual cases were also identified in Styria and Salzburg. 

READ ALSO: UPDATED: The latest coronavirus restrictions in Austria

Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) said that the omicron sub-variants provide slightly more infections than the currently dominant variant BA.2. There is a suspicion that they could be better at avoiding the body’s current antibody defences against Covid-19.

However, this is viewed as a sign that the current downward trend seen in the number of infections could slow down, but not that it would stop or that the infection rate would go up again. 

There is also no indication so far that the variants first identified in South Africa create a more severe disease course. 

Should we be concerned? 

Not according to specialists. Health authorities in Austria are “monitoring the situation very closely, but it doesn’t worry us at the moment”, Mario Dujakovic, spokesman for the Vienna Health City Councillor, said.

READ ALSO: Five possible winter scenarios for Covid-19 in Austria

“There is currently nothing to suggest that we should be concerned, but it certainly makes sense to keep a close eye on things. So we will continue to do this: monitor the situation closely and decide together with experts what to do if the worst comes to the worst. “, he said.

He also shared a graph showing that wastewater analyses all over Austria have come back with less viral material – a sign that the virus is less prevalent overall, new mutations or not.

Mask obligation to stay at least until July 8th

Austria currently has very few coronavirus restrictions in place. However, there are 3G (vaccinated, recovered, or tested) rules for entry in the country, some measures for visitation to hospitals and care units, and, most generally felt by the broader population, a mask mandate in some indoor areas.

READ ALSO: Austria to keep masks only in ‘essential places’ from April 16th

Those who visit or work in essential trade, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, still have to wear FFP2 masks in these establishments. In addition, the mask mandate is still in place for hospitals, care homes, public transport and their stops, taxis, and government authorities, among a few others.

These requirements have been criticised, as The Local reported. The Austrian Chamber of Commerce called for an end to the requirement and complained about the “unfair” restriction, which falls only to those dealing with essential trade. 

Since April 16th, the federal government has lifted the mask requirements for most indoor areas, including non-essential trade. 

READ ALSO: Austria extends Covid regulations as experts warn of an autumn resurgence

However, Health Minister Johannes Rauch has already rejected the demand, at least for the time being. The minister said that the uniform regulations, including the FFP2 mask obligation, should stay in place at least until July 8th. 

He mentioned that it is important to be “vigilant”, especially concerning the newly emerging omicron variants and possible development. 

Numbers are falling but expected to stabilise

Austria this Thursday reported 5,755 new infections after 157,301 PCR-Tests, according to the Health Ministry.

There are currently 1,077 people hospitalised with Covid-19, 34 fewer than in the previous 24 hours. Additionally, 84 people are in intensive care units due to the disease. 

READ ALSO: Austria recommends Covid booster shot for children aged five and over

The alpine country has recorded 18,222 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, 22 in the last 24 hours.

Just about 68 per cent of the population has a valid vaccination certificate for Covid-19 vaccines, and 54.9 per cent have had their booster shot. 

The Ministry expects that soon the number of cases in Austria will stop falling and gradually reach a stabilisation period, Der Standard reported. Also, in a few days, less than 1,000 corona-infected people would need intensive care or regular beds because of the disease.

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