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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.

Matthias Mayer
Austria's Matthias Mayer won a fourth Winter Olympic medal for the country in the 2022 games. Photo: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP

In case you missed it: Updates to Covid rules over the weekend

Austria’s vaccine mandate came into effect on Saturday after it was passed the previous day, though no fines will be issued as the first month is an ‘information phase’. There are a few exceptions, and some vaccines not approved by the EMA will be considered as full vaccination, but not the Sputnik jab. A special regulation will set out rules for people who have received a vaccine that’s approved abroad but not recognised in Austria, and details should be made available today or early this week. 

Also from Saturday, the 10pm curfew for Austria’s restaurants and bars has been extended to midnight.

Coming changes to Austria’s Covid quarantine rules

People who have recovered from an infection with the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in the last three months may soon not need to quarantine after contact with an infected person in Austria.

That’s according to the Austrian Press Agency, citing a draft of updated quarantine rules from the Health Ministry. This would have a particularly big impact on workplaces like schools and kindergartens which have had widespread recent infections.

Avalanche warnings in place after deadly weekend

Nine people died in three days of more than 100 avalanches rolling across Austria as warmer temperatures followed heavy snowfall, creating particularly dangerous conditions.

On Monday, a level 4 avalanche warning (on a five-point scale, meaning severe danger) is in place in Tyrol after up to a further 40 cm of snow fell overnight. You can check the latest warnings in your area here.

Austria wins fourth medal in Winter Olympics

It came from Matthias Mayer, who won a bronze in the Alpine Skiing Men’s Downhill, making a total of two bronze and two silver medals for Austria so far.

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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