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WHAT CHANGES IN AUSTRIA

Everything that changes in Austria in August 2022

From travel chaos and bonus payments, here are some of the most important changes you need to be aware of in Austria in August.

Everything that changes in Austria in August 2022
The heat will continue in Austria during August. (Photo by ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP)

Travel chaos in Europe

Summer months are set to be chaotic in travelling, and we have seen examples of airports congested throughout Europe. This will continue during August, as airlines have cancelled more than 25,000 flights from their August schedule.

In Austria, flights end up being cancelled on short notice as staff and crew call in sick with Covid-19, as The Local reported.

Strikes on several airlines and airports in the continent will also affect Austrian travellers who plan on vacationing there.

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: Airlines cancel 15,000 flights in August

Covid-19 restrictions will change

As coronavirus infection cases go up in Austria, affecting the workplace in all sectors, authorities have announced they will scrap mandatory isolation for those who test positive for Covid-19.

People who do not feel sick will be allowed to leave their homes even after a positive Covid-19 test but will have to follow specific requirements from August 1st, as The Local reported.

The so-called “traffic restrictions” mean that those who don’t feel sick will be allowed to leave their homes but must wear an FFP2 mask indoors and outdoors whenever social distancing is not possible.

Additionally, there are entry bans in hospitals, nursing and elderly care homes, childcare facilities, elementary schools and daycare centres.

The restrictions are valid for a maximum of 10 days and as soon as there is a positive antigen test. But a negative PCR test (or PCR test with a CT value over 30 as shown in the laboratory results) allows people to leave the “traffic restrictions” after the fifth day.

READ ALSO: Austria to remove quarantine for positive Covid-19 cases

Social payments to fight the rising cost of living

Some of the payments expected to roll out to Austrian residencies in an effort to cushion the rising cost of living are expected for August, as The Local reported.

While the most significant €500 sum should be paid out in October, families will get an additional one-off payment of the family allowance of €180 in August.

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

Traffic chaos in Austria

The summer vacation months are a time when many people in Austria tend to go to their idyllic destinations. However, for those left in the country, especially the capital Vienna, it’s an opportunity to enjoy a lot of what the city has to offer.

Still, people may notice that the city has become quite a Baustelle, or a construction site, with loads of work being done on its public transport lines, streets and avenues. You can check out the main construction works going on in Vienna this month here.

Traffic will be busy in other areas of Austria, too. The vacation months increase car travel, and several festivals and sports events for the month of August make it an even busier month.

READ ALSO: When and where to avoid driving in Austria this summer

It’s no longer worth it to buy a yearly vignette for driving

From August 1st, it is no longer worth buying a yearly vignette if you are driving on Austrian roads. The many short-term vignettes should be cheaper alternatives instead.

For example, frequent drivers in Austria could buy two two-month vignettes in August instead of the yearly one, saving €37.40. Moreover, from December 1st, the annual vignette 2023 will be available and valid.

The vignette is a small sticker that shows that you’ve paid the tolls necessary to travel on Austrian expressways and motorways.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What you need to know about Austria’s vignette motorway toll stickers

Mariä Himmelfahrt holiday on August 15th

There is only one official holiday in Austria during the month of August, the Assumption Day on August 15th.

It falls on a Monday, so don’t forget to prepare yourself for it, as most shops and supermarkets will be closed on the holiday and Sunday as well (as they always are in Austria).

READ ALSO: Why everything in Austria is closed on Sundays – and what to do instead

The heat should continue in August

According to Austria’s meteorologic institute ZAMG, the probability of above-average temperatures in August in Austria is about 70 percent.

This means it is likely that heat waves and above 30C days will continue in the alpine country. According to the ZAMG, the number of days with temperatures above 30C per year has almost tripled in Austria in recent decades – and what used to be record temperatures is now average.

READ ALSO: Heatwave in Austria: What to do as temperatures hit 40C

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For members

WHAT CHANGES IN AUSTRIA

Everything that changes in Austria in July 2022

From travel issues and the end of the mandatory vaccination law, here are some of the most important changes you need to be aware of in Austria in July.

Everything that changes in Austria in July 2022

A summer with travel chaos

Austrian airlines and airports have tried reassuring travellers that the country has enough workers on the ground to keep travel running smoothly. However, sector representatives also warned they couldn’t influence what happens abroad.

Budget airlines have already announced strikes in locations including Spain, France, Italy, and Portugal, as The Local reported. German airline Lufthansa has also cancelled more than 3,000 flights during the summer holidays at the hubs of Frankfurt and Munich.

READ ALSO: Strikes and queues: How airline passengers in Europe face summer travel chaos

But it’s not just air travel that has been affected by growing tourism and a shortage of personnel, among other factors.

The increased demand for train travel has also caused people to be “bumped” from overcrowded trains in Austria. Holidays are also the time when car traffic becomes more intense, with expected heavy traffic as summer vacations arrive.

READ ALSO:

Covid-19 mandatory vaccination law to be abolished

Austria will cancel its mandatory Covid-19 vaccination law, as The Local reported. The announcement was made in June, but a motion to formally abolish the controversial law should pass in parliament early in July.

The rule allowed police to check people’s vaccination status and issue fines to those that could not show a valid “green pass”, indicating they had all necessary vaccines or had recently recovered from the disease. It was suspended in March before any checks or fines were issued.

The federal government said the new, “milder” variants did not justify the strict regulation. They also acknowledged that the mandate didn’t incentivise people to get the jab.

READ ALSO: Covid-19: European summer holidays threatened by rise of subvariants

End of the failed ‘Kaufhaus Österreich’ project

The “Kaufhaus Österreich” project launched in 2020 under the former Economics Minister Margarete Schramböck (ÖVP) is to be brought to an end on July 1st.

It was initially intended as an online retailer directory designed to bring online sales to local businesses when shops were closed during the pandemic. Then the page was changed into an information platform for traders.

The Digital State Secretariat estimated the cost of the failed project at almost €950,000, Der Standard newspaper reports.

School’s out!

The school summer vacations start in July and last until early or mid-September, depending on the state.

In Burgenland, Lower Austria, and Vienna, the holidays start on July 2nd. The remaining states start a week later, on July 9th.

READ ALSO: The best Austrian wineries to visit this summer

There are no national bank holidays during July in Austria.

Festivals and events

Summer is full of events and with Covid restrictions lifted, Austria is ready to host some of its largest festivals again. 

In July, people can look forward to River Days and Mid Europe Music Festival in Styria, the Wetterleuchten Festival in Innsbruck, several open-air cinemas and Vienna’s Rathaus culture and culinary festival, among others.

READ ALSO: The best festivals and events to enjoy in Austria this summer

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