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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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WHAT CHANGES IN AUSTRIA

Everything that changes in Austria in October 2022

From the presidential elections, Covid rules, the final date for the €500 Klimabonus and the National Day holiday, here are some of the most important changes you need to be aware of in Austria in October.

Everything that changes in Austria in October 2022

Austria to elect a new president

Austria’s presidential election will take place on October 9th, with seven candidates vying to take over at the Hofburg – the official workplace of the country’s president.

According to opinion polls, the favourite to win is the current president Alexander Van der Bellen, who is running for reelection. He could win this election with an absolute majority already in the first round, avoiding a run-off if polls continue favourable to the incumbent.

Austrian citizens aged 16 and over can vote in the elections, and the Federal President is eligible for two elected terms (each lasting for six years).

READ ALSO: Austrian presidential elections: Who are the seven candidates?

Stricter Covid rules in Vienna to expire – or be extended

Vienna currently has stricter rules concerning the coronavirus pandemic than the remaining Austrian states. The main difference is that FFP2 masks are still mandatory in all Viennese public transport (and stations).

The current regulation had been extended in late August, with the new expiration date set for October 23rd. This means that by the end of the month, people in Vienna might be able to drive the trains and metros without a mask.

The regulation could, of course, easily be extended as it was before. From what health authorities in the capital say, it looks like it will be prolonged to last during the cold months as well. If the pandemic worsens, with more people being hospitalised, the city (and the country) could impose stricter measures.

READ ALSO: Could Austria be spared another wave of Covid this winter?

Fuel to become more expensive in Austria

Starting October 1st, fuel will become more expensive in Austria. This is because the CO2 tax, part of the federal government’s eco-social reform announced earlier this year, will come in place after being postponed due to rising inflation.

Austria’s auto and motor association ARBÖ has advised motorists to fill up their cars ahead of the coming month – to take advantage of current prices before they rise.

For motorists, the new tax will mean a price difference for a 50-litre tank filling of about €4 to €4.5, on top of the fuel price increases worldwide, according to ARBÖ.

READ ALSO: ‘Mission 11’: Austrian government reveals tips on how to save energy and fuel

Final date to get the €500 bonus (for some)

The Austrian federal government is sending out €500 in anti-inflation and climate payments – better known as the Klimabonus. Everyone who has lived in Austria for at least six months this year is entitled to receive the amount (minors get half, €250).

However, the payment is being made in stages. Those who have already lived for 183 days at the first reference date, July 3rd, will be the first people to receive. Residents who have not completed 183 days living in Austria as of this date, or babies who weren’t 183 days old at that point, will only receive at a later time, as the second round of payments is set for the end of the year.

The millions who are part of the first group are already getting their €500 wire transfer (or voucher), but not all. The IT company making the wire transfers has already stated that they should be finished by the end of the first week of October, while the federal government said that all vouchers would be sent by the end of October.

READ ALSO: When will Austria hand over the €500 anti-inflation payment and how do I get it?

Austrians celebrate the National Day

Austria has a big holiday coming up as it celebrates its National Day on Wednesday, October 26th.

On this day in 1955, Austria signed its so-called Declaration of Perpetual Neutrality, although the date has only been a public holiday since 1965.

The Declaration marked the end of the Allied occupation in Austria by British, American, French and Soviet Union forces, who had controlled the country since World War II in 1945.

On Austrian National Day, the Federal President usually addresses the nation on TV, honouring the victims of the war and laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This is also the day when the Austrian Armed Forces recruits are sworn in.

Additionally, military celebrations typically occur at Vienna’s Heldenplatz and many museums offer free or discounted entry.

READ MORE: What is Austrian National Day and why is it celebrated?

Wind those clocks

After a colder than usual summer which felt a little disappointing, winter is on its way. It’s hard to believe we’re already heading into the last part of the year, but here we are.

From Saturday, October 29th to Sunday, October 30th, clocks in Austria will be set to wintertime. So at 3 am, the clock will go back one hour to Central European Time (CET).

The good news is that we all get an extra hour of sleep. The bad news is that it will get darker earlier in the evening.

Unpack the jacket

You might have kept the cold at bay with a light jumper or sweater in September, but October is the month when winter starts to rear its chilly head.

The average temperatures in Austria are between 7°C and 15°C, depending on where in the country you are.

On average, October has 11 rainy days (out of 31) and six hours of daylight per day.

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