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WHAT CHANGES IN AUSTRIA

Everything that changes in Austria in September 2022

From the €500 anti-inflation payment, kids back to school and country-wide strikes, here are some of the most important changes you need to be aware of in Austria in September.

Everything that changes in Austria in September 2022
September is a great month for visiting a Heuriger. AFP PHOTO/JOE KLAMAR (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Schools reopen in Austria

After two months of summer vacations, schools are open again for a new school year in Austria. In the eastern states of Burgenland, Lower Austria and Vienna, classes resume on September 5th. In the rest of the country, kids will be going back on September 12th.

In the coming days, Austrians will know precisely what the Covid-19 restrictions (if any) will be for the back-to-school days. The Ministry of Education has announced there would be an “overall variant plan”, but much is still left to be decided.

READ ALSO: What Covid-19 rules will be in place in Austrian schools?

Double-digit inflation and increasing energy prices

Financial experts in Austria do not expect inflation to slow down any time soon. In fact, they are predicting the opposite and inflation, which was already at 9.2 percent in July, could hit the double digits in September.

This is mainly because, also in September, energy companies in Austria, including Wien Energie, are set to increase their tariffs, as The Local reported.

From September 1st, customers who get gas and electricity from EVN should expect to pay at least €100 more monthly.

At Wien Energie, electricity prices will go up by €36 a month (based on an annual consumption of 2,000 kWh), and gas prices will increase by €60 a month (based on 8,000 kWh).

READ ALSO: Why (and when) double-digit inflation is set to hit Austria

€500 one-off payments will be sent out

With the cost of living rising, Austria is also sending out several one-off welfare payouts and making tax changes to help cushion rising inflation.

Most notably, the “climate bonus” and the “anti-price increase bonus” totalling €500 for each person living in Austria (under 18s will receive €250 paid to their parents or guardians) will be sent out in September – earlier than the previously expected October forecast.

This month, low-income and vulnerable people in Austria, such as pensioners receiving minimum payments and aid recipients, will receive a one-off €300 payment (Teuerungsausgleich) as compensation for inflation.

Retirees will receive a one-time payment of up to €500 from September 1st, depending on how much they receive as a pension.

READ ALSO: When will you get your cost of living ‘bonus’ payments in Austria?

Should Austria brace itself for strikes?

Trade unions have set September 17th, a Saturday, as a possible day for strikes in all federal states. The workers want salary increases to compensate for – you guessed it – rising inflation in Austria.

ÖGB announced the strike and protest date. The institution is an umbrella for all workers’ unions in Austria, including trade, banks, media, industry, energy, public workers, health care and education sector, building and engineering, and countless others.

It’s not clear how many workers will adhere to the strike, though.

READ ALSO: Inflation at 9.2% in July: How to beat rising prices in Austria

End of discrimination in blood donation comes into force

From September, excluding people from donating blood based on their sexual orientation will be officially illegal.

Instead, only people who have had more than three sexual partners in the past three months (the “3 Mal 3-Regel”) will not be allowed to donate blood. Regardless of their sexual orientation.

READ ALSO: Austria to end blood donor discrimination based on sexual orientation

The infamous Sisi will be back on TVs everywhere

It’s not specifically Austrian news, but it will touch the hearts of Austrians the most: Netflix’s long-awaited German-language biopic on Empress Elizabeth of Austria, Sisi, is dropping on September 29th.

If you are not that interested or don’t want to wait that long, there are many other shows you can watch to improve your Austrian German.

READ ALSO: COMPARE: Which is Austria’s best streaming service?

The Sturm season begins

September is the month when people can visit a Heuriger and rink that sweet and sour semi-fermented alcoholic wine (not really wine) called Sturm. The beverage is made from the first grapes of the harvest season and is a traditional one for early autumn.

Watch out, though; despite being sweet and tasty, Sturm is also very alcoholic.

READ ALSO: The best Austrian wineries to visit this summer

And so does autumn

It’s time to say goodbye to summer, as autumn begins on September 23rd in the northern hemisphere. Temperatures should stay between 13C and 19C with about 13 rainy days, according to Wetter.de.

However, Austria’s meteorological institute ZAMG has already stated that the probability of above-average temperature will be about 50 percent during this month.

READ ALSO: What is Austria’s official emergency-warning phone app and do I need it?

Member comments

  1. Why would anyone think that giving out €500 to everyone would do anything other than make inflation worse?

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For members

WHAT CHANGES IN AUSTRIA

Everything that changes in Austria in December 2022

From public holidays, ski season and Christmas festivities to changes in transport timetable and bonus payments, here are some of the most important changes you need to be aware of in Austria in December.

Everything that changes in Austria in December 2022

Public holidays and celebrations

Besides Christmas (December 25th) and Stephan’s Day (December 26th), December 8th, when Catholics celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (Mariä Empfängnis), is also a bank holiday in Austria.

Of course, there are also several celebratory dates in December. For example, every Sunday until Christmas is an Advent Sunday, and Austrian families commemorate it in many ways, including lighting up candles.

On December 4th, there is Barbaratag, while on December 5th Krampus pays his visit to Austrian villages and cities. On the next day, December 6th, it’s time for St Nikolaus to bring chocolate and tangerines to children who were nice during the year.

Christmas Eve, Day, and St Stephen’s Day (December 24th, 25th and 26th) are important dates for Austrian traditions.

READ ALSO: Austrian Christmas traditions: The festive dates you need to know

Influenza vaccination appointments

The City of Vienna has made available 64,000 influenza vaccination appointments for December in the city’s vaccination centres and those of the ÖGK. 

The City of Vienna is investing a total of €9.9 million to be able to offer the flu vaccination campaign in Vienna free of charge again this year.  The campaign will run until the end of the year unless an extension becomes necessary due to high demand. 

The influenza vaccination campaign focuses on people aged over 65. This is to avoid multiple exposures to Covid-19 and the “real flu”. Chronically ill people, children and health or care workers are also among the priority target groups. However, influenza vaccination is also recommended to all other people.

READ ALSO: Masks against Covid and flu: What’s ahead for Austria this winter

Will it or won’t it?

On December 8th, the EU Council is set to vote on whether or not Croatia, which since 2013 has been a member of the bloc, should also join the Schengen zone, effectively eliminating border controls between it and other member states Slovenia and Hungary.

Austria has had reservations about expanding the Schengen area and the country’s official vote is still not known, also concerning the entrance of Bulgaria and Romania to the borderless zone.

Train services are changing

Austria’s train transport company ÖBB has a new timetable from December 11th 2022, focusing on tourist destinations and more connections. However, prices will generally increase – though international trips could become cheaper.

On average, tickets in the second class will become 3.9 percent more expensive, though the earlier you book, the cheaper the journey.

New connections in the Nightjet night trains include Stuttgart and Baden-Württemberg.

Popular destinations will be expanded, and the EuroNight Vienna – Graz – Split will bring holiday travellers to the Croatian Adriatic coast from May to October three times a week.

ÖBB said it also focuses on tourist connection in its daytime traffic. For example, the direct IC connection from Vienna to Salzkammergut to Bad Ischl, Hallstatt and Stainach-Irdning will be offered daily.

You can read more about changes HERE.

Nursing staff to get an extra payment

Some 150,000 employees in the care sector will receive a bonus of €2,000 gross (for those working full-time). In addition, Austrian provinces are free to add cash to that amount, and Lower Austria will pay an additional tax-free bonus of €500 to more than 23,000 nursing and care workers. 

The payment should come as a salary in December. Also, in December, Austrian workers usually get their 14th payment, the Christmas salary.

READ ALSO: Health care reform: Austria to give €2,000 bonus to nursing staff

Ski season begins

December is also when the skiing season officially begins in Austria, even though some ski resorts have already been open by the end of November, including the famous Kitzbühel resort.  

On most, though, the season only starts (or the high season) by December, sometimes as late as December 24th. 

READ ALSO: How to save money and still go skiing in Austria

Christmas markets

Christmas markets are open during most of December and are a great way to enjoy the season. Most have already opened during November, but it’s during Christmas that they shine and attract thousands of visitors.

READ ALSO: IN PICTURES: A guide to the main Christmas Markets in Austria

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