CoV on December 13 | Germany to Enter “Hard” Lockdown on Wednesday

The coronavirus is shaping our lives. Here’s everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Austria on December 11, 2020 – updated regularly.

Reporting on COVID-19 in Austria is brought to you by Benjamin Wolf, Amina Frassl & Daniel El-Sabeh.

Find here the daily coronavirus updates for Austria and Vienna, with everything you need to know about COVID-19.

We also prepared in-depth coverage about about Vienna’s mass testing campaign for you.

And if you want to know how Austria will open up after the second lockdown, we’ve got you covered.

Here is a wrap-up of the measures currently in place in Austria, as they were announced, and information about the situation in general.

Get yourself tested! From Dec. 4-13, 08:00-18:00, everyone in Vienna can get a free rapid antigen test in the Stadthalle, the Marxhalle and the Messehalle. Register at österreich-testet.at.

December 13, 2020

  • Germany will enter a second “hard” lockdown this Wednesday, December 16.
    • All non-necessary shops will close, as will restaurants, bars and hotels.
    • Schools will also shut their doors and switch to distance teaching until January 11.
    • Only five people from a maximum of two households will be able to meet on any day.
    • For December 24-26, four more people from another household can be invited to celebrate Christmas. There will be no exception for New Year’s Eve.
    • There will be mandatory testing in senior homes and care homes.
    • Closed shops and stores will get a refund of 90% of their revenue from the previous year for the time they are shuttered.
    • Germany reported 20,000 new infections today on Sunday and 30,000 yesterday (for perspective: That would be approximately 2,000 or 3,000 infections a day for Austria).
  • Austrian ministries reported 2,641 new infections in the last 24 hours.
    • The 7-day-incidence for all of Austria fell to 205 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants.
    • Known active cases fell by -640 (-1.7%) to a total of 36,884.
    • The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 decreased by -155 (-4.3%) to 3,444.
    • Of those, 577 are in intensive care, -14 (-2.4%) fewer than before.
    • Since yesterday, 58 people have died due or with the virus. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 4,473 people in Austria have died due to COVID-19.
  • Details on mandatory testing for certain groups and mandatory masks at certain crowded outdoor space are to come next week.
    • Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) says: “In the first months of the year, vaccination will not yet have an effect.”
    • Due to high infection figures, the original turquoise-green announcement that Christmas and New Year’s Eve could be celebrated by 10 people regardless of their place of residence, has been revised.
    • Except for Dec. 24 and 25, only 2 households are allowed in one place. There are no family exceptions.
    • At the beginning of the coming week the decree of the health minister is ready, which makes a partial mask obligation possible in the open – for instance in shopping streets.
    • Details on mandatory testing for certain professions are also expected soon. Masseurs will not be allowed to work without a negative result i.e.
    • Employees in nursing homes will have to undergo mandatory testing twice a week.
    • Details on the recently announced mandatory testing in severely affected regions will also follow next week.
    • Kurz stated: “If someone infects their parents or grandparents, it can mean death for them with a reasonably high probability.”
    • Kurz continues to expect a “return to normality” only in the summer of 2021.
    • The government’s goal is for nursing home residents, medical personnel, the previously ill and the elderly to be vaccinated in the first quarter.
    • Healthy middle-aged people can expect to be vaccinated in the second quarter.
  • Relatives of two Austrians with dual citizenship, who are being held in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison, are worried about their beloved’s health status.
    • 56-year-old Kamran Ghaderi, businessman and father of three has been suffering from a high fever since Tuesday and has also lost his sense of taste and smell. His cellmate, 73 year old Massud Mossaheb also shows CoV symptoms.
    • Both were sentenced to 10 years in prison for alleged espionage in obscure trials and confessions extracted under torture.
    • Ghaderi is accused of espionage for Austria and the United States, Mossaheb for Germany and Israel.
    • Austrian authorities have been trying for months to secure the release of the two prisoners.
  • The Styrian governor Hermann Schützenhöfer wants to discuss a mask duty for public places in Styria from Monday.
    • The federal government has announced further measures to contain the Corona pandemic. Even outdoors, in busy places, a mask obligation could apply in the future.
    • Whether there should be a mask obligation outdoors, and if so in which places, can be decided by the federal states themselves, depending on the incidence of infection.
    • For the coming week, Schützenhöfer plans to discuss which path Styria should take with regard to a possible outdoor mask obligation.
    • The Styrian governor is also open to compulsory vaccination for combating the Corona pandemic.
    • Schützenhöfer also wants to stick to a second round of mass testing in January.
    • The governor once again urgently appealed to people to also make use of the possibility of the free Corona mass test in Styria on Sunday.
  • Austrian ministries reported 2,641 new cases in the last 24 hours. The number of known active cases fell by -395 (-1.1 %) to a total of 34,366.
    • The federal states reported the following numbers of new infections:
      • Burgenland: 57
      • Carinthia: 226
      • Lower Austria: 403
      • Upper Austria: 658
      • Salzburg: 81
      • Styria: 302
      • Tyrol: 158
      • Vorarlberg: 164
      • Vienna: 492
    • The number of daily tests is at around 21,000.
    • The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 fell by considerable -155 (-4.3%), to currently 3,444.
    • Of those, 577 are in intensive care, a slight decrease by -14 (-2.4%) to the day before.
    • Since yesterday, 58 people have died due to or with the virus. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 4,473 people in Austria have died due to COVID-19.
  • Today the Austria-wide mass tests initiated by the federal government end in Vienna.
    • Although the 3 test sites are still open until 18:00, only slightly more than 10% of the Viennese population has had itself tested for the virus free of charge.
    • Capacity was designed for a participation rate of up to 60%, or 1.2 million people.
    • Including Saturday, according to the office of Health Councillor Peter Hacker (SPÖ), exactly 204,880 people had a rapid antigen test carried out.
    • It is still possible to book a time slot or to drop by at Messe Wien without registering in advance.
    • Up to now only 676 turned out positive. This corresponds to 0.33% of the results.
    • 1,308 gargle tests of which 466 showed or confirmed infection have been carried out so far.
    • According to currently available figures, an average of just under 23,000 people per day came to be tested for Corona infection.
    • Detailed final results or analyses are to be given at a press conference on Monday.
    • The second wave of tests, recently announced by the federal government, is scheduled to take place in Vienna from Jan. 8 to 17.
  • According to a survey, approximately only every fifth Austrian wants to be vaccinated against CoV.
    • This is shown by the current “Austria Trend” by pollster Peter Hajek for APA and ATV.
    • 29% stated that they would certainly not be vaccinated against CoV. Only 17%”definitely” want to be vaccinated – especially ÖVP voters (24%) and persons aged over 60 (29%). Another 13% are very rather eager to be vaccinated.
    • However, 83% oppose mandatory vaccination, according to the survey. Only 14% would be in favor. The rest did not specify.
    • Regarding the CoV measures that have been in effect since Dec. 7, 37% think they are just right, 33% think they are too lax and 22% think they are too harsh.
    • The assessment of the government’s work is no longer as enthusiastic as in the first half of the year, when 76%instead of 55% were satisfied with the government.
  • According to a report, a hard lockdown is to apply in Germany from Wednesday at the latest.
    • The state premiers want to discuss the tightening measures with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) this morning.
    • The meeting had been called at short notice because the previous less stringent measures had not brought the hoped-for turnaround in infection figures.
    • Due to persistently high levels of new CoV infections, the federal and state governments want to shut down public life.
    • The Robert Koch Institute today reported 20,200 new infections. That is 2,433 more than a week ago. Another 321 people died from or with the virus.
  • Due to falling coronavirus numbers, restaurants and bars in many regions of Italy are allowed to reopen as of today.
    • Around five weeks after the establishment of three risk zones and a partial shutdown, the time of the red zones is then over for the time being.
    • Lombardy in the north and Calabria in the south, which were initially severely affected, are now even back in the low-risk yellow zones.
  • In Lower Austria, 742 positive antigen tests have been counted in the area-wide Corona examinations. This corresponds to a rate of 0.14%.
    • A total of 467,702 people had a swab taken on Saturday and Sunday, according to preliminary analysis.
    • This meant a participation rate of about 30.8% in the now specified number of eligible people of 1,519,417.
  • Salzburg‘s politicians are considering extending the voluntary tests in view of the rather low level of participation so far, according to experts.
    • Many of the purchased kits are still left over, according to outreach workers.
    • A total of around 40,000 people had themselves tested. Of these, 160 were registered as CoV positive, a proportion of 0.4 %.
    • For the city alone, the result is 0.27%

  • The province of Upper Austria, like Tyrol, will continue to offer free rapid antigen tests before the Christmas holidays.
    • Governor Thomas Stelzer (ÖVP) and Health Officer Christine Haberlander (ÖVP) have commissioned the crisis team to develop a concept, the state announced today.

On the next page, you find an overview of all measures currently in place in Austria.

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Daniel Jacob El-Sabeh
Daniel is half Austrian, with German Russian and Italian Lebanese roots, and grew up in Vienna and Lower Austria. Before joining Metropole, he worked as a Chef de Rang in numerous hotels. He's a hobby composer, film buff, and retro enthusiast.

Current Status

If you live in Vienna, make sure to register for getting a vaccine against COVID-19 under impfservice.wien.  Here you can book your vaccination appointment.

The City of Vienna offers free vaccinations without an appointment to everyone – regardless of citizenship or insurance status – at multiple locations across the city. 

Vienna has reinstated a number of coronavirus restrictions for the fall. The Austrian government has presented a plan for schools and universities.  

Here’s an overview of where you can get tested for COVID-19 in Vienna and how the free PCR “gargle” tests at home work. 

If everything is a bit much for you or you experience domestic violence of any kind, here is our mental health resource article.

Numbers

For current coronavirus numbers, check the website of Ministry of Health and the AGES dashboard.

The Austrian Ministry of Health also publishes daily vaccination statistics and a preview of scheduled deliveries.

Resources

The City of Vienna has compiled comprehensive information on questions and answers regarding coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease in English.

The Austrian Ministry of Health has put together FAQs on the coronavirus and also provides material to download on how to protect yourself and others from the disease, also in English.

Furthermore, the ministry will constantly update its German-language website with information on the number of people tested and cases of COVID-19 in Austria.

Hotlines

Health advice by telephone1450

If you show symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties) or fear that you are ill, stay at home and dial health number 1450 for further procedures (diagnostic clarification).

Coronavirus hotline AGES+43 0800 555 621

The Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) answers questions about the coronavirus (general information on transmission, symptoms, prevention) 24 hours a day at +43 0800 555 621.

VKI hotline for travel law questions+43 0800 201 211

For legal questions concerning trips that have already been booked (e.g. whether a trip can be cancelled free of charge), the experts of the Association for Consumer Information (VKI) provide advice free of charge from Monday to Sunday between 09:00 and 15:00 at +43 0800 201 211.