Coronavirus in Early December | Entry Restrictions May Be Extended

COVID-19 is shaping our daily lives. Here’s all you need to know about current measures, including where to get help, information and tips – updated regularly.

with additional reporting by Amina Frassl & Daniel El-Sabeh

Starting on December 7, we are switching to a slightly different system when reporting about the coronavirus in Austria. You can still find all the latest news on metropole.at/coronavirus-in-Austria – only from now on, we will be publishing separate articles every day.

This helps us with the performance of the page and the accessibility of the page on social media, where several users have recently experienced difficulties.

November has been the harshest months regarding the impact of the coronavirus in Austria since the beginning of the pandemic.

In the last month, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has tripled (from 1,400 to 4,200), as has sadly the number of people who have died due to the virus (from 1,005 to over 3,000).

As of midnight, November 17, a second “hard” lockdown is in effect until December 6, featuring, among other things, a day-time curfew. See the current rules here.

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 at the testing sites in the Stadthalle, the Marxhalle and the Messehalle. Register at österreich-testet.at – at the Messehalle, you can also bring your family with just one registration.

December 6, 2020

  • Today was the third day of mass testing. The number of participants remains below expectations. To set an example, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Viennese Mayor Michael Ludwig will get tested tomorrow morning.
    • 21,779 tests were conducted at all three test locations in Vienna. 148 PCR tests were conducted, after 81 antigen tests were positive. For the rest, the PCR gurgle test had to be used, since the regular PCR test did not work on them.
      • This is far below the daily capacity, which is 150,000 tests.
      • In the first two test days, 79 people tested positive.
      • Vienna is urging those with appointments to “bring their family.”
    • As of today afternoon, 183,213 people got tested in Tyrol.
    • As of 17:30 today, 105,093 people got tested in Tyrol.
    • 19,335 teachers and kindergarten employees got tested in Lower Austria. 36 antigen tests conducted on teachers were positive.
    • 13,500 school and kindergarten employees were tested in Salzburg, of which 13 tests were positive.
    • In Styria, 21,000 people were tested. 77 tested positive, which is about 0.37 percent.
    • In Upper Austria, 18,518 school employees were tested as of today at noon. 50, meaning 0.27, tested positive.

  • Austrian ministries reported 2,741 new cases in the last 24 hours.
    • Here are the number of new infections per state:
      • Burgenland: 56
      • Carinthia: 19 
      • Lower Austria: 551
      • Salzburg: 103
      • Styria: 340
      • Tyrol: 362
      • Upper Austria: 526
      • Vorarlberg: 239
      • Vienna: 366
    • A total of 3,802 patients with COVID-19 are currently hospitalized in Austria, an decrease of -75 (-1.9%) since yesterday.
    • Of those, 632 are in intensive care, -14 (-2.2%) fewer than yesterday.
    • 83 people have died since yesterday, bringing the total since the beginning of the pandemic. to 3,840.
    • According to the AGES dashboard, the 7-day incidence is 253.

  • Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler told the Austrian daily newspaper Kurier that he is considering extending the newly announced re-entry restrictions until after Jan. 10.
    • On Wednesday, the federal government announced that travelers returning from a place with a 14-day incidence of over 100 between Dec. 19 and Jan. 10 will need to quarantine for ten days upon arrival in Austria (or can “test themselves free” after five days).
    • Kogler said, “If we succeed in reducing the infection measures in Austria due to strict measures, then one should not sway and open up to places where these measures do not apply.” Kogler refers to nightclubs in Slovakia or trips to Switzerland this summer.
    • While Kogler initially criticized Kurz for the new travel measures and particularly the rhetoric coming along with is, he is now presenting himself as a strong proponent for it.

  • On the last day of the second lockdown, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz appealed to the population to adhere to the corona measures.
    • This is the only way that the positive trend will continue, said Kurz in a written statement.
      • He acknowledged that the strict lockdown measures had worked , as the average number of daily new infections has been cut in half.
      • The lockdown prevented the intensive care units from becoming overwhelmed.
      • As of yesterday 14:00, the 7-day incidence has fallen from 500 to 265. According to AGES, there were 7,554 cases per day at the start of the lockdown, compared with 3,580 on Saturday.
      • The R-value fell from 1.04 to 0.82, meaning that an infected person spreads the virus to less than one person.
  • In Italy, 560 people died with or from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

  • With 1,745 new cases, Denmark reported a new high in daily infections.
  • The U.S. recorded a new all-time-high in daily new infections. It reported 230,000 new cases, 5,000 more than the day before.

  • Today Israel is further easing the lockdown restrictions by reopening middle schools.
    • The number of corona infections have recently increased again in the state.
    • There have been rumors about a third partial lockdown.
Benjamin Wolf
Benjamin studied Journalism, History and International Affairs. After stints with Cafébabel in Paris and Arte in Strasbourg, he is now working as managing editor and COO for Metropole in Vienna. Fields of expertise are politics, economics, culture, and history. Photo: Visual Hub

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