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.

December 5, 2020

  • Like yesterday, fewer individuals than expected showed up across Austria to take part in the mass testing scheme. Now, federal state leaders are urging the population to get tested. There are still many free slots.
    • In Vienna, anyone who registered to get tested may bring unregistered family members with them.
    • Citizenship, residency or e-card are not necessarily needed when coming with a registered participant, the speaker of City Health Councilor, Peter Hacker, stated.

  • According to the AGES dashboard, the 7-day incidence has further fallen to 265 per 100,000 residents.
    • Vienna is the first state to record a 7-day incidence of under 200. The value for the city is currently 197.5.

  • Tyrolean state leader Günther Platter is pressing for South Tyrol to be exempt from the re-entry restrictions that are set to come into effect on Dec. 19.
    • Platter argues that many people want to travel between Austria and South Tyrol to visit their relatives during the holidays.
    • On Wednesday, the federal government announced that travelers entering Austria between Dec. 19 and Jan. 10 from a high-risk place with a 14-day incidence of over 200 per 100,000 inhabitants must quarantine for ten days upon arrival (after five days, people can “test themselves free” with a PCR test).

  • So far, 0.16% of mass tests in Vienna have been positive, said City Health Councillor Peter Hacker.
    • There are still open slots in the test centers in the Messe and Marx-Halle. The Stadthalle is “basically” fully booked.
    • As of today at noon, 24,000 Viennese residents booked an appointment to get tested.
    • Hacker admitted that he had expected more people. However, he believes this is because the city conducted a high number of tests – 200,000 – throughout November.
  • Yesterday’s IT issues with the mass testing software did not seem to occur today.
    • Lower Austria reported that the mass tests are going “well and without any problems.”

  • Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner indicated that she is satisfied with the mass tests happening this weekend. “Around 200,000 people have gotten tested, and the antigen tests have been positive for hundreds of people,” she said.
    • However, the ones that tested positive will need to get re-tested with a PCR test to ensure that they are really positive.
  • Due to the forced shutdowns during the pandemic, the family-run coffeehouse chain Aida is struggling financially.
    • As reported by the Kronen Zeitung, one-third of the employees could potentially be fired.
    • Additionally, the chain may have to close down half (30) of its locations by February.
  • Once the corona vaccine has been authorized, Salzburg will potentially require new employees in hospitals and elderly homes to be vaccinated.

  • Coronavirus-related tax debts can be paid off over a longer period of time and at lower interest rates, said Finance Minister Gernot Blümel today on Ö1. 
    • Details will be finalized in the National Council as early as next week.
    • The Finance Ministry has previously already announced that the option to defer ha been extended from mid-January to March 31.
    • Currently, there is only a one-year repayment period, with an interest rate of 4.5 percent above the base rate. Now, according to Blümel, there should be more flexible options. 
      • Specifically, a period of up to three years is being considered with an interest rate of two percent above the base rate.

  • Austrian ministries recorded 3,444 new cases in the last 24 hours.
    • 3,877 patients are currently being treated in Austrian hospitals. 646 patients are in intensive care.
    • 3,757 people have died with or from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. 106 people died since yesterday.

  • Yesterday was the first day of mass testing in Tyrol, Vienna, and Vorarlberg. Today the remaining six federal states will start testing school teachers and kindergarten employees.
    • In Lower Austria, 23,000 teachers are registered to get tested.
    • 20,000 employees are registered to get tested in Styria.
    • Tyrol, Vienna, and Vorarlberg did not designate a separate day to test school employees. They are being tested together with the entire population.
      • Of 22,400 antigen rapid tests, only 112 were positive yesterday in Vienna.
        • These individuals were re-tested with a PCR test, and half of them were positive.

  • After the French government announced that it would amend the security law two days ago, there have been mass protests across the country.
    • In Paris, cars were set on fire and 22 people were arrested.
    • The amendments are heavily criticized and include the extension of video surveillance.
    • An alliance of unions, journalists, victim protection organizations, and human rights organizations initiated the protests and motivated civilians to take to the streets.

  • Germany has again reported over 23,000 new infections. Despite the partial-lockdown in the country, the number of new infections remain at a high level.
    • The state is also recording a high number of deaths per day. 483 people died since yesterday.
  • Due to the travel ban during the holidays, Italy is expecting 10.3 million fewer tourists between Dec. 21 and Jan. 6.
  • Today the Argentinian government decided to enact a wealth tax to support smaller businesses and the poor.
    • The 12,000 richest people of the country must pay the tax.
    • The government hopes to raise 300 billion Pesos (about 3 million Euro).
  • Today Moscow begun a large-scale operation to vaccinate its population with its own corona vaccine Sputnik V.
    • Individuals employed in health, education, and the social services sector are the first to receive the vaccine.
    • Thousands of people have registered to get vaccinated.
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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