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 3, 2020

  • Since the Christmas market on Rathausplatz cannot open, the City of Vienna now wants to move the “Eistraum” forward.
    • Just in time for Christmas, the 8,300 square meter ice rink in front of the city hall is to be opened, the organizer Stadt Wien Marketing announced in a mailing.
    • Mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ) said: “Vienna is thus once again sending a strong signal that, even under difficult conditions, joie de vivre, responsible cooperation and a courageous look ahead are possible.”
    • Due to the coronavirus pandemic, special security measures will be necessary, but exact information will be announced later.
  • The EU Commission has issued guidelines for its member states of how to best manage the Christmas holidays. The guidelines say:
    1. Imported cases are a very small proportion of detected cases
    2. Travelers are not a high-risk population
    3. Quarantine + testing is not recommended!
      • The Austrian government currently plans to act contrary to all three recommendations with its plan for travel restrictions, mandatory quarantine and testing for travelers from Dec. 19 to Jan. 10.

  • The “lockdown bonus” for freelance artists introduced in November has been increased.
    • The one-off payment will be raised from €1,300 to 2,000, Secretary of State for Art and Culture Andrea Mayer (Greens) announced today.
    • The bonus, which is paid out via the social security system for the self-employed, represents a total payout of around €4.3 million.
    • If the bonus has already been applied for, the increase of €700 should be transferred automatically.
    • The increase is expected to become effective at the beginning of the next week.

  • Austrian ministries reported 3,969 new cases in the last 24 hours.
    • The number of known active cases fell by -752(-1.5 %) to a total of 50,099.
    • The federal states reported the following numbers of new infections:
      • Burgenland: 100
      • Carinthia: 356
      • Lower Austria: 636
      • Upper Austria: 704
      • Salzburg: 269
      • Styria: 612
      • Tyrol: 351
      • Vorarlberg: 187
      • Vienna: 754
    • The number of daily tests stands at around 31,000.
    • The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 fell by considerable -163 (-3.8%), to currently 4,082.
    • Of those, 668 are in intensive care, a slight decrease by -6 (-0.9%) to the day before.
    • Since yesterday, 92 people have died due to or with the virus. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 3,538 people in Austria have died due to COVID-19. 

  • Online registration for the mass tests with interruptions in Austria has been possible for a good 32 hours.
    • So far, there have been almost 100,000 registrations, Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens) announced today at a press event.
    • The website ö is now again available.

  • The new re-entry restrictions to Austria over the Christmas holidays will apply from December 19 to January 10.
    • The restrictions apply to travelers coming to Austria from countries with a 14-day incidence of more than 100 (per 100,000 inhabitants).
    • At the current moment, that is all of Austria’s direct neighboring countries.
    • Travelers have to stay in quarantine for ten days and can be cleared after five days with a negative PCR test result.
    • Exceptions apply for commuters and essential workers.
    • The mandatory quarantine does not exempt workers from their job, if need be they have to take holidays for it.
  • The CoV pandemic now also clearly shows up in Austria’s official death statistics.
    • For the week of November 16 to 22 (the 47th calendar week), Statistik Austria reported 2,431 deaths. Not since 1978 have so many people died in a single week.
    • This year, a total of 77,662 people have died in the first 47 weeks of the year – 6.5% more than the average for the years 2015 to 2019.
    • The 2,431 deaths reported for the 47th calendar week of 2020 are 58% above the average for this period in the last five years.
    • The highest comparable value for only one week in the recent past was in early 2017, with 2,340 deaths (January 9 to 15). At that time, a particularly strong wave of influenza was raging in Austria.
    • The Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) reported 568 deaths with a Covid-19 infection for the 47th calendar week.
  • In Belgium, vaccination against the coronavirus will start on January 5, according to Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.

  • The Ministry of Finance is extending its program of reimbursing closed business with parts of their lost revenue until the end of the year.
    • “The measures we are taking now will have an immediate impact on whether and how quickly we can reopen in 2021 in all areas,” said Finance Minister Gernot Blümel.
    • For the period of the extended closure in December 2020, affected Austrian companies will be compensated with 50% of their sales in that month in the previous year.
    • The revenue reimbursement will be calculated automatically on the basis of the tax data available to the tax authorities.
    • The basis for this calculation will be the revenue of December 2019. The application is made via FinanzOnline.
    • Businesses can apply starting on 16 December.
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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