CoV on Jan. 4-10 | New Cases Stabilize Around 2,000 a Day

The coronavirus is shaping our lives. Here’s what happened in regards to COVID-19 in Austria in the week of Jan. 4-10, 2021.

January 9, 2021

  • Education Minister Heinz Faßmann (ÖVP) announced today the plan for reopening schools, even though the date for resuming in-person instructions is still open.
    • A core element of the plan are weekly coronavirus self-tests for students and teachers.
      • The government bought 5 million of these tests (for €2.70) and will provide them for free to schools.
      • Taking the test is easier than with the current antigen tests. A swab gentle swab of the lower nose ought to be enough.
      • The test results will be available within a few minutes and testing will be voluntary.
    • The date for resuming in-person instructions is still open.
      • Distance teaching will resume earlier.
      • The date fore resuming in-person teaching will be announced “in the coming days.”
    • The self-tests will be delivered to schools on January 18.
      • Testing will take place every Monday and, if the model proves successful, also every Thursday.
      • If a self-test shows a positive result, it will be followed up by a PCR test.
      • Teachers will also get tested regularly.
    • As for vaccinations, teachers belong to priority group II.
      • They should receive their vaccine jabs in late February or March.
  • Austrian ministries reported 2,278 new infections in the last 24 hours.
    • The 7-day-incidence remained at 161 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
    • The federal state of Salzburg still has the highest 7-day-incidence in the country, with 326 more than double the Austrian average.
Active casesHospitalizedIn intensive care (ICU)Deaths
Daily change+65-45-2+46
In percent+0.3%-1.9%-0.5%+0.7%
Daily TestsRecoveredTested Positive
Daily change-3,825+2,167+2,278
In percent-16.2%+0.6%+0.6%

Source: Austrian Ministry of Health, January 9, 2021.

  • Katharina Reich, Chief Medical Officer of the Austrian Ministry of Health, expressed her doubt that “the third lockdown can end on January 24.”
    • In an interview with the Austrian daily Der Standard, Reich said: “We might be able to loosen measures somewhat, but we will not get back quickly to living without strict restrictions.”
    • “To say otherwise would be unserious,” Reich elaborated. ”I know people long to see a complete end of the lockdown on Jan. 24. However, with the current case numbers, we simply can’t afford it.”
    • Reich also sees a “race between the vaccine and the mutation,” referring to the more infections UK coronavirus strain B.1.1.7 that is currently spreading rapidly on the British isles.
    • “And that’s why now, while the vaccinations are still going on, we have to reinforce our protective measures: FFP2 mask everywhere, really just having the contacts that are necessary,” Reich said.

Go to the next page for news from January 8.

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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

Current Status

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

The City of Vienna offers free vaccinations without an appointment to everyone – regardless of citizenship, residency 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.


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.


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.


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.