CoV on Jan. 24-31 | Federal Government to Decide Next Steps Tomorrow

The coronavirus is shaping our lives. Here’s everything you need to know about COVID-19 in Austria this week – updated regularly.

January 30

News From Austria

  • The Viennese police has banned a political rally organized by the FPÖ, which was scheduled for tomorrow. The reason being that the event would pose a “risk to the population’s health.”
    • The party is outraged and plans to request a special meeting of the National Council (Austrian Parliament).
    • 2,000 individuals were expected to attend the rally.
  • In an interview on the Ö1-Mittagsjournal, Public Employment Service (AMS) boss Johannes Kopf emphasized that the economic recovery is heavily dependent on the country’s vaccination pace.
    • 460,000 people are currently on short-time employment scheme (Kurzarbeit) and 530,000 are unemployed.
  • Austrian ministries reported 1,478 new cases in the last 24 hours.
    • The 7-day incidence is currently 107 per 100,000 residents.
Active casesHospitalizedIn intensive care (ICU)Deaths
Total14,4291,6822967,703
Daily change-167-65-2+45
In percent-1.1%-3.7%-2%+0.6%
Daily Tests*RecoveredTested Positive
Total30,973391,076413,208
Daily change+10,441+1,600+1,478
In percent+50.9%+0.4%+0.4%
*daily tests refers to reported PCR tests, rapid antigen tests are not included
People Vaccinated*
Total215,140
Daily change+2,690
In percent+1.3%
Percentage of population2.42%
*people who received at least one dose of the vaccine; Jan. 30, 2021.

Source: Austrian Ministry of Health, January 30, 2021.

  • The police banned the majority of the anti-corona protests planned for this week.
  • Due to strong wind, the testing street near the Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna will be closed until 16:00 today.
    • Those who have a valid appointment can go to the Austria Center Vienna and the testing street Floridsdorf instead.
  • Today, Vienna’s fifth testing street opened in the Anton-Baumgartner-Straße 119 (23 district) with two test queues. If need be, two more queues could be opened.
    • You can access the site via the Erlaaer Schleife near the U6 station Alterlaa, exit Anton-Baumgartner-Straße.
    • To get tested, you must pre-register here or call 1450.
    • The opening hours are Monday-Saturday, 6:00-21:00.
  • The Vienna General Hospital (AKH) has come under scrutiny for vaccinating doctors without patient contact (“manager in home office,” according to the Kronen Zeitung) before elderly and doctors who treat patients.
  • Following the European Medicine Agency’s approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine yesterday, the National Vaccine Board must now decide and adapt the country’s vaccination plan accordingly.
    • While the EMA has authorized the vaccine for all individuals above age 18, Germany will not use it on people over age 65. This is because the inoculation was only tested on a small number of people of this age group during clinical trials.
      • The drug maker has announced that it plans to carry out more detailed tests on this age cohort in the future.
    • It is still unclear whether Austria will follow suit. If it does, the vaccination plan will need to be modified.
    • The National Vaccination Board will reach a final decision on Monday.
    • Austria expects to receive 63,354 doses of the Swedish-British vaccine on Feb. 7, 97,763 on Feb. 17, and 182,430 by the end of February.
    • In total, the country will receive 343, 547 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine next month.
  • On Monday, the federal government will also discuss the possibility of loosening lockdown restrictions with state governors and experts.
  • Vienna’s Health Councillor Peter Hacker is especially pleased about the EU’s approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine. With it, the number of vaccinations in the city could increase considerably in February.
  • The police fined 96 ski tourists in the Tyrolean ski town St. Anton am Arlberg for violating corona measures.
  • 22,200 Carinthians signed up for the COVID-19 vaccine yesterday when the state’s online registration platform went live.

News From Elsewhere

  • Starting Monday, Italy will loosen its corona restrictions. 11 out of 20 regions that were previously marked orange will now be set to yellow. This means restaurants can reopen for daytime and people are free to travel.
    • This also applies to the Lombardy region, which has been hit hardest by the pandemic.
  • The US disease agency CDC has ordered a mask requirement on public transport. Starting Monday, this will apply to planes, ships, subways, buses, trains, taxis, and ride sharing services.
  • Taiwan has reported the first COVID death since May. In total, only eight people died from the virus on the island.
  • The infected Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador passed the most critical phase of the virus, he claims.
    • “I still have COVID, but the doctors say that the critical phase is over,” Obrador said in a video message. “I’m doing well, but I still need to rest.”
  • In-door dining is set to resume in New York City on Valentine’s Day at 25% capacity. The city and its restaurant industry has been especially hard-hit by the pandemic. Over 140,000 people have lost their job as a result of restaurant closures.
  • Starting today, Czechia will only permit foreigners to enter the country under extenuating circumstances. Exceptions include work trips, necessary family visits, funerals, and administrative appointments that cannot be postponed.
    • People that own a vacation home in the country may currently not use it for relaxation.
    • However, individuals may exit the country.
    • These new measures come in response to the new virus mutations and the high number of daily infections.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned wealthy countries against hoarding the COVID-19 vaccines. “The pandemic has exposed and exploited the inequalities in our world,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a virtual press conference yesterday.
    • Once again, he criticized developed countries for securing large quantities of vaccines and putting poorer states at a disadvantage.
  • Yesterday, the Argentinian government imposed a special tax for the rich to finance the country’s coronavirus aid package. The tax is intended to support small businesses and the socially disadvantaged get through the pandemic.
    • The government hopes to raise 300 billion pesos (around three billion euros) with this new measure.

Go to the next page for news from January 29.

Amina Frassl
Amina is Metropole's online content manager. She writes about news and news analysis and is currently completing her studies in journalism and politics at NYU.

Numbers

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

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.