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 27

News From Austria

  • The current 7-day-incidence, rates of new infections and contact tracing differs significantly throughout Austria.
    • We compiled some graphics on the data as it was available this last week (January 21) – there is always some delay in reporting from all federal states.
    • Our very own Daniel El-Sabeh created several graphics to better show what these numbers mean in practice.

The 7-day-incidence between Austria’s federal states differs markedly, with the Salzburg’s (220) being more than double the rate of Vienna (102).

While Vienna counts most active CoV cases, it also has the highest “clearance rate” at 66%, i.e. the number of contacts that could be tracked and traced after somebody tested positive for the virus.

The rate is particularly low in Styria, with only 20% of cases being “cleared” and followed up on. Other federal states fall somewhere in between.

Austria’s Society for Health and Nutrition (AGES) also analyses all recorded cases and aims to assign them to a cluster (e.g. household, work, leisure activities, etc.).

Interestingly, Vienna succeeds in tracing significantly more cases than the rest of Austria. This can be seen in a comparison between the numbers for all of Austria including Vienna (first graphic below) and Austria excluding Vienna (second graphic below).

  • Today, the Austrian government presented its new framework for teleworking.
    • According to the new law, “home office will remain a subject to negotiations,” meaning that employers and employees always have to agree on if and how.
    • Neither can employers decree teleworking nor can employees decide themselves they want to work from home.
    • In the future, accident insurance will cover workers working from home.
    • Up to €600 for equipment for teleworking can also be deducted from taxes.

  • Austrian ministries reported 1,641 new infections in the last 24 hours.
    • The 7-day-incidence stands at 114 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
  • For the first time since the year 1974, Austria recorded in the year 2020 less than 100 million tourist overnight stays (both from domestic and foreign tourists).
    • This is a drop of almost -36%, from 152 million in 2019 to a little shy of 98 million overnight stays in 2020.
    • While the summer season 2020 saw an average minus of -31.8%, this year’s winter season is expected to see a drop of -70% or more, also influencing the numbers in the coming year 2021.
  • The so-called “ski teacher cluster” in in Flachau (Pongau), in the federal state of Salzburg, continues to grow.
    • A total of 152 people took part in the courses.
    • Of those, 76 have now tested positive for the coronavirus and are in quarantine.
  • Several reports on parties in Tyrol have made the round recently in Austrian media.
    • Britons and Scandinavians have reportedly partied in St. Anton in Tyrol, including après ski activities (which are officially prohibited this year).
    • Furthermore, it it is believed that the South African coronavirus strain was brought to Tyrol by owners of a hotel in Zillertal who chose to go on golf holidays in South Africa during the last lockdown.
    • Günther Platter, Tyrol’s governor, meanwhile sees the public mood “on edge,” calling for ski slopes and ski lifts to stay open and further lockdown measures to be “carefully considered.”
    • Platter also claimed that there will be stricter controls in places such as St. Anton in Tyrol but otherwise also sees a tendency of “Tyrol bashing” in international media, following several recent critical media reports.

News From Elsewhere

  • The French pharma corporation Sanofi has agreed to produce up to 125 million doses of the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine starting this summer.
    • The agreement follows several setbacks in Sanofi’s own vaccine development.
    • The doses are meant for use in the EU and will be produced at Sanofi’s manufacturing plant in Frankfurt, Germany.

Go to the next page for news from January 26.

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.