CoV on Feb. 7-14 | No Further Opening Steps Expected

The coronavirus is shaping our lives. Here’s what happened concerning COVID-19 in Austria in the week from Feb. 7-14.

Find here the daily COVID-19 updates for Austria, with everything you need to know about the coronavirus in Austria, brought to you by Benjamin Wolf, Amina Frassl, and Daniel El-Sabeh.

We compiled for you a detailed guide on traveling to Austria during that period.

Austria lifted its last hard lockdown on February 8. Schools, shops and services can reopen with strict rules, such as mandatory FFP 2 masks, more social distancing and obligatory testing.

Here’s an overview of where you can get tested for COVID-19 in Vienna. If everything is a bit much for you or you experience domestic violence of any kind, here is our mental health resource article.

Here is a wrap-up of the measures currently in place in Austria.

Week 6, 2021

February 14

News From Austria

Active casesHospitalizedIn intensive care (ICU)Deaths
Total14,0771,3112588,211
Daily change-154-60-8+16
In percent-1.1%-4.4%-3%+0.2%

Daily Tests*RecoveredTested Positive
Total24,791411,199433,487
Daily change-10,167+1,322+1,433
In percent-29.1%+0.3%+0.3%
*daily tests refers to reported PCR tests, rapid antigen tests are not included
Vaccine Jabs Given
Total416,791
Daily change+3,556
In percent+0.9%
Percentage of population4.68%

Source: Austrian Ministry of Health, February 14, 2021.

  • Tomorrow the federal government will meet with experts to assess the current situation. After talks with the opposition parties, a decision on how to proceed will then be made with the governors. Due to the spread of more infectious variants and a fairly stable 7-day incidence of around 100 cases, the government is currently not expecting any further opening steps.
    • It remains to be seen whether there will be any prospects for those industries that are currently still closed, especially the catering and hotel industries. 
    • This will depend on the assessments of the experts and the discussions with political representatives, according to the government.
  • Health Minister Rudolf Anschober expects the number of infections to increase. The situation is stable, said Anschober, but starting next week, the effects of the lockdown will decrease and the consequences of the continued spread of the mutations will show.
    • The R-value, which is currently 1.02, also indicates this, said Anschober.
    • “We are trying to counteract this with a unique test density,” emphasized the minister.
    • Regarding the vaccination campaign, he said, “At the end of this week 150,000 people will have received a total immunization (both partial vaccinations, note), 400,000 vaccinations have already been carried out.”
  • The French pharmaceutical company Sanofi has suffered another setback. Its vaccine will not be available this year, said Paul Hudson, the head of the company. Sanofi had initially hoped that its product could be authorized in the second half of 2021.
    • The vaccine candidate is based on the new type of mRNA technology that Pfizer, BioNtech and Moderna have also used for their already approved vaccines.
    • Clinical trials should begin this quarter. “This vaccine won’t be ready this year, but it could be useful at a later date – all the more so as the battle against mutations continues,” said Hudson.
  • The German entry ban for Tyroleans goes into effect today. The German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has announced that authorities will conduct strict controls. However, it is still unclear how things will continue for cross-border commuters between Tyrol and Germany.
  • Despite the ban on anti-CoV rallies, roughly 2,000 people protested in Vienna’s inner city yesterday. Authorities arrested four individuals and filed 1,600 complaints. Two policewomen were injured in the process.
  • After Germany, Italy has now also announced stricter rules for entry from Austria. Starting Sunday, travelers coming from Austria must provide a negative corona test that is no older than 48 hours and enter a 14-day quarantine upon entry.
    • This regulation will apply until March 5.
  • Tyrol has tightened corona measures in elderly and nursing homes. Residents in facilities in the Schwaz district, which has become the hotspot of the South African strain, must now get tested everyday.
    • In all Tyrolean care facilities, residents must be offered PCR tests if they have left the home for a meeting with caregivers for more than six hours. These tests must be conducted no later than the day after their return to the home.
    • For employees and volunteers, the interval of the test obligation stipulated in the federal ordinance has been reduced from three to two days.
    • Entering the facilities is only possible with a negative coronavirus test result that is no older than 48 hours.
    • Everyone in the facilities is required to wear an FFP2 mask.
    • Home operators must adapt their prevention concepts to new hygiene concepts. For example, the group size of care residents must be limited to a maximum of five people. Furthermore, cross-ward care offers should also be avoided as much as possible.=

News From Elsewhere

  • Due to a rapid increase in cases, Italy has tightened restrictions in several regions, including Tuscany, Liguria, Abruzzo, and Trentino. These measures will apply starting today for a period of 15 days, said the Health Ministry in Rome.
    • The four areas have been designated as “orange zones.”
    • Restaurants and bars have been closed. Only takeaway is available.
    • Residents should not leave their cities and municipalities.
    • Most of Italy is currently a “yellow zone” with moderate restrictions.
      • The government has imposed a nightly curfew from 22:00.
      • A travel ban exists across regional borders. This has been extended until Feb. 25.
        • Exceptions apply for emergencies and work only.
  • For the first time since January, three new cases have been detected in New Zealand. The government has imposed a three-day lockdown in Auckland.
  • More than a quarter of Israel’s 9.3 million population have already received their second dose of the vaccine. So far, the country has vaccinated 3.8 million people, and 2.5 million have received the second dose.
  • The Japanese government has authorized the first COVID-19 vaccine. The Health Minister has given the BioNtech/Pfizer vaccine a special approval today, said Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s office on Twitter. Inoculation will begin on Wednesday.
    • Initially, 10,000 to 20,000 health care workers will receive the vaccination. Other doctors and nurses as well as elderly people should have access to the vaccine by April.
  • The US government has expressed “great concern” with China’s handling of the WHO investigation into the origin of the coronavirus.
    • Beijing must cooperate with the investigation and ensure that the mission of the experts remains independent and “free of interference or changes by the Chinese government,” said US President Joe Biden’s National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan.
    • “In order to better understand this pandemic and prepare for the next one, China must provide data from the first days of the outbreak of the disease,” said Sullivan.
    • The top priority at this “critical time must be to protect WHO’s credibility,” he said.
    • China has been accused of withholding knowledge of the first possible disease outbreak outside of Wuhan in late fall 2019.
  • Tomorrow, the Netherlands will host its first major event since the start of the pandemic. Roughly 500 people will gather for a special conference in the Beatrix Theater in Utrecht.
    • A cabaret show with an audience is also planned for next week, said the Dutch news agency ANP reported yesterday.
    • Football games with 1,500 spectators each, as well as shows in the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam and open-air events in a holiday park are also planned – each with an extensive list of precautionary measures.
    • The event industry, the Health Ministry, other authorities, and scientific institutions in the Netherlands have agreed on this as part of the Fieldlab Events initiative. The aim is to develop coronavirus-safe and trustworthy concepts for events with an audience.
    • All participants must provide proof of a negative corona test that is at least 48 hours old. Upon arrival, they will be asked about possible symptoms and a fever will be taken. 
    • Rapid tests will be carried out if there are any suspicions. Each participant is required to undergo another test five days later.

Go to the next page for news from February 13.

Register for free  to read Metropole’s essential coronavirus articles and daily news and lifestyle coverage.

Or subscribe for €4/month and get unlimited access to all Metropole content.

Free

✓ Read all essential coronavirus articles for free
✓ Read all daily news from Vienna & Austria for free
✓ Monthly newsletter with article highlights
✓ Event invitations
All-access

✓ Unlimited access to all metropole.at content
✓ Access all daily coronavirus updates
✓ Access to Metropole e-paper and print copy,
delivered to your home 4 times a year
✓ Newsletters
✓ Event invitations
✓ Special offers & sweepstakes
✓ No targeted ads

Amina Frassl
Amina is Metropole's former online content manager. She is a contributing writer, focusing on current news and politics. She recently received her Bachelors' degree in journalism and politics from New York University and is currently pursuing her Masters' in international affairs at Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Current Status

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

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

Numbers

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.

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.