- The Austrian government announced official travel restrictions for Tyrol.
- Travels from Tyrol to other places in Austria are now only allowed with a negative coronavirus test not older than 48 hours.
- The measure will enter into force this Friday, February 12.
- The region of Osttirol (Eastern Tyrol) is exempted from this measure, as it is physically separated from the main part of Tyrol.
- Tyrol is one of the European centers of the spread of the so-called South African variant of the coronavirus (B.1.351).
- The variant has shown to partially circumvent the immune response of people who already had the “wild type” of the coronavirus or certain vaccines (mostly vector vaccines).
- The mRNA vaccines have so far proven to be effective also against this new strain.
- The variant B.1.351 was probably introduced to the federal states by Tyrolean hotel owners who made a golf trip to South Africa during the last lockdown.
- “We need to do everything we can to prevent the spread of this variant; if we can’t, we need to slow down the spread,” chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) said in a press conference.
- The federal government declared Tyrol for 10-days as “travel-restricted area” (Sperrgebiet) – the government also issued a travel warning for the state.
- The police will control people who want to travel from Tyrol elsewhere on the federal state’s borders.
- In Tyrol, 293 cases of the B.1.351 variant have so far been confirmed. In all other Austrian states, another 9 confirmed and 9 suspected cases of the variant are known.
- Austrian ministries reported 1,197 new infections in the last 24 hours.
- The 7-day-incidence fell to 102 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
|Active cases||Hospitalized||In intensive care (ICU)||Deaths|
|Daily Tests*||Recovered||Tested Positive|
|Vaccine Jabs Given|
|Percentage of population||3.45%|
Source: Austrian Ministry of Health, February 9, 2021.
News From Austria
- Doctors who registered for a vaccination on the Vienna Medical Chamber homepage over the weekend could choose between AstraZeneca and the more effective Biontech vaccine.
- Health Minister Anschober emphasized in January, with reference to the scarce quantities, that a choice of vaccine was not intended though.
- At present, it is planned that only people under 65 years of age will be vaccinated with AtsraZeneca doses.
- Patient Advocate Spokesman Gerald Bachinger criticized that persons with medical professions had received an above-average amount of Biontech vaccine, which could have been used for high-risk patients.
- Thomas Szekeres, president of the Vienna Medical Chamber, told “Wien heute”:”Depending on age, you either get the AstraZeneca vaccine up to 65 or the Pfizer vaccine over 65.”
- In fact, younger physicians also signed up for the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine.
- In Salzburg, there was a protest by practicing doctors against the AstraZeneca vaccine.
- 7,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are to be used in Viennese hospitals and in the vaccination street in the Messe to healthcare workers up to 65 years old.
- So far, only the Biontech/Pfizer vaccine has been used in Vienna.
- Vienna is planning a new model to contain the pandemic. From Mondays to Thursdays, there will be no lockdown and even restaurants will be allowed to open.
- Instead, a hard lockdown will come into force on weekends, according to the proposal of Health City Councilor Peter Hacker (SPÖ).
- The idea is to open shops and pubs from Mondays to Thursday evenings, adhering to FFP2 mask-, 20 square meters per customer-, and minimum distance regulations.
- The closing hours for restaurants could be 20:00, 21:00 and later even 01:00, respectively.
- There will be a hard lockdown on the rest of the week. Except for supermarkets, pharmacies and the like, most things would again be closed.
- The idea could be implemented at the end of February at the earliest.
- For almost 450,000 students in Vienna and Lower Austria, school started again yesterday after the semester break.
- Approximately 280,000 of them had the chance to attend face-to-face classes again after weeks of distance learning. The requirement for this was a CoV test.
- There were 32 positive self-tests in Vienna and 24 in Lower Austria.
- Police and tourism associations shall, at the request of the Salzburg State Government, carry out further checks on second residences.
- It is assumed that ski tourists are circumventing the accommodation ban despite lockdowns.
- Over 38 charges were filed against illegal renters last week.
- Around 80 violations of CoV measures were detected by police officers last week during almost 400 checks at accommodations in Styrian ski regions.
- Also for the current semester vacations in the province, the executive announced increased controls.
News From Elsewhere
- The EU Commission has placed an order with Biontech/Pfizer for an additional 300 million doses of CoV vaccine.
- The Brussels-based agency yesterday finalized a second deal to that effect with the 2 companies, a Commission spokesman said.
- EU Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen had already made the deal public on Jan. 8.
- Back in Nov., the EU Commission had ordered up to 300 million doses of vaccine from Biontech/Pfizer for all 27 states – a firm order for 200 million doses and an option for 100 million more.
- In total, the EU can now purchase up to 600 million doses of vaccine from Biontech/Pfizer. The product was the first CoV vaccine to be licensed in the EU on Dec. 21.
- The British government is once again tightening its travel regulations in the coronavirus pandemic.
- In addition to a negative coronavirus test on arrival, people entering the UK will in future have to submit 2 further tests during a 10-day quarantine period.
- This was announced by the Ministry of Health in London today.
- The Dutch government has extended the nighttime curfew in the CoV crisis until March 2.
- “This is necessary because new, more contagious variants of the coronavirus are on the rise in the Netherlands,” the government announced after a cabinet meeting yesterday.
- Israel and Greece plan to allow tourism for vaccinated people during the crisis.
- Representatives of both countries agreed to allow vaccinated citizens to travel between the states without conditions as soon as flight restrictions are lifted.
- For the first time in more than 3 months, the so-called 7-day incidence in Germany is below the threshold of 75, according to figures from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
- The number has been falling for several weeks. The policy goal is a 7-day incidence of less than 50 in the long term; in Austria, the figure is 104.3.
Go to the next page for news from February 8.