Austria

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austria to start Covid-19 mass testing on Dec 5th
Austria to start Covid-19 mass testing on Dec 5th
Credit: unsplash/Mufid Majnun

Austria is planning to begin Covid-19 mass testing on December 5th, starting with teachers, police forces and communities with high infection rates. Seven million tests have been ordered so far and the government has mobilized both armed forces and forces to help with testing.

According to health minister Rudolf Anschober, the decisive factor is "that the tests do not create a false sense of security, but that they are accepted not as a substitute but as an additional measure to social distancing, masks and proper hygiene.

Science • Animals
Hungry camel hurts two women after the animals probably have removed "Do Not Feed" sign by themselves
Hungry camel hurts two women after the animals probably have removed "Do Not Feed" sign by themselves
Credit: Basile Morin / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

As the police reported, a 38-year-old and her 65-year-old mother wanted to feed the camels of a circus stranded in the Austrian town Ried (Innkreis). They each had a sack of carrots with them. One of the camels in the enclosure grabbed the vegetables greedily and knocked its mother over. Then it grabbed the carrots a second time and caught the woman lying on the ground by her forearm.

The 65-year-old had to be admitted to the hospital in Ried after the accident. According to the circus staff there was a sign saying that feeding the animals was forbidden. But before the incident, the sign was obviously torn down by an unknown person or by the camels themselves, according to the police report.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austrian government announces hard lockdown starting on Nov 17th, hopes for "mood of solidarity"
Closed café during lockdown in Vienna
Closed café during lockdown in Vienna Credit: Herzi Pinki, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Austrian government has announced a "hard lockdown" starting November 17th to contain rising numbers of Covid-19 infections. The country has seen an increase in cases in recent weeks, averaging over 7000 daily cases in the past seven days. Aa partial lockdown was introduced two weeks ago but was deemed ineffective in stopping the spread of the virus.

The new and stricter measures, which will be in effect until at least December 6th, include the closing of schools and all non-essential businesses as well as a 24-hour curfew. People are urged to stay inside their homes except for a few exceptions, e.g. for emergencies, job-related purposes, "necessary basic needs of daily life", help and care of family members and "physical and mental recovery". Restaurants, gyms and museums have already been closed since early November. 

Regional News • Europe • Austria
9,262 new Covid-19 infections in Austria

Austria has recorded 9,262 new Covid-19 infections over the past 24 hours, including late reports of new infections from the last few days due to technical problems in the reporting system.

Health Minister Rudolf Anschober appeals to operators and customers of shopping centers to adhere to Covid-19 regulations, after pictures of people crowded together in shopping centers surfaced.

Law
German Police union: Complete monitoring of people at risk is not possible
German Police union: Complete monitoring of people at risk is not possible
Credit: unsplash.com / Leon Seibert

As a consequence of the attack in Vienna, the German police union ("Gewerkschaft der Polizei") is demanding that people who pose a risk to society are monitored by federal authorities in the future.

Complete monitoring of potential terrorists is no longer possible due to the lack of personnel at the state level.

Berlin currently counts 88 Islamists, whose surveillance would require 2,640 officials. The land has 190 at its disposal.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
Initiative against terrorism discusses ban on end-to-end encryption in the European Union
Initiative against terrorism discusses ban on end-to-end encryption in the European Union
Credit: unsplash.com / Scott Webb

Germany, Austria and France are planning a joint initiative against terrorism. In terms of content, a ban on end-to-end encryption, the deportation of "extremist conspicuous" people and the training of imams will be discussed.

The German EU Council Presidency has previously prepared a draft resolution on the handling of encryption on behalf of the EU states, as confirmed by the German Federal Ministry of the Interior.

This week, the EU interior ministers' council will also discuss this. However, individual claims have already been publicly denied.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austrian President Van der Bellen in hospital after pelvic injury
Austrian President Van der Bellen in hospital after pelvic injury
Credit: Peter Lechner / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.5)

The Austrian Federal President suffered a painful pelvic injury in a fall in his second official residence. According to the statement, Van der Bellen will stay in the hospital for the next few days for pain therapy, but an operation is not necessary. "The Federal President is otherwise in good spirits", according to a statement.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Terrorist in Vienna, three dead and several injured
Terrorist in Vienna, three dead and several injured
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

Update: The police have stated that during a terrorist attack in Vienna at least three people have been killed and several people have been injured.

There is at least one perpetrator who has been shot by police forces, there is the possibilty of additional perpetrators.

The confirmed shooter had been armed with an assault rifle.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austria goes into 4-week partial lockdown starting Tuesday, imposes curfew and restrictions on private gatherings
Sebastian Kurz
Sebastian Kurz Credit: EU2017EE Estonian Presidency (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Starting Tuesday, November 3, Austria enters its second lockdown which is set to last until November 30. Newly imposed restrictions include a nightly curfew from 8 pm to 6 am during which citizen are not allowed to leave their homes except for emergencies, job-related purposes, "necessary basic needs of daily life", help and care of family members and "physical and mental recovery". Restaurants, bars and gyms must be closed, and all events will be cancelled throughout November. The Austrian government has further introduced a "two-household-rule", meaning gatherings are restricted to a maximum of six people from not more than two different households.

"We are aware that these measures are unpopular", said Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) on Saturday.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austrian chancellor considers second lockdown as a measure of last resort
Austrian chancellor considers second lockdown as a measure of last resort
Credit: Bundesministerium für Finanzen, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz has stated that he considered a second lockdown as a measure of last resort to contain the further spread of Covid-19 and prevent hospitals reaching capacity.

"We have a massively increasing, exponential growth. It is an extreme challenge. The situation is very, very serious, even for those who still refuse to believe it," so Kurz.

Regional News • Europe
Europe's Covid-19 cases doubled over the past ten days
Europe's Covid-19 cases doubled over the past ten days
Credit: unsplash.com/Ewien van Bergeijk - Kwant

Covid-19 cases have doubled in Europe over the past ten days, rising from 100,000 to 200,000. Multiple countries, including Austria, Germany, Italy and France, have reported daily records in the past week.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austria reports 2,435 Covid-19 cases, highest daily record
Newly identified cases of confirmed SARS-CoV2 infection per day of diagnosis in Austria.
Newly identified cases of confirmed SARS-CoV2 infection per day of diagnosis in Austria. Credit: AGES Dashboard

Austria has recorded new 2,435 Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours on Thursday, its highest daily record since the start of the pandemic. The country has seen a steady increase in cases since September,

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Austrian government to provide €40 million in funding for electric cars in 2021
An electric car being charged in Flachau, Salzburger, Austria.
An electric car being charged in Flachau, Salzburger, Austria. Credit: Jakob Härter (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In 2021 the Austrian government will provide 40 million euros in funding for electric cars. This was announced by Environment and Transport Minister Leonore Gewessler on Sunday.

In the years 2019 and 2020, a total of 93 million euros - together with the automobile importers - were available. As the APA (Austrian Press Agency) stated, these funds have now been almost completely exhausted. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the ministry had increased the subsidy per e-car from 3000 to 5000 euros.

Regional News • Europe
Two foreign ministers test positive for Covid-19 after EU meeting in Luxembourg
Sophie Wilmes post on Twitter announcing the test result
Sophie Wilmes post on Twitter announcing the test result Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Alexander Schallenberg and Sophie Wilmes, foreign ministers of Austria and Belgium, have tested positive for coronavirus after attending a meeting in Luxembourg earlier this week. Both announced their test results, separately, on Saturday.

Wilmes announced her positive test in a post on Twitter: "My COVID test result is positive. Contamination probably occurred within my family circle given the precautions taken outside my home."

A spokeswoman for Austria’s Foreign Ministry stated: "It is suspected that Schallenberg might have been infected at the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg on Monday."

Health
Austria reports 1,552 new Covid-19 cases, highest daily record since start of pandemic

Austria has recorded 1,552 Covid-19 cases within a 24-hour period on Thursday – the highest daily number since the start of the pandemic in March.

Regional News • Europe
European Union negotiates over new sanctions against Russia over Navalny poisoning

At a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, the foreign ministers agreed to begin the necessary preparations, as the German Press Agency learned from several diplomats.

Austria's foreign minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) confirmed on Monday that there was a "fundamental consensus" among EU countries to impose "sanctions against individuals directly connected with these chemical weapons" in the Navalny case. No details on possible concrete measures have been given so far. According to Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, the preparation of a sanctions list could take several more weeks.

Technology • Smartphones, Hardware & Gadgets
Survey: Every third person in Austria is afraid of 5G
Survey: Every third person in Austria is afraid of 5G
Credit: unsplash.com / Jeevan Katel

According to a survey by the online price comparison platform durchblicker.at 39 per cent of the surveyed people ones are against the establishment of 5G radio masts, as results from a questioning of 1.200 households in the second half of August. Ten percent are afraid of 5G, 26 percent are "a little bit" afraid of it. Two thirds of those who express concerns cannot give a concrete reason for their fears.

Technology • Internet & Web
Austria sees second wave of Covid-19, mandates masks in public indoor places
Austria sees second wave of Covid-19, mandates masks in public indoor places
Credit: Bundesministerium für Finanzen / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Austria has seen a rise in Covid-19 infections, reporting 869 cases on Saturday. Masks will be mandatory in most public indoor places from Monday on, including all stores, museums and government buildings. Events will be limited to 50 attendants indoors and 100 attendants outdoors if no fixed seating is available. Events with spaced seating will be limited to 1,500 attendants inside and 3,000 attendants outdoors.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said he expected that the stricter measures will stay in force "for a long time", and Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler said that the government wants to avoid a second lockdown.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austria triples expenditures for security of Jewish institutions

Instead of the current funding contract, the Austrian government plans on determining the funding for the security of Jewish institutions by law in the future.

In addition, it is planned that the founding will be more than tripled to around €4 million.

Regional News • Europe • Austria
Austria reports first Covid-19 cases in schools days after reopening
The Andersen Kindergarten in the Hügelpark in Hietzing, Vienna
The Andersen Kindergarten in the Hügelpark in Hietzing, Vienna Credit: Herzi Pinki (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

According to a spokesperson of the government "there are no major clusters at educational institutions" after three cases of Covid-19 have been reported in three different schools in Vienna and 13 cases at multiple kindergartens.

The classmates of the infected students now need to go into quarantine for ten days since their last contact with the infected person.