Today in Austria: A round-up of the latest news on Friday

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz
JOE KLAMAR / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Austria with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Traffic light commission wants to expand lockdown across more states of Austria

Austria’s traffic light commission has recommended expanding the lockdown in Vienna, Burgenland and Lower Austria to almost all other states.

All states other than Vorarlberg in Austria currently have a seven day incidence over 200 per 100,000 inhabitants, prompting the move.

MAPS: The numbers which show why eastern Austria will be locked down

Vorarlberg is the only state to remain orange despite the recent increase in the number of infections. Vienna has the highest number of infections (318.6). However the commission found Salzburg (299.6) was the worst affected state when it came to the risk-adjusted numbers of incidences, which factors in patient age.

The commission also noted “worrying developments” in Voralberg (66.7). The virus variants  now make up 58 percent of cases compared to 33 percent last week, Der Standard reports.  

EXPLAINED: How does Austria’s corona traffic light system work?

Tyrol border controls to be lifted? 

Germany is likely to lift border controls with Tyrol soon, according to the  Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper. The decision depends on the evaluation of the German Robert Koch Institute, it reports. “It cannot be ruled out that … the entry ban will be over from Sunday,” writes the newspaper.

Vaccination ‘has not reduced death rate’ yet in wider population

The vaccination effect which has reduced the death rate in old people’s and nursing homes has not yet reached the broader population, broadcaster ORF reports.

Figures from Health Austria (GÖG) reported by APA show, coronavirus deaths rose again last week – even in the most heavily vaccinated age group from 85.

More vaccines to help some EU countries catch up?

EU states have agreed on a compromise on vaccine distribution, with 10 million early vaccination doses to be distributed by the end of June. The extra doses are supposed to allow countries which have vaccinated fewer citizens to catch up.

However, the EU is undecided on how to divide up the extra doses, Der Standard reports. The move comes after a campaign by Austria, Bulgaria, Latvia, Slovenia, Croatia and the Czech Republic, all countries which did not  use all their allocation of Biontech/Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson, but relied heavily on AstraZeneca.

However, the German newspaper Der Spiegel says “seems rather unlikely” that Austria will receive more vaccine doses, as its vaccination campaign is not particularly behind.

Exit restrictions in place for Weiner Neustadt-Land and Neunkirchen

Exit controls began for two Lower Austrian districts at midnight on Thursday, meaning people will need to show a negative antigen or PCR test to leave the region. In both Wiener Neustadt-Land and Neunkirchen the seven day incidence value has been above 400 for days

Exit controls have been taking place in the town of Wiener Neustadt since 13th March. Wiener Neustadt-Land district has around 78,000 inhabitants and 35 communities, while the Neunkirchen district has more than 86,000 residents and 44 communities.

Suspicions data was sold on by counterterrorism official in Austria

In an exclusive report, Die Presse  newspaper says investigators found dozens of cell phones in the apartment of a BVT (Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counterterrorism) IT technician, some of them belonging to high-ranking employees of the Ministry of the Interior.

The technician is suspected of having read, passed on and sold the data. The public prosecutor’s office confirmed the investigation.


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