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

Today in Austria: A round-up of the latest news on Thursday
Christof STACHE / AFP
Find out what's going on today in Austria with The Local's short roundup of the news. 

Lockdown begins

A strict lockdown has begun in Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland and will last until 11th April, rather than 6th April as originally planned.

Vienna has introduced a mask requirement in busy parts of the city

EXPLAINED: What is allowed in eastern Austria during the hard lockdown over Easter

AstraZeneca vaccination to continue for all age groups

Austria’s National Vaccination Committee has decided to continue using the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine without restrictions following discussions on Thursday evening, ORF reports, although Germany has restricted its use to people aged 60 and over.

READ MORE: Austria to ‘continue to give AstraZeneca to under 60s’

The European Medical Agency has said it does not see any age-specific risks with the coronavirus vaccine. 

Austria on Wednesday announced it is in the process of purchasing Russia’s Sputnik vaccine, with a deal for one million doses to be done as early as next week

Exit controls loom for districts in Lower and Upper Austria

The Scheibbs district in Lower Austria is expected to stay at a seven day incidence of  400 today. This means that exit controls would come into force from tomorrow, Good Friday.

Preparations are already underway with the authorities and emergency services. In Upper Austria the Covid infection rate is also above 400 in the district of Braunau, broadcaster ORF reports. 

Vorarlberg goes red according to the Traffic Light Commission

Austria’s traffic light commission has now assessed the risk situation for coronavirus as very high for the whole of Austria and says every state should now be coloured red to indicate high risk, including Vorarlberg.

The decision was made due to the high numbers in intensive care and because the British variant of the coronavirus is now dominant in all Austrian states, broadcaster ORF reports.

Vorarlberg is the only state in Austria to open its restaurants and to start events, due to its low rates of infection.

EXPLAINED: How does Austria’s Traffic Light system work? 

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