Widespread refusal of AstraZeneca vaccine, according to survey
A new survey by opinion pollster Peter Hajek suggests 73 percent of Austrians would refuse the AstraZeneca vaccine, amid doubts about the vaccine’s safety, the Kurier newspaper reports.
Around 31 percent would also refuse the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for similar reasons.
Around 27 percent consider it unlikely that they would get vaccinated against Covid-19 at all, with the willingness to get vaccinated is rising.
No more testing requirement for vaccinated people
Vaccinated people will no longer need access tests after Austria opens up on May 19th. Legislation will be passed to this effect by The National Council later today, broadcaster ORF reports.
The broadcaster reports exemption is expected to come three weeks after the first jab.
Over 50s can book vaccine appointments in Lower Austria
From today, people aged over 50 can register for a vaccine appointment in Lower Austria, broadcaster ORF reports. On Wednesday it will be the turn of everyone from the age of 40, and on Friday everyone from the age of 30. Next Monday, everyone over the age of 16 will be able to book an appointment.
Vienna and Lower Austria end hard lockdown
Vienna and Lower Austria have ended their hard lockdown on Monday, meaning the whole of Austria is under the same restrictions, with the exception of Vorarlberg, which has opened up restaurants and events.
The “hard” lockdown in Vienna and Lower Austria lasted more than a month. Now people in Vienna and Lower Austria can leave their homes without a reason and two households with a maximum of four adults can meet again.
Non-essential retail, hairdressers and other “body-hugging” services are also open again. Museums and zoos have opened up and there will be no outdoor mask requirement, broadcaster ORF reports.
Company vaccines begin
Around 10,000 companies in Vienna have started vaccinations against the coronavirus today due to a collaboration between the City of Vienna and the Vienna Chamber of Commerce.
The companies involved were able to register here, nominate a vaccination coordinator and assign their employees to five different risk categories.
First are employees at increased risk of infection such as hospital cleaning staff, and people forced to travel for work, then employees with contact with members of the public, such as supermarket staff.
Workers in offices without “structural protection” are next and last are people who are not at risk from their work, broadcaster ORF reports.
Seven day incidence at 154.5
The seven-day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 154.5 according to the AGES database. The number is still highest in Vorarlberg (235.4) and lowest in Burgenland (98.2).
Ibiza scandal inquiry continues
The parliamentary inquiry into the 2019 Ibiza scandal is set to continue this week, centering around corruption allegations against former deputy chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache and others, according to the Kronen Zeitung.
Public prosecutors have reportedly not analysed the 19,000 private chats between Strache and members of the FPO due to a lack of resources. The OVP party has criticised the delays in the investigation.
Slovakia PM to visit Vienna
Slovakia PM Heger is expected to visit Vienna on Tuesday to discuss bilateral relations with Austria as well as Austrian-Czech-Slovak relations, Die Presse reports.
The paper notes the main topic of contention between Heger and Austrian Chancellor Kurz is likely to be Austria’s desire to stop the construction of new nuclear power stations in neighbouring states.
Budget prospects ‘improving’ according to finance minister
Finance Minister Bluemel sees initial improvement in Austria’s state budget prospects, according to the Kronen Zeitung newspaper. Although revenue from tax and other sources is down 17 percent compared to the same time last year and state spending remains high due to COVID-19 aid programmes, Bluemel emphasised that consumption is rising, indicating increased consumer confidence.
ATX stock market showing upswing
Austrian stock market ATX has been showing steady improvement since November, despite the pandemic’s effects on the general economy Der Standard newspaper reports. The upswing was initially based on the promise of coronavirus vaccines but now increasingly driven by a desire for high-dividend shares in a low-interest market.