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TODAY IN AUSTRIA

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Monday

Find out what's going on in Austria on Monday with The Local's short roundup of today's news.

Mountain biking is becoming more popular Photo by ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP)
Mountain biking is becoming more popular. Photo by ALEXANDER KLEIN / AFP)

No testing in schools for vaccinated children

Vaccinated children will no longer have to be tested for Covid-19 this autumn, Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein has told the OE24 newspaper.

There are plans to vaccinate children aged 12 to 16 over the summer in Austria.

Show of harmony for Austria’s ruling coalition 

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) and Deputy Chancellor Werner  Kogler (Greens) showed coalition harmony in a joint press statement on Sunday, following significant coalition tensions over criticisms against the justice system by Kurz’s ÖVP, the Kurier and Kronen Zeitung newspapers report. As The Local reported on Sunday, during an interview with broadcaster ORF on June 6th, Kogler said  it was “unimaginable” that Kurz would continue in office if a current investigation against him for allegedly lying to the Ibiza inquiry were to result in a conviction. 

READ MORE: Unimaginable for Kurz to continue as Austria’s leader if convicted, says Vice Chancellor

Seven day incidence is 28

The seven-day incidence, or the number of new infections with the coronavirus in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants, is 28.4 according to the AGES database. With the exception of Vorarlberg (65.5), all federal states are below 50 – with Salzburg (15.6) and Burgenland (9.5) having the lowest values.

Chancellor Kurz vaccinated with AstraZeneca

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz received his vaccination on Friday. As he previously promised, he was given the AstraZenenca vaccine. 

Germany removes Austria from its coronavirus risk list

Germany has removed Austria from its coronavirus risk list, with the exception of Vorarlberg and Tyrol, Der Standard newspaper reports. The move ensures that those traveling from Austria to Germany will no longer need to quarantine or pre-register their travel plans. 

Quarantine rules dropped for vaccinated people in Vienna

Those who have been vaccinated and live in Vienna no longer have to be in quarantine for 14 days after close contact with someone infected with Covid-19 – broadcaster ORF reported on Saturday. The new rules also apply to those who can prove they were infected with the coronavirus in the past six months. 

Mountain bikers annoying hikers

The mountain bike boom and the rise in popularity of e-bikes is affecting hikers, according to the Saalfelden Alpine Club.

The hiking trail to the 1,750 meter high Peter Wiechenthaler Hut is now being used more often as a downhill bike route, club chairman Josef Straif, told broadcaster ORF, appealing to bikers to be more considerate.

Austrian President visits Pope and meets Italian President Mattarella

Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen is visiting Rome today and tomorrow. He will meet Pope Francis for talks about the climate crisis and the coronavirus pandemic, and will then be received by his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella.

The two will discuss the Western Balkans states. He will then meet with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and the South Tyrolean MPs, where he will discuss transit over the Brenner Pass, broadcaster ORF reports. 

Cost of building a home soars

The cost of constructing a family home has risen by 7.5 percent compared to 2020, according to Statistics Austria. This is due to the rising cost of construction materials Der Standard newspaper reports. 

Hotels are filling up in August

The Austrian National Tourist Office is reporting a holiday hotel occupancy rate of 70 percent for August, Die Presse newspaper reports. The tourist office has also noted that its post-pandemic campaign will be focusing on visitors from nearby countries, the newspaper added.

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TODAY IN AUSTRIA

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

Gas storage levels filling up, inflation at 10.5 percent, controversy with the Lobau Tunnel and more news from Austria on Friday.

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

Gas storage levels to reach 80 percent ‘soon’

Austria’s domestic gas storage systems are filling up, the head of E-Control, the country’s energy regulator, told ZiB. Carola Millgramm said the storage levels should be 80 percent full by October 1st.

This means that industry, as well as households, can count on enough natural gas for the winter.

The situation would have to be re-evaluated if gas deliveries were to be stopped completely. In general, though, Austria is “well prepared for winter”, a representative of the Austrian Energy Ministry told broadcaster ORF.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: How reliant is Austria on Russia for energy

Is this the end of the Lobau Tunnel?

Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) wants to bring down the Lobau Tunnel for good: “Just because something was worth considering 20 years ago doesn’t mean it’s still the right decision today”, she said.

The controversial project was created to ease traffic from the outskirts of Vienna (east of the Danube river) to the capital centre. However, the tunnel would go below protected green areas in the 22nd district, and environmentalists alerted to the dangers it could bring to the Lobau region.

Additionally, many people complained that creating more roads for cars was not the best way to deal with traffic – saying the government should focus on giving the population better public transport options instead.

But the project is polarised, with many, including leading party ÖVP, still in favour of it, claiming Vienna urgently needs efficient traffic relief.

READ ALSO: The best spots to recharge on the weekend in Vienna

Inflation estimated at 10.5 percent in September

The inflation rate for September 2022 is expected to be 10.5 percent, according to calculations by Statistics Austria, as part of a flash estimate. Compared to the previous month, consumer prices rose by 1.6 percent.

The inflation rate thus exceeds the values during the oil crises of the 1970s and rises to the highest level since July 1952, when it was 14.1 percent.

The main reason for the rise in consumer prices is substantial increases in household energy, which is also the most important driver of inflation in September. The second most important price driver is fuel prices, which remain at a high level. There were moderate price increases in food and restaurants.

READ ALSO: Reader question: I’ve received my Austrian Klimabonus as a voucher, now what?

Weather

Screenshot from ZAMG

Apart from a few clearings, abundant clouds will prevail and there will be intermittent rain, especially in the south. Still, there will also be some rain in the other regions, Austria’s meteorologic institute ZAMG said.

The snow line rises from 1900 to 2500m.

The wind will blow weakly to moderately from different directions. Daytime highs are between 12 and 17 degrees.

If you have any questions about life in Austria, ideas for articles or news tips for The Local, please get in touch with us at [email protected].

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