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

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

A sign in German with 'summer tyres' crossed out and replaced by 'winter tyres' Image by Pixaline from Pixabay
A sign in German with 'summer tyres' crossed out and replaced by 'winter tyres' Image by Pixaline from Pixabay

New Covid rules start today

From Monday, November 1st, Austria will put in place new Covid rules aimed at halting the spread of the virus and encouraging vaccinations. 

Starting from November 1st, anyone who cannot rule out coming into contact with other people at their workplace will need to show proof of 3G (vaccination, recovery or negative test) in order to enter.

Employees in hospitals, nursing homes and care homes for the elderly will still need to wear face masks in addition to providing proof of 3G. The same applies to visitors. 

EXPLAINED: How will Austria’s Covid rules change in November?

But in other workplaces, employees who show proof of 3G will no longer need to wear masks. This means that staff in supermarkets for example will not need to wear them, and the change is made possible by the 3G requirement in workplaces.

There will also be a range of other changes to Covid measures put in place later in November, which we’ve outlined here. 

EXPLAINED: Everything that changes in Austria in November 2021

Vienna to roll out booster shots from Tuesday

Vienna will start administering booster jabs for Covid from November 2nd onwards. 

So far, Vienna has administered 50,000 booster vaccinations to people in risk groups, but the vaccinations will now be open to all. 

“Everyone is called upon to pick up the third jab, only then can we safely get through the pandemic,” mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ) said on Monday. 

READ MORE: How do I get my Covid booster shot in Austria?

Job vacancy numbers higher than before the pandemic

There are more than 139,000 job vacancies in Austria, which is seven percent higher than before the crisis and amounts to the highest figures since 2009. 

Strong underlying economic conditions as the country rebounds from the pandemic – four percent GDP growth predicted for 2021 and five percent in 2022 – are facilitating the increase in vacancies, while similarly strong conditions abroad has meant a decrease in the number of cross-border commuters and foreign workers heading to Austria. 

According to Statistics Austria, who put together the findings, there are vacancies throughout the retail sector in Austria. 

Retailer Sport 2000 is looking for 300 new staff, with 60 English-speaking positions, reports Austria’s Kronen Zeitung. 

A comprehensive list of job vacancy areas can be seen at the following link. 

Winter tyre season starts today

As of November 1st, winter tyres are compulsory on Austrian roads during snowy, icy or wintry conditions. 

This rule is in place until April 15th. 

READ MORE: Why winter tyres could be more expensive in Austria this year

Austria to send out letters to all unvaccinated

Anyone who has not yet received a Covid vaccination before November 1st will be sent a letter from the Austrian government encouraging them to get the jab. 

The letter will inform them about the risk of seriously contracting the virus, as well as showing where they are able to get the vaccination. 

Only 62 percent of Austrians are fully vaccinated against Covid, which is below the European average and well short of the percentage needed to reach herd immunity. 

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HEALTH

Reader question: How can foreign doctors practise medicine in Austria?

If you are a doctor moving to Austria, there are a few legal requirements you need to follow before starting your medical practice. Here is what you should know.

Reader question: How can foreign doctors practise medicine in Austria?

Medical doctors are in high demand all over the world, especially as the coronavirus pandemic showed us how much we are short-staffed in the health sector.

In Austria, it’s no different, and the federal government has already announced several measures to attract people to its health sector in the future.

READ ALSO: More pay and longer holidays: How Austria hopes to attract 75,000 new nurses

Among the measures are changes to its Red-White-Red residence permits, those that, for example, allow workers, including in shortage occupations, to immigrate to Austria on a work visa.

Things will get easier for many IT employees, engineers, and tourist sector workers, but in some sectors, including the health one, there are a few more hurdles before starting working.

READ ALSO: How Austria is making it easier for non-EU workers to get residence permits

When it comes to medical activities, even European citizens who already have a right to live and work in Austria might need to go through a process to get their education certified and valid to start a medical practice in the country.

The process will depend primarily on where your training has taken place and what type of medical activity you intend on doing. All details can be found on the Austrian Medical Association (Österreische Ärztekammer).

General requirements for medical practice

In order to take up a medical practice in Austria, every physician (doctor, specialist, or general practitioner) needs to register with the Ärztekammer and meet the general legal requirements.

These include having full legal capacity concerning professional practice, good character and reputation required for fulfilling professional duties, fitness to practice needed for completing professional responsibilities, sufficient knowledge of the German language and legal residence giving access to the labour market.

READ ALSO: Everything foreigners need to know about the Austrian healthcare system

There are also specific requirements that need to be met depending on where your training took place.

Training took place within the EEA or in Switzerland

In this case, the process tends to be a bit easier, and you need to provide evidence of your basic medical training and any specific or specialist training you might have. For that, a diploma for medical study issued by an EEA member state of Switzerland will work.

You can check whether your documents are eligible for automatic recognition in Austria by emailing the Austrian Medical Association at [email protected].

Medical training outside the EEA (but recognised)

If you have had medical training outside of the EEA or Switzerland, but your training has been recognised by one of these states, the rules are also a bit different. You must show evidence of the medical activity and proof of its recognition.

Additionally, you must be authorised to independent medical practice in the country that recognised your education and has at least three years of actual and lawful professional experience in that country to have your training recognised through a non-automatic recognition of third country diplomas process.

You need to contact the International Affairs Team of the Austrian Medical Association ([email protected]) to get more information.

Medical training done in a third country

If you have completed your medical training in a third country and do not fulfil the requirements for a non-automatic recognition (above), you must first have your university degree recognised as equivalent by an Austrian university.

This process is known as Nostrifizierung.

In Austria, the Nostrifizierung procedure is done by the medical universities (Vienna, Graz or Innsbruck) with similar processes. In Vienna, you need to submit an application form, an education history for the comparison between the Curriculum taken and the one offered in Austria, and a possible “random test”.

Among the documents to be submitted in the application process is proof that you have a B2 level of German, a document from the Ärztekammer that you are required to go through the Nostrifizierung process and a confirmation that you paid the €150 fee. You can find a list of all documents you’ll need to submit here.

READ ALSO: Six things to know about visiting a doctor in Austria

The universities will then “investigate” if your education is equivalent to the one offered in Austria. The first step is a curriculum comparison (checking for both content and hours of classes), but they may also carry out a “random test” in some cases.

The test will be in German, but the participants selected will be allowed to use a language dictionary – the test results are only a part of the nostrification process and help the universities assess if the candidate’s training is equivalent to an Austrian one.

After you go through the recognition processes (Nostrifizierung), you can register with the Austrian Medical Chamber.

Registration with the Austrian Medical Association

Before starting medical practice in Austria, every person needs to register with the Austrian Medical Chamber. For this, they will need to send documents including proof of nationality, proof of lawful residence, a certificate of good standing from countries where they have practised medicine for more than six months within the last five years, a criminal record certificate, medical certificate (confirming physical and mental fitness to practice the medical profession) and more.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the Austrian healthcare system works

The application for registration has to be filed with the Austrian Medical Chamber.

The Medical Chamber of the respective province where you plan to exercise the medical profession is available to further assist with this. You can arrange a meeting with them to clarify general questions about the process.

Here you can find more information.

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