Overview of the Covid-19 situation in Austria
As of December 28th the 7-day incidence rate (new infections per 100,000 people) was 166.9. Vorarlberg (262.3) has the highest incidence, followed by Tyrol (256.4), while Upper Austria (124.2) and Burgenland (129.4) have the lowest rates.
A total of 36,641 people in Austria are currently positive for Covid-19 as of December 28th, with 826 people being treated for the disease in hospital outside ICUs, according to AGES. An additional 383 Covid patients are currently in intensive care.
A total of 6,597,388 people (73.86 percent of the total population) have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, according to the Health Ministry, and 6,290,865 (70.43 percent) have a valid vaccine pass as of December 27th.
Wednesday, December 22nd
Please note: We will be signing off this blog for the holiday season and returning on January 3rd. We will still be covering the news in Austria, so please sign up to The Local’s newsletter to keep receiving the latest updates.
The good news for today is that Austria has reached a 70 percent rate of full vaccination. That brings it above the EU average and the UK, though it has required a widespread 2G rule, lockdown for unvaccinated people, a planned vaccine mandate and early offering of vaccines to under-12s to reach this rate.
Four new countries have been added to Austria’s virus variant list, making travel to Austria harder. They are: Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and the UK. Read more about the rule change here.
And other changes were announced in response to the Omicron spread, namely a 10pm curfew for gastronomy including on New Year’s Eve, and tighter restrictions on events. You can catch up on that rule change here.
The Austrian Hotel Association (ÖHV) reports there has been a wave of cancellations after Austria on Monday began requiring travellers to show a negative PCR test in addition to 2G proof unless they had received a vaccine booster.
Austria’s regions have announced plans to expand testing options over the holidays, including in Salzburg which has reversed a recent plan to close test sites for five days over Christmas.
Tuesday, December 21st
By the end of November, more than half (55 percent) of schoolchildren aged over 12 in Austria had either received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine or one dose in addition to recovery, data published by Statistics Austria shows. For children between five and 11 years old, vaccination was not approved until the end of November, so there is no nationwide data on this yet.
A Covid meeting tomorrow between national and regional leaders and scientific experts will focus on the risk posed by the Omicron variant.
Omicron cases in Vienna have roughly tripled in just four days to reach 266, according to the latest figures shared by city authorities.
According to a report in the Tiroler Tageszeitung, Austria is planning to add the UK, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands to the list of virus variant areas from Friday. This would mean that travel from these countries is only permitted for certain purposes (Austrian residents would be allowed to travel) and a pre-travel clearance form and quarantine would be needed in most cases. The reports have not been confirmed by the Ministry of Health.
Monday, December 20th
As of today, only travellers with proof of 2G (vaccination or recovery) will be allowed to enter Austria, and in addition, people who have not received three doses of the vaccine will need to either show a negative PCR test on entry or self-isolate on arrival until they can show a negative PCR test result. Read more on the new travel rules by clicking here.
Vienna becomes the final Austrian region to remove lockdown rules today as restaurants and hotels re-open.
People who have had contact with someone suspected of having the Omicron variant can now end their quarantine after five days with a negative PCR test; otherwise, they must quarantine for a full ten days.
How does Austria compare to its neighbours?
The chart below from Our World in Data shows how the number of reported daily Covid cases in Austria compares to those in neighbouring countries.
Note that case numbers depend on rates of testing as well as the prevalence of the virus, so this is not necessarily a true comparison of the spread of the virus in each country.
Do you have a question about Covid-19 in Austria? Contact our editorial team at [email protected] and they will get back to you and do their best to help.