Austria hits two-month low in virus cases as country reopens

Dec 20, 2021, 7:09 AM | Updated: Dec 21, 2021, 1:02 am

VIENNA (AP) — Austria reported fewer than 2,000 new coronavirus cases, the lowest number since October, as the last few regions in the country reopened restaurants and hotels on Monday.

Austria saw 1,792 new infections n 24 hours, down from daily highs of around 13,000 daily cases in late November — a trend that stands in contrast to rising cases across much of Europe.

In response to a major surge of infections, the small Alpine nation went into a 20-day lockdown on Nov. 22. National lockdown restrictions were lifted for vaccinated people on Dec. 12, but remain in place for unvaccinated people.

Since Dec. 12, each of Austria’s nine states has set its own policy regarding reopening: In some states, restaurants and hotels reopened immediately, while in others they remained closed a few days longer.

The capital, Vienna, opted to open shops and Christmas markets last week, but kept restaurants and hotels closed until Monday.

The latest case numbers show the benefit of the lockdown, especially as the omicron variant has led to rising cases elsewhere across Europe. Austria’s seven-day rate of new infections now stands at 215 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared with a high of 1,100 per 100,000 late last month.

In addition, the number of patients in intensive care units has also dropped, although more slowly than the case numbers. There are 475 people being treated in ICUs, down from a high of 664 in early December.

As the country reopens domestically, Austrian officials have introduced stricter travel restrictions for those entering from abroad, to slow the spread of the omicron variant.

Starting early Monday, travelers to Austria must show proof of either vaccination or recovery to enter the country. In addition, two doses of vaccine is no longer considered sufficient for entry: Travelers must either show proof of a third dose or a PCR test.

Austrian citizens, residents and European Union citizens can still enter without proof of vaccination or recovery, but face a mandatory 10-day quarantine on arrival.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - This photo provided by the Arizona Governor's Office shows shipping containers that will be ...
Associated Press

Illegal border crossings fall in July but remain high

Migrants were stopped fewer times at the U.S. border with Mexico in July than in June, authorities said Monday, a second straight monthly decline.
9 hours ago
FILE - This April 24, 2019 photo shows photographs of descendants of enslaved people who were sold ...
Associated Press

Lag in slavery reparations from US Jesuits irks descendants

Last year, the U.S. branch of the Jesuits pledged to raise $100 million for a reconciliation initiative in partnership with descendants of people once enslaved by the Catholic order. On Tuesday, a leader of those descendants expressed deep dissatisfaction with the order’s lack of progress since then. Joseph Stewart, in a publicly released letter to […]
9 hours ago
FILE - Isabel Leclercq, right, the mother of missing traveler Yann Bourdon in Egypt holds a picture...
Associated Press

French backpacker missing in Egypt for a year back in Paris

PARIS (AP) — A French backpacker who had gone missing in Egypt a year ago has safely returned home to Paris, a lawyer representing his family said on Tuesday. It’s not clear what happened over the past year to Yann Bourdon, whose family had speculated that he might have been detained by Egyptian security services. […]
9 hours ago
Missouri state Rep. Rasheen Aldridge leads a media event and rally outside the new Homer G. Phillip...
Associated Press

Honor or cultural appropriation? Hospital name spurs debate

ST. LOUIS (AP) — While segregation was still casting its ugly shadow over the U.S., the Homer G. Phillips Hospital was providing top-notch medical care to a predominantly African American part of St. Louis and training some of the world’s best Black doctors and nurses. The 660-bed hospital closed 43 years ago, but the facility […]
9 hours ago
FILE - Kim M. Smith, leader of the Utah Deaf Hospital Rights movement and president of the Utah Ass...
Associated Press

Over-the-counter hearing aids expected this fall in US

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of Americans will be able to buy hearing aids without a prescription later this fall, under a long-awaited rule finalized Tuesday. The Food and Drug Administration said the new regulation cuts red tape by creating a new class of hearing aids that don’t require a medical exam, a prescription and other […]
9 hours ago
FILE - President Joe Biden looks at his grandson Beau Biden as first lady Jill Biden waves and walk...
Associated Press

Jill Biden tests positive for COVID-19, has ‘mild’ symptoms

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — First lady Jill Biden tested positive for COVID-19 and was experiencing “mild symptoms,” the White House announced Tuesday. President Joe Biden continues to test negative after recently recovering from the virus but will wear a mask indoors for 10 days as a precaution. The Bidens have been vacationing in South […]
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
Austria hits two-month low in virus cases as country reopens