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What is the current situation regarding travel to Austria

 Poster: A snowHead
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I think there has been a big reliance on social distancing indoors, which clearly doesn't work. We've had a lot of cases at work. It's not open plan, it's all small offices, usually 3-6 people. This has been reduced to 2 or 3 people, but the reality is, if one person catches the virus, everyone in the same office will. Plus everyone in the same home, etc.
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@queenie pretty please, hope you are feeling better?
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@NickyJ, yes thanks, I'm on the mend.
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queenie pretty please wrote:
I think there has been a big reliance on social distancing indoors, which clearly doesn't work.

I think this is exactly right, and comes down to a failure in policy that's not really encouraged working from home where possible, and also that in the rural mountain areas, there probably aren't as many WFH type jobs. We'll see what comes out of the press conference later, but it looks like closing retail rolling eyes and schools (that one might actually be a win).

Glad you're feeling better. Are you allowed out again yet?
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@Scarlet, yes, the quarantine period ended on Thursday. I guess I'm going to be back in Kurzarbeit again. rolling eyes
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I dont think altitude differences come into it, certainly not for southern Bavaria, as it is very similar altitude to the non mountain parts of Tirol or Salzburgerland. As to the various restrictions they have been pretty much the same. Maybe in August you didnt have to wear masks in petrol stations in Austria but that is a good while ago. Right up to the moment the bars had to close the local village pub kept the tables the same distance apart as normal only difference was wearing a mask to walk the 5m from the front door to the table.
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Austria is moving from a night curfew and partial shutdown to a second national lockdown that will be in place for at least two and a half weeks
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Does anyone have a link for some decent Austrian national data (preferably from Austria)? The dashboard I have has had all the useful info removed. I have one for Tirol.
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Info about the new Austrian lockdown in English.

https://www.wien.info/en/travel-info/coronavirus-information
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@Scarlet This EU site has data for all EU countries. The graphs are a bit strange, for they don't have notated axes but if you click on the curve it shows data for the day selected.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control - ECDC also has data on various countries in tabular form.
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@Scarlet, these are my two go to sites https://www.diepresse.com/ https://www.sn.at/salzburg/chronik/ , sorry missed the data bit!!


Last edited by snowHeads are a friendly bunch. on Sat 14-11-20 20:32; edited 1 time in total
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Scarlet wrote:
Does anyone have a link for some decent Austrian national data (preferably from Austria)? The dashboard I have has had all the useful info removed. I have one for Tirol.


[url=https://www.sozialministerium.at/Informationen-zum-Coronavirus/Neuartiges-Coronavirus-(2019-nCov).html]This from the sozialministerium[/url]might be what you're after?

https://www.sozialministerium.at/Informationen-zum-Coronavirus/Neuartiges-Coronavirus-(2019-nCov).html

Edit: they have the brackets in the url which doesn't seem to be liked on the url here Confused


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Sat 14-11-20 20:35; edited 3 times in total
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@Scarlet, https://npgeo-corona-npgeo-de.hub.arcgis.com/app/fd4701f7653543d4afdccd2a386e639b
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
radar wrote:
@Sitter, just tweaked your link

https://www.sozialministerium.at/Informationen-zum-Coronavirus/Neuartiges-Coronavirus-(2019-nCov).html



Doesn't like the brackets on the link, been trying to tweak it for a bit!
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@Sitter, indeed grr
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@Scarlet, this the landing page which then enables you to get to the page that @Sitter, mentioned

https://www.sozialministerium.at/Informationen-zum-Coronavirus.html
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Thanks everyone. A strong effort, despite the shockingly poor quality of information available. Who designs this stuff?! It’s awful. I think the Salzburger Nachrichten is doing best, but it’s a low bar Confused

AGES have removed their graphs, making it next to useless, the SM doesn’t load on an iPad and the EU site is illegible! It also shows in stark relief the utter uselessness of the traffic light system once regions got above the red limit, which was some weeks ago!

If this is the best anyone can do, it’s little wonder the country is stabbing around in the dark, hoping for a way out of this situation to present itself.
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@Scarlet, here are some global sites

John Hopkins University, you can drill down to Austria https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

This shows various trends infection rates, deaths, infection rates against other diseases
https://informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/covid-19-coronavirus-infographic-datapack/

UK and EU
https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/cases-2019-ncov-eueea

last seven days across Europe
https://www.statista.com/statistics/1139048/coronavirus-case-rates-in-the-past-7-days-in-europe-by-country/

Hope that gives you more.
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@Scarlet, yes the latest iteration of the npgeo site for Austria is pretty useless, quite why it needed to be changed who knows. This version shows the 14 day rate for all countries in the WHO European region https://npgeo-corona-npgeo-de.hub.arcgis.com/app/e6acbf22cc4f4b85949f59734244ba71 there is a graph in the bottom right corner which will reflect whichever country you select on the left hand side. As you will see Austria is not far off the top of the list and the rate still seems to be increasing sharply unlike many other countries.

There is also a npgeo site just for the Tirol which des have graphs https://covid-19-drp-austria.hub.arcgis.com/app/d225672c788d4847b231f1283d63aead and also Vorarlberg https://covid-19-drp-austria.hub.arcgis.com/app/ffe90c7ec3f540b1b1d30a4fdef6fd00
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@radar, Thanks, those are a bit better presented. I just want to be able to see a clear picture of what the current situation is.

@munich_irish, The npgeo site was passed between govt agencies for some reason, went offline for a bit, and then reemerged crapper than ever Confused I have no idea why, as it used to be quite good, if a little delayed. The WHO link seems to have some of the same info that it used to show though, so that's good, at least. I still use that Tirol one, although its a bit buggy and the numbers often don't add up, so I don't have total confidence, but it's ok for an overall picture locally.

The situation in Tirol looks slightly better than nationally, in the sense that the infection rate appears to be stabilising. Still not sure why. I did notice that churches are still excluded from the regulations and allowed to continue – do some regions have higher attendance than others?
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@Scarlet, Land Salzburg has dashboards with current status in all Gemeinden:

https://www.salzburg.gv.at/api5/datalinq/report/kribe@offentlichuebersicht@offentlichuebersicht

Does Tirol have something similar?
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@queenie pretty please, yes it does – posted above by munich_irish.
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@Scarlet, oh yes, you have graphs. We just have somewhat alarming numbers.
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@queenie pretty please, thanks for the link. Interesting numbers around Salzburgland.
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@queenie pretty please, Yes, and I think the graphs are vital to make sense of the numbers. I'm sure I've seen a board like that for Salzburg, but I can't find it now. The Salzburg Nachrichten seems to have the best data display at the moment.
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@Scarlet, what’s the thinking locally regards the potential for winter sports this winter? The situation there seems to be worsening and with a short sharp lockdown perhaps they’ll try open up for the festive season and then go into another lockdown January? We’ve got 2 weeks provisionally booked mid January in Vorarlberg and can’t see that happening so about to cancel. Another week mid March in Anton but by then perhaps whilst we may be able to travel the season may be done and many places not opened at all.

Anyone’s guess I suppose but what are Kurz and his government saying? They seemed to lead the shutdown last season, and whilst I know local governments are pretty autonomous the pandemic response presumably is managed from Wien?

Thinking we’ll have to bin any plans as it stands, just wondered if anything had been said in the press/ thoughts on social media etc?
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@Markymark29, the ski areas here are planning to open in mid/late December. Whether the UK takes Austria off the quarantine list is another matter. Reopening the economy is a priority here. But with intensive care beds around half full or worse in some areas the accouncement of a full lockdown until early December seems a wise move.

I will certainly be skiing as soon as the lifts open.
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@Markymark29, personally, I haven't really seen anything about winter sports – the govt is a rabbit in the headlights rolling eyes but Tirol won't open unless the situation improves, and there's a long way to go. I'd probably cancel if you're on a deadline, and rebook last minute if it looks possible. I don't think you'll have too much trouble finding somewhere to stay. Same with March – may as well keep the booking if it makes sense financially, and see how things go.

Scaring people about the virus doesn't work anymore, so there are numerous explainers about what triage is, either because a population used to well-funded healthcare has no concept of triage, or because it is seen as a good scare tactic.
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@Scarlet, thanks, no pressure really just wondered what’s the word locally. No travel booked, as you say accommodation will be readily available. Can’t realistically see it this season for us, unless end season week. Don’t want to have the same hassle as last season also.

@queenie pretty please, Yep, if we were out there we’d be on the lifts too, it’s the logistics that’s the issue not the skiing.
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Markymark29 wrote:
Don’t want to have the same hassle as last season also.

Now that is something I don't think you'd have to worry about. The condemnation and fall out from that utter sh*tshow is loud enough that I don't think it would happen again. Also, there's no surprise coming this winter. The govt are currently in a mess, but the restrictions have been very calmly implemented, even if they don't seem to be having much effect. I can see why it might make you nervous though – I wouldn't want to be in that situation twice either.
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Bloomberg today

Austria will take a cue from neighboring Slovakia’s mass-testing of the entire population for the coronavirus, slating the program for December, its chancellor said.
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I don't feel that the government is in a mess, but I do feel that the desire to keep the economy going and hoping that people do the right thing was a little over-optimistic. There's a huge reluctance to working from home, and an overall feeling that the low death rate in Austria means that the virus itself is not something to be overtly worried about. The lockdown is a reluctant response to this, the government were genuinely hoping that 'lockdown light' would have had more of an impact.
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Here's a write-up on that ^ https://www.tt.com/artikel/30763035/es-hilft-nichts-kurz-verteidigt-harten-lockdown-und-kuendigt-massentests-an

Sounds a bit moonshoty to me. We shall see.
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I think the challenge for Austria, and it has been said here a number of times - is to how to make this work. How to open, and not become... well, Ischgl again. I think regular/spot testing is a good idea, and I know some people are against testing on arrival - but if it allows for all of us to be a bit more at ease, and a bit safer, the risk of some negatives is not as bad as spreading it around.

That being said, I look forward to skiing. Whatever last minute thing we might be able to do this season.
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Heard on the radio that Austria is calling out for help from recently (within last 2 years) retired doctors to help out in the hospitals.
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queenie pretty please wrote:
I don't feel that the government is in a mess, but I do feel that the desire to keep the economy going and hoping that people do the right thing was a little over-optimistic. There's a huge reluctance to working from home, and an overall feeling that the low death rate in Austria means that the virus itself is not something to be overtly worried about. The lockdown is a reluctant response to this, the government were genuinely hoping that 'lockdown light' would have had more of an impact.


+1

I think the government response has generally been pretty decent overall, certainly better than much of the rest of Europe, and I can't agree with a few of Scarlet's recent comments on that front tbh.

Markymark29 wrote:
what’s the thinking locally regards the potential for winter sports this winter?


Last semi-official word I had on that (a couple of weeks ago) is that resorts are continuing with plans and preparations (snow making is not on the agenda currently given the weather, but for example helicoptering cannons into place and so on) for mid December. Re. rumours and public sentiment, most people seem to think they can't not open resorts for Christmas/NYE - Austria is a much smaller country than France and the economy is too dependent on winter tourism - but also wouldn't be surprised if there is then another lockdown in January before the more important holiday dates in Feb.

I probably would cancel your bookings, then re-book at the last minute as and when (or if) travel is possible though.
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It does seem as if Austria is going to go down the route of mass testing. Have to agree with @Scarlet, about an element of straw grasping going on. If it works great but so far the evidence is pretty patchy especially as the quick tests are known to be far less reliable than the PCR type. I guess it is worth trying though even an optimistic outcome would only be a significant reduction in the general level of virus.
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@munich_irish, Afaik, Austria developed it's own cheap mass test system a few months ago, and there was lots of talk at the time about it being rolled out in schools etc. I'm not sure if this was actually done, or to what extent though, but would imagine if there was a reasonable volume they should have some data on the accuracy. It would also be interesting to see the infection rate from a mass test compared to the current system – if it is recorded that 1-2% of people are infected, how many are being missed?

I read an article last week about the inaccuracy of one of the UK mass tests (Liverpool?), with it only catching 50% of positives. That sounds bad, but I don't know what level would be considered acceptable, or also how well the Slovakian experiment went.
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@Scarlet,

50% is better than nothing - especially when so many people (70%) are asymptomatic or only have minor symptoms, but still carrying & spreading.
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Quote:

Last semi-official word I had on that (a couple of weeks ago) is that resorts are continuing with plans and preparations (snow making is not on the agenda currently given the weather, but for example helicoptering cannons into place and so on) for mid December. Re. rumours and public sentiment, most people seem to think they can't not open resorts for Christmas/NYE - Austria is a much smaller country than France and the economy is too dependent on winter tourism - but also wouldn't be surprised if there is then another lockdown in January before the more important holiday dates in Feb.


I'm curious about this one: it looks like Arlberg and Ischgl have made it plenty clear that nothing will happen before the 17th. Initially I expected that more resorts would indicate the same, but it looks it's only those two (fair, I don't follow ALL of them but the majority of the known ones). Wouldn't it be safer for everyone (both from health and money perspective) to make it clear that it's gonna start later, or are they playing it a bit by ear?
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