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COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Carinthia: Current Info & FAQ

Stefanie Kaiser & Nessa Dertnig

Author
2020-03-13

Coronavirus Info Hub with relevant data collected from different online sources

Last updated: 04/07/2020, 9:45 a.m.

In this post you can find information about the current situation regarding COVID-19 in Austria, and specifically in Villach and Carinthia. Answers to the most important questions are also provided for you here. 

We aim to give you an overview with information collected from different sources. Due to the rapidly changing situation, we recommend that you check out the links provided in the text for more detailed and up-to-date information. Please be aware that there is a lot of fake news spreading right now on social media! Remember to stay calm and keep yourself informed through official sites and trusted media sources.

If you need information in any other language than English, you can download basic info sheets in 11 different languages at www.integrationsfond.at.

You can also check your risk of being infected by answering an online questionnaire provided by the City of Bern. 

A new and free information service provided by the World Health Organization gives you 24/7 access to official and trustworthy information on your mobile phone via WhatsApp. This super simple system can help you learn more about COVID-19 and current infection rates, how to protect yourself, and get answers to FAQs. 

Current leaflets from the city of Villach

Latest information

CONFIRMED CORONAVIRUS CASES (04/08/2020, 8:20 a.m.):

12,675 in Austria (243 deaths / 4,046 recovered) | 341 in Carinthia - Please keep in mind that these are only the reported cases - recent studies (German or English) have shown that there are vastly more cases that go unreported, but which are still fueling the pandemic.

RECENT UPDATES | REGIONAL:

Here you can find the newest information regarding COVID-19 in Villach/Carinthia. For general information please have a look at the section “What is the situation in Villach?”

Protective Measures and Restrictions:

  • Villach’s municipal authorities are reducing their services from April 6th-14th, and only system-relevant departments will remain open. Requests can be sent to the email address service@villach.at. Also, the citizens’ service (Bürgerservice) remains open for matters which cannot be postponed (Mon - Fri 8 a.m.-12 p.m. & Mon-Thu 1-4 p.m.) (04/02/2020)
  • UPDATE (04/02/2020): Starting on April 3rd it will be forbidden to enter the grilling area Auen/Gail due to the restrictions on gatherings 

Supportive Measures - #WirHaltenZusammen:

  • The City of Villach has created a combined application form for collection of taxes (Abgabenerhebung), installment payments (Ratenzahlung) and deferments of payments (Stundung) in order to unbureaucratically support businesses and companies that face delays in payments and liquidity shortages. It is only valid for due dates starting on March 1st and applies to people who can prove that their liquidity shortage is due to the Corona crisis.

RECENT UPDATES | NATIONAL:

Here you can find the newest information regarding COVID-19 in Austria. For general information please have a look at the corresponding section in the FAQ part of the page.

Protective Measures and Restrictions:

  • UPDATE (04/07/2020): The province-wide quarantine in Tyrol has ended, and only the Paznauntal, von St. Anton am Arlberg, and Sölden remain under quarantine
  • UPDATE (04/06/2020): The protective measures put in place by the federal government have proven to be effective, according to the newest numbers of infection rates. Still, Kurz and his administration have called on everyone to continue to abide by the restrictions and to do without bigger private Easter celebrations this year! After Easter a controlled and step-by-step reopening of shops, as well as easing of the protective measures, will follow:
    • The general ban on going out will be effective at least until the end of April! The announcement on April 3rd which allowed indoor gatherings of less than 5 people who don’t live in the same household has been rescinded! Also, accompanying measures, like the protection of vulnerable groups and wearing of masks, will be intensified. Starting Monday, April 13th, masks will be obligatory in public transportation as well as in shops, and violators will be fined.
    • Starting on Tuesday, April 14th, small shops (less than 400 m²) that don’t have a lot of customer contact, as well as building supply and gardening centers, will reopen under strict safety regulations (limited number of visitors, obligatory hygiene regulations, and wearing of masks, etc.)
    • Bundesgärten will reopen on April 14th
    • Starting on Friday, May 1st, all shops, shopping centers, and hairdressers can reopen
    • Hotels and food service establishments will reopen gradually, at the earliest in the middle of May!
    • Homeschooling will be prolonged until at least the middle of May.
    • Universities and universities of applied science (FHs) will continue distance learning for the rest of the term
    • Final apprenticeship examinations and the Matura will take place under specific safety measures, which will be announced sometime during the week of April 6th.
    • Events are banned until at least the end of June.
    • Further decisions regarding the ban on going out, the reopening of schools, food service and hotels, as well as the organization of events, will be announced at the end of April. More information regarding education, sport, culture, events and freedom to travel will be announced in further press conferences during the week of April 6th.
  • The quarantine has ended in Vorarlberg’s Arlberg (Lech-Zürs, Schröcken, Warth and Klösterle/Stuben) as well as parts of Nenzing (Nezing-Dorf and Beschling) (04/03/2020)
  • It is now allowed to pick up pre-ordered food at a restaurant as long as the transaction remains contactless (04/03/2020)
  • Universities and universities of applied science (FH) have extended distance learning to April 30th (04/03/2020)
  • Starting April 13th, PIN-free contactless payment for amounts up to €50 will be introduced (04/02/2020)
  • The use of protective masks when in public places will be mandatory starting on April 6th (03/31/2020)
  • Additional protective measures have been announced by the Government (03/30/2020):
    • It is expected that beginning Wednesday, April 1st, supermarkets will hand out protective masks, and you may only go into the supermarket with this mask on (you can also use one you’ve made or bought elsewhere). These masks will NOT fully protect you from getting the virus from people not wearing masks, but will help stop you from spreading it to others (you may have it and not know it!). The government’s goal is that eventually these masks must be used in every situation where social contact outside your home takes place. This measure does NOT replace social distancing, which must still happen!
    • The existing protective measures will also be increased:
      • Additional measures, information, and support for vulnerable groups will be set. Elderly people and those with preexisting conditions who are more at risk of getting the Coronavirus must now either work from home or be granted a leave of absence from their job. These costs will be reimbursed by the state.
      • To help facilitate people keeping distance from each other in supermarkets, floor markings will be put in place. In addition, stores will limit how many people are in the store at once, in order to ensure that everyone can remain far enough away from each other!
      • The touristic use of all hotels, pensions, AirBnBs, etc, will be stopped.
      • Protection of hospitals will be increased by entry barriers, visitor regulations, the expansion of testing (e.g. target group testing), and the usage of masks for health care workers, etc.
    • Compliance with these measures will be strictly enforced by increased police presence, and you will be fined for non-compliance.
  • Quarantines:
    • Tyrol: Paznauntal, St. Anton am Arlberg, and Sölden
    • Salzburg: Flachau, Gasteinertal (Bad Gastein, Bad Hofgastein, Dorfgastein), Großarltal (Großarl, Hüttschlag). Also, Altenmarkt (Pongau), Zell am See and Saalbach (both Pinzgau) are now under quarantine! (until April 13th)

Transportation & Travel Restrictions:

For general information please have a look at the section “Are there restrictions on entering and leaving Carinthia and/or Austria?”

Financial Support:

  • UPDATE (04/01/2020): The “Härtefallfond” (serious hardship fund) for sole proprietor businesses and small business owners was raised to €2 billion

Other Actions:

  • UPDATE (04/02/2020): Renter Protection: People who can’t afford to pay their housing rent due to the corona crisis are safe from eviction or cancellation of the housing contract. This applies to the period from April 1st till June 30th. Renters will have until December 31st to pay their back rent.

Current Situation

The risk of severe disease associated with COVID-19 infection for people in the EU/EEA is currently considered moderate for the general population and high for older adults and individuals with chronic underlying conditions. Due to how quickly COVID-19 is spreading, protective measures to slow its spread have been significantly increased by the Austrian government in the last few days. Chancellor Kurz and his administration have repeatedly expressed that the highest priority at the moment is the protection of the local population as well as workers and guests from around the world, and especially those who seem most severely affected, such as elderly people. Thus, the Austrian government has called on every single person to do what they can to stop the exponential spread of COVID-19 by reducing social contact to an absolute minimum.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why has the government set these severe protective measures?

Without a complete societal shutdown we cannot stop the spread of this coronavirus. However, by limiting our social contact we can definitely slow its spread, which will ensure that hospitals and health services have time to prepare so they are ready when more people do get sick, and do not get overwhelmed with too many patients at once. These measures also help to prevent the exponential growth of the virus (see graphics) and in turn, are necessary to protect the groups who seem to be most severely affected by this disease, namely elderly people and those with pre-existing health conditions. Everybody carries responsibility, so let’s work together! If you have further questions, you can call the coronavirus info service hotline of AGES at 0800 555621.

Check out the video below to see what flattening the curve really means:

Are there restrictions on entering and leaving Carinthia and/or Austria?

At the moment there are the following restrictions on entering or leaving Austria (03/22/2020 - please check the "Latest Information" section above for the most up-to-date information):

Leaders of the European Union and Schengen area countries have agreed to close the external borders of the EU to non-essential incoming travel for 30 days in order to limit the spread of the virus (03/17/2020). Citizens of Schengen area countries, EU citizens, UK citizens, long-term residents and their family members, diplomats, cross-border and healthcare workers, and people transporting goods are exempt. 

Austrian Airlines has stopped all flights until April 19th (UPDATE: 03/30/2020). Currently, the Austrian government has banned all passenger flights coming from China, Korea, Iran, Italy, Switzerland, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Russia and Ukraine.

Limitations are also in place when it comes to travelers coming from or going to other countries within Europe. Due to COVID-19, the borders to Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Germany, and Hungary have been closed to most people, so overland travel to those counties is currently allowed for very few people. For those people still allowed to travel across the borders - someone returning to their country of citizenship or long-term residency, goods transporters, and some commuters - there are checks at the border crossings to Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Liechtenstein. People who want to enter Austria are checked and must show a medical certificate no older than four days. Citizens of Austria and non-citizens whose primary residence is in Austria are allowed to enter but are obligated to self-quarantine for 14 days after entering Austria from abroad (03/21/2020). Czech healthcare workers will be allowed to cross into Austria every day to carry out their jobs in the Austrian health sector (03/26/2020)

From March 23th to April 13th local public transportation of the ÖBB (S-Bahn) will be reduced. Thus, during non-peak hours trains will run only every 2 hours. At the moment there are also no train connections to Italy or Slovenia, and all trains that normally go to these countries now end in Villach. On the line to and from Salzburg, there are no stops for passenger service in Bad Gastein, Hofgastein, and Dorfgastein. Additionally, the car shuttle train (Autoschleuse) between Mallnitz-Obervellach and Böckstein is not running. The southern train line to and from Vienna is operating according to schedule.

All 279 municipalities (Gemeinden) in Tyrol, Heiligenblut in Carinthia, and Flachau, Gasteinertal (Bad Gastein, Bad Hofgastein, Dorfgastein), Großarltal (Großarl, Hüttschlag) in Salzburg have been put under quarantine. Anyone who has been in any of those places is strongly urged to go into self-isolation at home for 14 days. Anyone who has had contact with people who have been in these regions should also self-isolate. This applies even if no symptoms are currently noticeable. Foreign citizens who are currently in those areas and wish to return home will be allowed to do so, but everyone else, including Austrian citizens who are only there to visit, must stay within the quarantine zone for the allotted time. Access into and out of those areas will be strictly controlled, but authorities have stressed that the people in those areas will be well taken care of.

In order to get the latest information about current travel restrictions and public transportation, as well as short-term changes, we recommend getting in touch with relevant authorities (Austria or Carinthia) before setting out on your journey.

Villach Main Station (c) MSPhoto

Can I use public transport to travel around Carinthia?

Currently there are restrictions on train services from the ÖBB in Carinthia (03/21/2020). From March 23th to April 13th local public transportation (S-Bahn) will be reduced. Thus, during non-peak hours trains will run only every 2 hours. Additionally, the car shuttle train (Autoschleuse) between Mallnitz-Obervellach and Böckstein is not running.

We will provide information if this situation changes.

What restrictions are imposed on public life?

Measures to combat the spread of the virus have been significantly increased in the last week by Austria’s authorities (all current updates can be found under "Latest Information" on the top of the page):  

  • The current protective measures, including business/restaurant closures, school closures, regulations around behavior in public, and a ban on all public gatherings, will be in place until April 13th (Easter Monday)! (03/20/2020)
    • There are only four remaining reasons to go outside: to go to work if you truly cannot work from home; to buy food, medicines, or other absolutely necessary items; to help those people who are unable to help themselves; if you must, to go for a walk or get exercise, but only by yourself, with your pet, or with people you live with.
    • Groups of no more than five people may be together outside. If groups of more than five people are found in public by the police, they will be informed that they should disperse and may face fines of up to €2,180.
    • The federal government has left it up to local authorities to decide about parks and playgrounds and in Villach these will remain closed. In Klagenfurt playgrounds are closed but parks and green spaces remain open. Violators may face fines of up to €3,600. (03/17/2020)
    • Restrictions in public spaces are monitored by the police. Violators may be charged fines of up to €3,600.
Individuals are still allowed to go outside for walks, to run, and to cycle - but only alone, with people they live with, or with their pets. This should only happen if necessary.
  • Easter bonfires are forbidden in Carinthia and East Tyrol this year due to the need for firefighters to be available during the Coronavirus crisis (03/26/2020)
  • The Austrian government plans to increase the number of COVID-19 tests per day to 150,000 (03/25/2020)
  • Children of divorced parents may still be brought to the other parent as per the normal custody agreement, despite the protective measures (03/24/2020)
  • Schools will be closed through the Easter holidays. All children who can stay home, should stay home. For those families of children under 9th grade who have no one to look after their children, there will be teachers at the schools to care for these children during normal school Hours (03/16/2020).
  • The Matura, the centralized school leaving examination, is postponed until the week of May 18th; the presentations of the pre-scientific papers (“Vorwissenschaftliche Arbeit”) have been cancelled, and thus grades will only given for the written work (03/23/2020)
  • Universities and universities of applied science (Fachhochschulen) have closed their campuses and have switched to distance learning.
  • Worship services and religious celebrations were suspended beginning March 16th.
  • Visitors are no longer allowed in hospitals and nursing homes (excluding Salzburgland and Vorarlberg). In specific cases, such as visits to children’s wards or in palliative care units, special arrangements can be made.
  • Rehab centers and sanatoriums have been closed (03/20/2020) 
  • All hotels have to be closed (special permission can be granted for ecxeptional cases) (03/16/2020).
  • Employers must allow employees to telecommute (work from home) when possible.
  • Businesses not necessary for everyday life (e.g. fitness studios, clothing shops etc.), as well as all restaurants, bars, and cafés, will remain closed (03/16/2020), though food delivery Services remain available.
  • All retailers must close by 7 p.m. Additionally, masks, gloves, and other protective measures such as plexiglass walls have been installed in order to protect employees (03/20/2020). Hofer supermarkets close by 6 p.m. (03/25/2020)
Pharmacies and drugstores, grocery stores, animal food shops, gas stations, tobacconists, post offices, and banks will stay open!

The authorities emphasize that important shops and institutions for daily needs, such as pharmacies and drugstores, grocery stores, animal food shops, post offices, tobacconists, and banks, will stay open! In addition, different sections of the militia are on the call to ensure the provision of basic supplies in Austria. Starting April 1st, people who have already completed their civil service (Zivildiener) will be volunteering to support healthcare and other care initiatives. In addition, the term of duty of 1,500 people who are currently fulfilling their civil service has been extended (03/31/2020).

Please be cautious of the numerous fake news articles on social media and stay informed through official and trustworthy sites.

What is the situation in Villach?

Actions have also been taken in Villach due to the Coronavirus. All current updates can be found under "Latest Information" on the top of the page or at www.villach.at/corona (German only!):

Protective Measures and Restrictions:

  • Bulky waste must not be disposed of outside or in city dumpsters (Müllinseln)! The refuse centers (Altstoffsammelzentrum) are closed due to the coronavirus crisis, but please be patient and store your bulky garbage at home until they re-open. If you need to dispose of clothes or glass, please use designated containers and boxes (03/26/2020)
  • UPDATE (03/26/2020): From March 27th until April 13th it is prohibited to enter the Wasenboden recreational area (from Kriegsbrücke to the Zentralfriedhof), although use of the sidewalk and the bike path is still allowed; it also no longer allowed to go to the Dobratsch Nature Park, including the Alpenstraße! Only people with an authorization card (e.g. residents) may use the street. In addition, the Silberseestraße is closed to cars! (03/31/2020) Violations of this safety measure against the spread of COVID-19 will be charged fines up to € 3.600! Also, Villach’s parks and playgrounds remain closed (03/19/2020)
  • For the protection of the people, strict monitoring of quarantines and groups of pedestrians in Villach is happening (03/18/2020) :
    • Rigorous checks on the compliance of voluntary home quarantine are being conducted!
    • The distance between people in grocery stores is being monitored. 
    • The police are also checking whether individuals in groups of pedestrians live in the same flat or house.
    • Businesses which have to be closed due to the new protective measures will also be checked by the police.
    • Fines will be imposed in case of violation!
  • The opening hours at the city hall in Villach have been restricted and the registery office (Standesamt) is no longer open to the public
  • The “Stadttankstelle” gas station has restricted opening hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. (no service on Saturday or Sunday!)
  • TIER e-scooter have stopped their service for the time being 
  • Hotels have to be closed . UPDATE (03/27/2020): As some necessary service providers have to travel occasionally, the following hotels in Villach are allowed to remain open if needed under adherence to special hygiene regulations:
    • Hotel Goldenes Lamm
    • Hotel Kramer
    • Hotel Seven
    • Hotel Thomashöhe
    • FEWO Zollner
    • Room Rent 55
    • Hotel Mittelpunkt
    • Moser's Pension zum Wilden Mann
    • Apart of me
    • Gasthaus Gatternig
    • Gasthof-Pension Waldhof
    • Gasthof Bacher
  • Prohibition of all Events! The following events have been postponed:
    • The Honky-Tonk-Festival has been postponed until May 16th
    • The Josh. concert will now happen on November 7th
  • Universities and universities of applied science are closed
  • Ban of visitors in hospitals and nursing homes 
  • Turnverein Villach has cancelled all sport classes
  • The lessons at Musikschule Villach are cancelled
  • Kärnten Therme V-Club, Cineplexx and Kletterhalle Villach are closed until further notice

Supportive Measures - #WirHaltenZusammen:

  • Villach is publishing its city newspaper online, including a lot of COVID-19-related information (only in German) (03/29/2020)
  • For those families who still need their child(ren) to go to kindergarten or daycare, the City of Villach has decided on a reduced fee for the time when the protective measures are in place. Only the first half of March will need to be paid and then the fees will be waived until after Easter. It is recommended that parents do not officially withdraw their child(ren) from kindergartens or daycare, as their place in that facility is then not assured anymore, but parents do not have to pay the normal fee when their kids stay at home during this time. (03/25/2020)
  • Everyone being confined at home during this time may cause an increase in domestic violence. If you face physical or mental abuse in your home or feel threatened by your partner, don’t hesitate to get help from the Women’s Center (Frauenhaus) at 04242 310 31, the women’s helpline at 0800 222 555, or from the violence protection center at 0463 590 290! Also, the Frauenhaus Villach is still open and may install temporary quarters if needed (03/25/2020)
  • 50 emergency beds have been set up by the Red Cross in the Stadthalle Villach as an emergency clinic for milder COVID-19 cases (03/25/2020)
  • If you have a relative who receives 24 hour care at home but is now experiencing gaps in care due to border closures, you can find help at Villach’s care emergency (“Pflege-Notruf”) phone number 04242 205 38 37 (Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-12 p.m.). (03/24/2020)
  • If you face a personal crisis due to the COVID-19 situation, you can call Villach’s Corona telephone counselling service number at 04242 305 3040 (3-9 p.m.) for consultation and help (03/24/2020)
  • The new initiative of Land Kärnten, “Dås Påck Ma”, helps you support regional businesses by ordering their products online (03/23/2020)
  • If you want to participate in voluntary aid programs, check out the following initiatives (information in German only):
  • The province government of Carinthia, Land Kärnten, has created a page with a complete overview about the current COVID-19 situation in Carinthia (only in German) 
  • The social and economic “Corona Aid Package” of the City of Villach involves measures to support and take pressure off businesses, employers, and employees (this is in addition to the federal aid package) (03/19/2020)
  • The Biobauernmarkt (organic farmers market) and the Villacher Wochenmarkt (weekly market) remain open on their regular days and times
  • Parking in Villach: No payment or parking disc is necessary in the short-term parking zones - but please keep in mind that emergency personnel may also need to make use of the parking spots
  • An info service hotline for Carinthia is available at 050 536 53003
  • “Organized Buying Help” by the City of Villach at 0664 60 205 3030, for all those who need help (e.g. people in high-risk groups). Information about important purchases will be received by employees of Stadtmarketing and forwarded to volunteers, who will do the shopping and delivery 
  • “Essen auf Räder” (meals on wheels) will remain available while adhering to special safety measures

Villach Old Town (c) Stabentheiner

WHAT KIND OF FINANCIAL SUPPORT IS THERE?

Businesses and private people:

The national government provides a “Corona Crisis Fund” worth €38 billion for businesses (03/19/2020), in order to support employers and save jobs:

  • €4 billion for an emergency aid package (announced 03/14/2020)
  • €9 billion for loan guarantees
  • €15 billion for the sectors of the economy that are especially hard hit
  • €10 billion for tax deferments
  • UPDATE (04/01/2020): The “Härtefallfond” (serious hardship fund) for sole proprietor businesses and small business owners was raised to €2 billion.

Also, your electricity, water, and heat will not get cut off in case of delayed payments! This exception will be in effect until May 1st. There might also be other institutions which can provide additional support during the Corona crisis: e.g. especially hard hit students (who lost their jobs and aren’t entitled to receive unemployment benefits) might apply for support of the social funds of the ÖH (Austrian National Union of Students federal body of Representatives).

Moreover, regional governments might have introduced additional financial support, like the social and economic “Corona Aid Package” of the City of Villach, which involves measures to support and take pressure off businesses, employers, and employees, in addition to the federal aid package (03/19/2020). The City of Villach has also decided on a reduced fee for the time when the protective measures are in place for those families who still need their child(ren) to go to kindergarten or daycare. Only the first half of March will need to be paid and then the fees will be waived until after Easter. Parents do not have to pay the normal fee when their kids stay at home during this time. (03/25/2020)

For more information please contact the responsible authorities (e.g. WKO) or check out their homepage (only German).

Others:

The Austrian government announced another € 22 million investment to go towards research to find medication against COVID-19 (03/21/2020). Also, €100 million was allocated by the government to prevent shortages of 24 hour, stationary, and mobile care (03/26/2020).

Can I cancel my booked holiday in Carinthia because of COVID-19?

Currently there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Carinthia. According to the government’s announcement on March 13th, the winter ski season officially ended the evening of March 15th, and most accommodation establishments in Carinthia (hotels, apartments, guest rooms, etc) can no longer accept visitors beginning on March 16th. If you are coming from another country, please check the information provided by your home country government and embassies in Austria that might share more detailed travel information (for example, the US embassy). However, if you decide not to travel to Carinthia even if you have already booked your holiday, please check with your travel provider, accommodation, or travel insurance agent directly regarding possibilities of a refund. If you need more information regarding travel law, contact the free hotline of the Association for Consumer Information (VKI) 0800 201 211.

I have booked a holiday outside of Austria. What should I do?

The unpredictability of the spread of COVID-19 has led to tense situations worldwide. Travelers should check travel warnings and travel provider websites (like the one from the Vienna Airport) frequently. It is, however, important to know that as increased restrictions in air and travel traffic have been imposed, the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs has strongly recommended against taking unnecessary trips. The Austrian government has also strongly advised Austrians who are traveling abroad to return home as long there are travel options available.

Coronavirus Hotline (c) Federal Ministry Republic of Austria

How dangerous is COVID-19?

Unfortunately, this is not yet very clear. So far we know that it affects elderly people and those with weakened immune systems and pre-existing conditions quite severely. It does not appear to affect most children very much at all.

What are typical symptoms of a COVID-19 infection?

It can be difficult to tell the difference between this coronavirus, a cold, and the flu, and the vast majority of people so far have had quite mild cases of COVID-19.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • shortness of breath
  • difficulty in breathing
  • In severe cases, the infection can lead to severe acute respiratory syndrome, pneumonia, kidney failure and may even cause death. 

It’s important to note that sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, and headaches are not normally symptoms of coronavirus.

How can I protect myself from getting infected?

The Austrian Ministry for Social Affairs provides recommendations for protecting yourself against COVID-19. It is recommended that you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds several times a day with soap or an alcohol-based disinfectant; greet people with a smile instead of a hug, kiss, or a handshake; avoid direct contact with people showing symptoms of illness; if you have to cough, cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue instead of using your hands; try to avoid touching your face. 

To add a little fun to all these recommendations, as well as learn how to properly wash your hands to really get rid of germs, you can create your own hand washing instructions accompanied by your favourite song!

What should I do if I think I have become infected?

If you notice symptoms or believe you have been infected, it is extremely important to avoid all social contact with others! Do not go to public spaces, do not use public transportation, and do not go to the doctor or the hospital unless it is a true emergency. Please isolate yourself in your home and call the Austrian health service hotline at 1450. From them you will receive further instructions on how to proceed.

If you are unsure, you can also do a self-check by answering a questionnaire online.  

Where can I find more information?

For further information please check out the following links and the links provided above in the text for the most important websites providing information in English.

I want to stay up-to-date about the latest news in Austria, but I have difficulties following the TV or radio broadcasts. What can I do?

There is a learning app called uugot.it (for Android or the Webapp for iOS and desktop) in its early test phase. It provides the latest ORF videos about COVID-19 with German subtitles and the option to translate single words into different languages. You can find further information on the official website.

Disclaimer:

We have done our best to ensure that this information is complete and that the most important news is present in this post. Nevertheless, we do not assume responsibility for everything being perfectly up-to-date and complete at all times. We will do our utmost to update it as often as we can! (And please send us a message through our Facebook page if you see something incomplete or outdated!)

In the meantime, stay safe and healthy!

 

PS: And here’s someone you should really listen to. ;-)

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