Coronavirus update, Aug. 16, 2021: Austria and Slovenia change entry rules as Delta variant spreads

Plus: Govt. to discuss anti-epidemic rules for schools today, lowest number of vaccinations since April, coronavirus situation improves slightly.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 16.08.2021 09:57:00 (updated on 16.08.2021) Reading time: 5 minutes

Rules for entering Austria tighten

The rules for entering Austria are being tightened. As of Aug.18, it is necessary to have both doses of coronavirus vaccine to enter the country. Nothing changes for the tested or cured. As of Aug. 15, these stricter rules also apply to consumption indoors or for hotel accommodation. The Czech Embassy in Vienna reported the change on Twitter.

Restaurateurs blame Covid support for lack of staff

Hoteliers and restaurateurs in the Czech Republic are facing a significant shortage of staff. Some restaurants limit opening hours. According to people from the field and economists, the reason is a lack of foreign workers or a change in the field. However, some believe that many workers are still at home living on the Covid support they received in the pandemic.

"While entrepreneurs fought for rescue, some employees in the field are still at home and live on the salaries they received at the time of the Covid. For example, there are a lot of chefs who do not need to go to work," Martin Jandura of accommodation portal Spindleruv-mlyn.com told ČTK.

Another reason is that a number of former employees in the gastronomic services bet on security, albeit for less money, and went to work in factories, for example. It's not just mountain resorts that have problems. People are also missing from other hotels in the Czech Republic, including those in Prague, despite low occupancy. According to the Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants, in addition to chefs in the metropolis, there is also a demand for cleaning workers or receptionists, news server Aktualne.cz reported.  

Govt. to discuss anti-epidemic rules for schools on Monday

The Czech cabinet will hold an extraordinary videoconference meeting on Monday evening to discuss the anti-epidemic regime and the rules to be applied at schools in early September when the new school year begins, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said in his regular video address on social networks Sunday. The meeting takes place during regular government holidays. The only topic will be the rules to be introduced at schools as of Sept. 1. Education and Health Ministers Robert Plaga and Adam Vojtěch are aware of that, Babiš said. The testing for Covid at the beginning of the school year has been already approved. Pupils and students from primary and secondary schools are to undergo three testing rounds in early September. Some head teachers said that many of the suggested anti-epidemic rules are impossible to meet, such as homogeneous groups, isolated rooms for Covid positive children and hot water in all classrooms.

One-fifth of Czech children aged 12–15 are Covid vaccinated

More than 100,000 Czech children aged 12 to 15, one in five children in this age group, have been vaccinated against Covid-19, the Health Ministry's data shows. The Education and Health Ministries decided in June that the fully inoculated children will not need to get tested in September when new school year starts and three testing rounds are planned for the unvaccinated pupils. By Wednesday, Aug. 11, roughly 103,000 young people aged 12 to 15 have been inoculated and nearly 23,000 of them have received the complete vaccination by then. The registration for the Covid inoculation opened to the children between 12 and 15 years of age on July 1. Read our full story here.

Slovak woman wins EUR 100,000 in Covid lottery

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A woman in Slovakia won EUR 100,000 (2.5 million CZK) in the first round of a special lottery aimed at motivating residents to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Four other players drawn lost the chance to win a high bonus because, according to the moderators, they did not meet the set conditions for the competition for financial prizes. A jackpot worth EUR 400,000 euros has been moved to the next round of the main prize draw. Due to low public interest, Slovakia lags behind the EU and the Czech Republic in vaccination against covid-19. Lower financial prizes will be drawn on working days, the main prizes will be awarded once a week in the television broadcasting of public radio and Slovak television, according to server Seznamspravy.cz.

Slovenia changes rules for transiting

After 23 August, Slovenia will require confirmation of vaccination or coronavirus testing from people who will only pass through the country. Ljubljana is thus responding to the deteriorating epidemiological situation after the number of people infected with Covid-19 began to increase due to the Delta variant, news agency DPA agency wrote. Until now, only tourists who planned to stay in Slovenia for more than 12 hours were required to prove with a vaccination card or coronavirus test. In Slovenia, 76 people per 100,000 people have been infected with coronavirus in the last 14 days, compared to 23 in the Czech Republic in sthe same time.

Lowest number of vaccinations since April

The number of vaccinations on Sunday was 11,816. Some 9,949 of those were completing vaccination, so less than 2,000 were first doses. Sunday’s total for vaccinations was the lowest since April 5, when 9,495 were given out. That was when supplies of vaccines were still low and large vaccination centers had not yet opened.

Coronavirus situation improves slightly

There were 77 new cases of coronavirus reported for Sunday, down from 104 a week ago. The number of hospitalized people was at 46, down two from the previous day, and the number of serious cases also dropped by two to reach 14. However, one death was reported, after three days with none. The death toll is now at eight for the month. The incidence number of new cases per 100,000 over seven days stayed steady at 12. The reproduction number R dropped to 1.03, just above the break even point of 1.0. It has been over 1.0 since Aug. 8. For Prague, where the situation is the worst, the seven-day incidence number was at 28, down one from the previous day. The R number was 1.13, down from 1.24 the previous day. The best situation is in the Zlín region, where the incidence number is five, but the R number there is 1.13. The lowest R number is in the Olomouc region, at 0.48, and the incidence number there is six.

Latest Covid-19 data from the Czech Ministry of Health (Aug. 16, 2021)

  • New cases 77
  • Deaths 30,375
  • Currently hospitalized 46
  • PCR tests performed 9,554,949
  • Antigen tests performed 25,035,011
  • Total vaccinations 10,966,257
  • Daily increase in vaccinations 11,816
  • People who have completed vaccination 5,319,061
  • New cases per 100,000 in seven days 12
  • PES index 33
  • R number 1.03
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