UPDATED: Which countries are now on Austria’s quarantine list?

Austria has imposed a mandatory quarantine on all arrivals from ‘high-risk’ countries. Which countries are on the list?

UPDATED: Which countries are now on Austria’s quarantine list?
A woman walks near the Austrian border. Photo: JOE KLAMAR / AFP

Please note: From May 19th, Austria is expected to change its quarantine rules. Here’s what you need to know. 

Austria has put in place an extensive set of quarantine rules which require arrivals from ‘high-risk’ countries to go into a ten-day isolation. 

On March 9th, several Austrian states extended this to 14 days.

In effect, the quarantine applies to arrivals from almost all countries on earth, with only a few exceptions. 

As at April 21st, 2021, only arrivals from Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the Vatican will not be forced to quarantine or to take a test

Please note, as of April 29th, direct flights from India were banned due to concerns about virus mutations

What is Austria’s quarantine? 

After being put in place on December 19th, Austria’s coronavirus quarantine was set to remain in effect until at least January 10th, however a government official told The Local on January 6th that it would remain in force “until further notice”. 

As at April 2021, the government has given no indications the quarantine will be relaxed anytime soon.

In addition, from January 15th, everyone arriving in Austria will need to pre-register.

More information about this can be found at the following link

Who does the quarantine apply to?

The quarantine applies to everyone arriving in the country – i.e. Austrian citizens, residents and non-Austrians. 

Keep in mind that the right to enter Austria is different from the requirement to quarantine. Due to the pandemic, most arrivals from outside Europe have been prevented from entering.  

Click the following link for more information. 

UPDATE: What you need to know about Austria’s quarantine rules

Which countries are classified as ‘high risk’ by the Austrian government? 

‘High risk’ countries are any country which has a 14-day incidence rate of more than 100 positive cases of coronavirus per 100,000 residents. 

As at February 3rd, each of Austria’s neighbours is over this threshold. 

In fact, as it currently stands, only Iceland and the Vatican are not classified as risk countries in Europe. 

As the United Kingdom is now no longer a member of the EU, it is treated as a ‘third country’ and all entry from the UK is therefore banned, other than for Austrian citizens or residents.

Business travellers from the UK and students will also be allowed to enter. 

Up to date information is collated by the European Union and is available here

What about arrivals from countries outside of Europe?

There are a handful of countries from which arrivals will not need to quarantine. 

These are Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea. Iceland and the Vatican are also on the list. 

Arrivals from these countries will be allowed to avoid quarantine provided they have only stayed in either Austria or the countries mentioned in the past ten days. 

As the United Kingdom is now no longer a member of the EU, it is treated as a ‘third country’ and all entry from the UK is therefore banned, other than for Austrian citizens or residents. Business travellers from the UK and students will also be allowed to enter. 

Uruguay had been on the list, but was removed from January 15th onwards, while Japan was removed on February 3rd. Singapore was added on January 15th. 

An official up to date list of non-European countries can be found here

Are there any exceptions?

There are some limited exceptions to the quarantine rule. 

For instance, commuters will not be required to quarantine – although they will be required to fill out the entry form. 

Quarantine: Here is the form you need to enter Austria 

In addition, people who visit their partners or family in Austria regularly – which is defined by the government as at least once per month – will also be allowed to enter without a quarantine, Kronen Zeitung reports

In addition, there is no quarantine for people who enter the enclaves of Mittelberg (Kleinwalsertal), Vomp-Hinterriss or Jungholz. 

If I am arriving, what do I need to do? 

Austrian authorities are conducting border controls regularly and will inform you of the details of your quarantine requirement. 

Before arriving, you will need to complete a ‘Declaration of Quarantine’ form. This form is available here in English and should be kept on you at all times when entering Austria. 

How was the requirement introduced? 

On December 2nd, Austria announced a change to the country’s quarantine rules – with the centrepiece being a mandatory ten-day quarantine.  

After some initial confusion about the starting date, the Austrian government confirmed that it would apply from December 19th. 

On January 12th, the government announced that there would be changes to the list from January 15th onwards. 

This includes taking Ireland and Uruguay off the list and adding Greece and Singapore. 

Note: This document has been regularly updated to reflect Austria’s changing quarantine rules since December 2020. 

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More pay and longer holidays: How Austria hopes to attract 75,000 new nurses

The Federal Government unveiled a package looking to attract more than 75,000 new workers to the nursing and care professions - including people from abroad.

More pay and longer holidays: How Austria hopes to attract 75,000 new nurses

Austria has unveiled a €1 billion reform package to improve working conditions for health sector professionals.

In a press release this Thursday, Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) said that the package would include higher salaries for nurses.

“There will be massive measures to make the nursing profession more attractive”, the minister said.

For 2022 and 2023, the government will offer a total of €520 million as a monthly salary bonus for the professionals, Rauch said. This should last initially for at least two years until other measures start taking effect.

Training for the career will also receive investments, according to the minister. There will be a federal training subsidy of at least €600 per month.

In addition, a nursing scholarship for those switching (or switching back) to the nursing profession of up to €1,400 will be funded by the Austrian Employment Agency AMS.

READ ALSO: Everything foreigners need to know about the Austrian healthcare system

As a measure to protect workers and keep them from turning to other professions, the government explained that all those older than 43 years old will receive an extra week of paid holidays. Additionally, all employees in inpatient long-term care will receive two hours of time credit per night shift.

​​Among the more than 20 measures that the Ministry will detail in the coming days are steps to increase help for those in need of care and of relatives that care for their families, according to the statements given in the press release.

Caring relatives will receive a family bonus of €1,500 per year if they provide most of the care at home and are themselves insured or co-insured. The employment in 24-hour care is also to be “made more attractive” – but details are still pending.

Bringing in international help

The government is also turning outside of Austria and the European Union to attract more professionals.

In the future, nurses who complete vocational training will receive “significantly more” points in the process to access the so-called Rot Weiss Rot (RWR) residence permit. They will also increase the points given for older professionals, facilitating the entry of nurses from 40 to 50 years old.

RWR applicants need to reach a certain threshold of points based on criteria including age and education to get the permit.

READ ALSO: How Austria is making it easier for non-EU workers to get residence permits

The recognition of training acquired abroad will be significantly simplified, accelerated and debureaucratised, the government promises. And nurses will be able to work as nursing assistants until the formal recognition of their foreign qualifications is completed.

Long-needed reform

“People in care work have long deserved these improvements”, Rauch said.

The government expects the package to create more than 75,000 new workers to fill the thousands of open positions in the sector by 2030.

Green Party leader Sigrid Maurer stated that the measures will be an essential step towards gender equality. “After all, it is mainly women who work in the care professions, especially taking care of relatives at home”.

READ ALSO: Austria’s former health minister becomes best-selling author

The government announcement comes as several protests are scheduled to take place throughout Austria this Thursday, which is also Tag der Pflege (Day of Care).

Health and care sector professionals are taking to the streets to demand better hours and pay and protest against staff shortage, overload, and burn-out.

“We have been calling for better conditions and better pay for years. Thousands of beds are now empty because we don’t have enough staff. In Styria, about 3,000 of a total of 13,000 beds in the nursing sector are currently closed,” Beatrix Eiletz, head of the works council of Styrian Volkshilfe told the daily Der Standard.

READ ALSO: How Covid absences are disrupting Austrian hospitals, schools and transport

It is not uncommon that nurses will quit their jobs and move to completely different professions, thereby increasing the gap, the report added.

The problem is an old one in Austria – but it has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.