Austrian State Secretary Magnus Brunner (ÖVP) said on Tuesday that the government’s current policy of flight bans and restrictions needed to change.
Brunner, whose department is responsible for aviation policy, said Austria should adopt a “double strategy” which requires people to either show evidence of a vaccination or to complete a negative test before leaving the country of departure.
“I am convinced that vaccination can replace quarantine,” Brunner told Fellner Live.
“Travelling and flying would then again be possible throughout Europe.
“It's a way of getting to the holiday destination safely and healthily.”
Brunner called for a solution at European level, saying “it makes no sense, especially in aviation” for Austria to go it alone.
Austria has already started rolling out testing infrastructure at Vienna Airport.
Austrian constitutional lawyer Peter Bußjäger said such a plan would be legally permissible, while suggesting that those who have fallen ill and recovered from the virus may also be entitled to similar privileges.
“As soon as it is clear that the disease can no longer be passed on, it is clear that I can no longer subject these people to restrictions,” Bußjäger told Der Standard.
“If the government opens the door for those who have been tested and those who have recovered, then it would also have to do the same for those who have been vaccinated.”
Austria’s Health Minister Rudolf Anschober has already ruled out allowing for vaccinated people to have special privileges, although legal experts say that this only applies to the public sector.
Private sector businesses – including airlines – would have legal standing to restrict tickets to certain classes of passengers.