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VACCINATIONS

Reader question: Do I need my e-card to get vaccinated in Austria?

Regardless of what type of insurance you have, you’re likely to have an e-card. But do you need one to get vaccinated in Austria?

Reader question: Do I need my e-card to get vaccinated in Austria?
Ecard image: Wikicommons

Austria’s vaccination drive began in December and is hitting its stride. 

As vaccinations become available to the general public, one question we have been asked regularly is what kind of documentation you need to get vaccinated in Austria. 

Here is the form you need to get vaccinated in Austria

More specifically, people have asked us whether you need to be an Austrian citizen to get vaccinated – and whether people who cross the border to work in Austria are also entitled to the vaccine. 

Put simply, in order to get vaccinated in Austria you need to have an Austrian social security number and/or an e-card. Here’s what you need to know. 

E-card, bitte!

As with most medical procedures in Austria, the most important document is the e-card. 

The Austrian e-card is an electronic chip card linked to the electronic administration system of Austria’s social insurance system, which includes health, accident, pension and unemployment insurance.

Anyone who wants to get vaccinated in Austria will need to present their e-card. 

Foreigners who are resident in Austria will have an e-card, as will most cross-border workers. 

This means that foreigners who live abroad and who do not have Austrian citizenship are unable to access the vaccine in Austria. 

In addition to your e-card, you should try bring your vaccination certificate and your allergy passport if you have these documents. 

If you do not have the latter two documents however, this will not prevent the vaccination. 

But what if I don’t have an e-card? 

According to official government information, you need to present your e-card when you get vaccinated in order to receive the jab. 

More information is available at the following official link. 

While this is unlikely to cause problems for the vast majority of Austrians and Austrian residents who have e-cards, some people such as foreign students and temporary workers do not have an e-card. 

People who work for international organisations and who do not have e-cards can get vaccinated by showing their diplomatic residency cards when the vaccination takes place. 

According to the Vienna Bar Association (RAK), people who do not have an e-card will not be prevented from getting the vaccine, provided they have an Austrian social security/insurance number. 

As the RAK noted in a specific briefing in January 2021:

“Persons who have a national insurance number are registered in the Central Patient Index (Zentralen Patientenindex/ZPI) – even without a current e-card.”

“This also applies to persons who were once insured or co-insured in Austria. Therefore, they can be administered in the e-vaccination passport. Persons who do not appear in the ZPI receive an error message during identification. They can then only be documented on paper.”

How do I get an e-card or a social security number in order to get vaccinated? 

If you do not already have an e-card or social security number, fortunately these are not difficult to get. 

You can apply for an e-card for the purpose of vaccination or to get the Covid-19 green pass at the ELGA website here, provided you have a current photo. 

You can also apply in person at the service points of the Austrian Health Insurance Fund (Österreichische Gesundheitskasse), which can be found here

More information is available here, or by reading our following explainer. 

What is Austria’s e-card? Everything you need to know

Note: As with all of our coronavirus reports, please remember that they are guides only and do not constitute legal advice. Please contact your vaccination centre before your appointment to check if you have sufficient documentation to be vaccinated. 

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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