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What happens when I cancel my vaccine appointment in Austria?

There are different rules around cancelling your coronavirus vaccine appointment depending on which Austrian state you are booking in. Here’s what you need to know. 

What happens when I cancel my vaccine appointment in Austria?
Joe Klaram AFP

While millions of Austrians have been waiting for months to get a vaccine appointment, in some cases you may have to cancel. 

Although this may not seem to be a big deal, authorities have been taking steps to tackle the phenomenon of ‘tactical cancellation’ – i.e. where people cancel because they want to get a different vaccine to the one they are allocated. 

Therefore, in some cases people who cancel their appointment will need to go to the back of the queue. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

Styria

New rules have been introduced for people who cancel Covid 19 vaccine appointments in Styria, after many people in the state repeatedly cancelled their appointments or did not show up in the hope of being rescheduled with a different choice of vaccine.

Those who cancel or do not show up for vaccine appointments twice in a row will be placed at the back of the queue, the Wiener Zeitung newspaper reports,

The rule attempts to stop “vaccination tacticians”, or people who cancel their appointment in the hope of getting a different vaccine on the next try.

However, not all other states have followed suit.

EXPLAINED: Can you choose which Covid 19 vaccine to take in Austria?

Carinthia

According to the APA agency in Carinthia, people who do not show up for or cancel two vaccine appointments will be deleted from the system, and will have to register again.

It says often the reason for cancellations or no shows is because many registered people, such as hospital employees, may be called in to use up leftover doses and not need their appointments.

According to a spokesman the system works well in the state and no doses have needed to be thrown away.

However, last week, people who wanted to be vaccinated gathered in large numbers outside the vaccination centres and did not wait to be called for an appointment, according to the Wiener Zeitung newspaper.  

UPDATED: How can I get vaccinated for Covid-19 in Austria?

Vienna

Vienna does not sanction anyone who repeatedly fails to attend a specific vaccination appointment in Vienna.

However, it has warned against trying to cancel in order to try and get a different vaccine.

The City of Vienna warns “you cannot choose the vaccine”. 

Tyrol 

In Tyrol, even refusing a vaccination appointment several times does not result in any penalties. People who are invited to a vaccination appointment must either accept or decline it.

If the appointment is rejected, the person remains in the system and receives a new vaccination appointment, although this could take longer.

The state told the APA agency that vaccination appointments were mostly kept. Any cancelled appointments are given to another person up to 24 hours before the appointment.

Lower Austria

In Lower Austria, people who have not kept the appointments for the corona vaccination can “simply register again” according to a Lower Austria spokesman.

They told the APA agency it was important to “vaccinate everyone who wants to be vaccinated”. No record of cancellations or rejections of the vaccines are kept by the vaccination centres.

Salzburg

In Salzburg, people who do not attend vaccination appointments are neither blocked nor put to the back back of the queue. At the moment, over 65-year-olds are being vaccinated in Salzburg, but they are not allowed to choose their vaccine. The vaccination appointments are only given if the vaccine is actually available, a few days in advance.

If someone misses the vaccination appointment, the next person on the priority list is informed, working with resident doctors and the Red Cross.

A spokesman said cancelling vaccine appointments was not a “mass phenomenon” in Salzburg, and many people are keen to have the appointment if someone does not want the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

Vorarlberg

Anyone who does not attend a vaccination appointment in Vorarlberg, for whatever reason, will be invited back to the next possible appointment.

Sometimes people do not attend appointments because they are only available at very short notice, a press office spokesman told the APA agency.

In the event of a rejection, the next person on the list is contacted, and this has worked well so far with no waste of vaccine, the spokesman reports. 

Upper Austria

State vaccination coordinator Franz Schützeneder told the Krone newspaper anyone who fails to respond to an invitation to a vaccine appointment is deleted from the system and must register again for another vaccination.

The Krone newspaper also reports 5,200 out of the 12,500 teachers and school staff who could have received vaccinations up to April 24th have not signed up for the jab, and theorises this could be because of plans to vaccinate with AstraZeneca.

Meanwhile only around 10 percent of police officers in Upper Austria have been vaccinated.

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DISCOVER AUSTRIA

Donauinselfest: What you need to know about Austria’s biggest open air festival

Austria has the largest free open-air festival in Europe, and the Donauinselfest is taking place this weekend. Here is what you need to know.

Donauinselfest: What you need to know about Austria's biggest open air festival

The Austrian Donauinselfest is known as the largest free open-air music festival in Europe, and it happens yearly on Vienna’s Danube island. The festival attracts around three million visitors over its three days of events and is starting on Friday in the Austrian capital.

The festival has been taking place yearly since 1983 on the 21.1-kilometre river island. This year, it has 14 different areas and 11 stages, according to the official website. Visitors can expect more than 600 hours of program.

READ ALSO: The best festivals and events to enjoy in Austria this summer

Here is what you need to know to enjoy the programme fully.

When and where is the festival?

The festival has an extensive range of events starting on Friday, June 24th, and lasting until Sunday, June 26th. It takes place on the island between the new Danube and the Danube rivers, known as the Donauinsel.

READ ALSO: 7 things to know about driving in Austria this summer

It is easily accessible via the U1 (Donauinsel station) and U6 (Handelskai station) metro and there are no parking spaces available near the festival site.

Admission to the event is free.

The festival is back after the pandemic

After two years of reduced capacity and many Covid-19 restrictions, the Donauinselfest is back to (almost) normal. There is no limit to the number of visitors, no requirement to show proof of vaccination or recovery from the disease, and no mask mandate.

However, the authorities have asked that people take “personal responsibility” as coronavirus infection numbers have been rising.

READ ALSO: Five of the best things to do in Vienna this summer

The organisers have requested people to get tested before visiting the vast festival, Vienna.at reported.

People gather on the shores of the Danube river, in Vienna during a hot sunny day and Danube Day on June 29, 2012. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER KLEIN

“We ask everyone who would like to visit the Donauinselfest this year to take a PCR or rapid test in advance and thus protect themselves and others. People with symptoms are not allowed to enter the festival grounds.”, said organiser Matthias Friedrich.

Though masks are not mandatory, they are recommended on-site if it is too full of people and no social distancing is possible. Besides, there is a masks requirement to all Donauinselfest workers in indoor areas.

Watch out for what you cannot bring

There is an extensive list of things that are not allowed on the festival site. For example, visitors are not allowed to take large bags and backpacks (“A3 format”, according to the website). However, a gym bag is not considered a backpack.

Animals, including dogs, are prohibited – except for guide dogs and service dogs.

You are also not allowed to bring umbrellas, alcoholic beverages, cans, glass bottles, or drones. The list of prohibited items includes “propaganda material”, spray bottles, whistles, large or bulky objects, bicycles and skateboards, stools and chairs, food and more.

Check out the complete list here.

Danube festival

Vienna’s “Danube-island” Festival will return this weekend. (Photo by DIETER NAGL / AFP)

READ ALSO: Forecast: Austria set for high temperatures and storms throughout weekend and beyond

You can – and should – bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as temperatures are expected to be around the 30Cs over the next few days.

What kind of music is there?

The festival has several stages and a broad programme selection. The bands are usually more regional, with a significant presence of Austrian, German, and Italian bands.

You can find all sorts of music, from pop to rock, rap, and techno. There are even tribute bands like Break Free, which will play Queen’s best signs on the rock stage.

The program includes other activities as well, such as poetry slam, art stages, sport areas, and even events for families and children.

You can check the official program here.

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