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Everything that changes in Austria in May 2021

Everything that changes in Austria in May 2021
From vaccines to the quarantine rules, here's what is set to change in the month of May in Austria.

May brings with it the changing of the seasons, with the haunting grey of winter’s firm grip finally extinguished as summer’s promise looms tantalisingly on the horizon. 

The first day of May will be a national holiday, with most shops closed, so make sure you stock up ahead of the weekend. 

There’s also some important other stuff.

Here is what you need to know. 

Lockdown rules relaxed

When it comes to what changes in May 2021 in Austria, May 19th is a hugely important date. 

On this day, lockdown rules will be relaxed all across the country. 

Hotels and restaurants will again be allowed to open, with some measures remaining in place.

“We are on the final stretch in our fight against the pandemic,” Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told reporters.

The date is fixed, although the government indicated that increases in infection rates – and in particular the threat posed by mutations of the virus – may lead to a delay of the date or changes in the rules being relaxed. 

Schools will also be opened again, although this will take place on May 17th. 

A second round of openings will then take place on July 1st, six weeks after the May 19th openings.

Detailed information is available in the following link. 

READ MORE: Austria to relax most coronavirus measures on May 19th

Night-time curfew to be wound back

Currently, most of Austria is operating under a night-time stay at home order, whereby they can only leave the house in daylight hours. 

This will expire on May 5th all across the country, Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein confirmed.

Vienna and Lower Austria to relax strict lockdown

While the country as a whole has been on ‘lockdown lite’ for the past few months, the rules in Vienna and Lower Austria – and formerly Burgenland – have been stricter since April 1st. 

On May 3rd however, they will be wound back – with the rules in place in the rest of Austria to come into effect. 

More information is available at the following link. 

‘The measures have worked’: Vienna to relax lockdown rules on May 3rd

Quarantine rules

Perhaps the biggest change to be aware of is a relaxation of Austria’s restrictive quarantine rules, which have been in place since December 19th. 

On May 19th – exactly six months since they were implemented – Austria is set to relax quarantine rules for almost all European countries. 

While details are yet to be finalised, the quarantine obligation – which currently requires almost all arrivals in Austria to quarantine for ten or 14 days (depending on the state) – will be relaxed for arrivals from almost all EU countries.

The likely exceptions are to include high-incidence countries or regions, or areas where virus variants are particularly prevalent.  

More information about the plan can be found at the following link. 

READ MORE: Austria to wind back quarantine rules on May 19th

Vaccinations

Vaccinations are expected to pick up speed in May, with more and more members of the public getting access to the jab. 

Most states have almost made their way through risk group populations and have begun to open up the vaccine to lower age groups. 

In late April, Lower Austria announced it would become the first state to start vaccinating members of the general public, with everyone over the age of 16 able to be vaccinated from May 10th.

READ MORE: Lower Austria first state to start vaccinating all members of public

Austria’s ‘immunity card’ 

Austria will implement its coronavirus immunity card, giving vaccinated people access to bars, restaurants and events, by May 19th.

The card will allow special privileges for people who have been fully vaccinated, as well as those who have had the virus recently and who have tested negative. 

Green pass immunity passport immunity card
When will the coronavirus immunity passport be available in Austria? Photo by Lukas on Unsplash

Austria will introduce the pass before a similar idea is introduced at EU level, meaning that for most Austrians it will be introduced in phases. 

More information about the three-phase plan can be found at the following link. 

Green pass: Austria to implement nationwide immunity card by mid-May

Which brings us to…

International ‘vaccine passport’ to launch

Starting in May, the “IATA (International Air Travel Association) Travel Pass” will be the first to test travel with a vaccination certificate.

The smartphone app allows travellers to store and manage certifications for Covid-19 tests or vaccinations.

It aims to facilitate air travel under pandemic conditions, and help travellers avoid quarantines whenever possible. 

The data should remain under the control of the passengers, the association assures. The app is available now for iOS, and a version for Android is also expected to be available soon. 

WhatsApp releases new conditions

This change is one that has been long announced and even postponed, but now it’s getting serious. The new WhatsApp GTCs will come into force on May 15th.

What does this mean for you? If you haven’t agreed by this date, you won’t be able to use the Messenger app for the time being.  If you’re still unsure, your account will be set to “inactive” on the cutoff date.

This means that you can receive messages and calls, but you are no longer allowed to compose new messages yourself. You can do this for up to 120 days – then your account will be deleted forever.

The temperature

OK, so maybe this one is a cry for help after a long, cold winter – but May in Austria sees the mercury poke its silvery head over the 10C mark for the first time. 

The average temperature across the country in May is 10.5C, a sure sign that spring has sprung and summer is around the corner. 

Statistik: Durchschnittliche Temperatur in Österreich von März 2020 bis März 2021 | Statista
Chart courtesy of Statista

In Vienna, the temperatures in May go from a low of 11C to a high of 21C, with average temperatures roughly similar in Austria’s other major cities including Innsbruck, Graz and Salzburg. 


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