Reader question: What kind of test do I need for haircuts in Austria?

Reader question: What kind of test do I need for haircuts in Austria?
A coronavirus 'testing street' in the Austrian capital of Vienna. Photo: ALEX HALADA / AFP
What kind of tests are valid for haircuts - and how long are they valid for? Here’s what you need to know.

On Monday, Lower Austria and Vienna allowed hairdressers to open up again after a month-long lockdown. 

The rules in these two states now mirror those in all other Austrian states besides Vorarlberg. 

EXPLAINED: What is Austria’s compulsory testing requirement for visiting hairdressers?

Anyone wanting to get their hair cut or to use other so-called ‘close contact’ services – for instance tattoo parlours, cosmetic services or other similar services – will need to present a negative test to do so. 

While non-essential shops will again be allowed to open in these states, a negative test is not required at the present moment. 

What kind of tests are required?

There are two main types of tests: antigen tests and PCR tests. 

In order to visit the hairdresser, only PCR tests and official antigen tests are allowed. 

This means that the so-called antigen ‘self tests’ which you can do at home are not sufficient to visit close-contact services. 

For an antigen test to be sufficient, it needs to be carried out by a doctor or medical professional. 

This is set to change from May 19th, where antigen self-tests will suffice for visiting close contact services, reports Austria’s Kurier newspaper. 

How long are the tests valid for? 

PCR tests are valid for 72 hours – meaning that to visit the hairdresser you will need to have had the test within the past 72 hours. 

Antigen tests are valid for 48 hours. 

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