On May 19th, Austria relaxed most of its coronavirus measures while implementing a testing, vaccination or recovery from Covid-19 requirement to allow people to go to restaurants, events and play sports.
Austria’s digital Green Pass certificate to prove people have been vaccinated, tested negative for the coronavirus or have recovered from the disease will not be ready until the beginning of June.
EU countries and the EU Parliament have also agreed on details of a digital Europe-wide certificate or “green passport” to give citizens proof of corona vaccinations, tests and having recovered from an infection with Covid-19, but this will not be introduced until the end of June.
So how can you prove you have been vaccinated and avoid taking a test every time you want to go to the hairdresser or go out for a meal?
The yellow vaccination certificate or Impfpass can be used to access pubs and restaurants when Austria relaxes its nationwide lockdown on May 19th, the Ministry of Health has, the Kurier newspaper reports.
I don’t have an Impfpass
No need to worry. You will be given a vaccination certificate at your vaccination appointment. Or if you like you can pick one up from the pharmacy or your doctor.
If you were vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the European Medicine Agency outside Austria, you can ask your doctor to enter your vaccines into the e-card, according to the Vienna Medical Association. Approved vaccines include Moderna, Pfizer Biontech, Johnson & Johnson and Astrazeneca.
I was vaccinated in another country to Austria
Once the proof of vaccination is in your e-card, it can be printed out from the electronic vaccination card in pharmacies. The service is available to insured people who are also entitled to use free tests in pharmacies, according to the Chamber of Pharmacists.
If you were vaccinated in another EU country, you could simply wait until the European-wide Green Pass goes ahead in late June.
A vaccine with Sputnik or Sinopharm, which are being used in countries such as Serbia and Hungary, will not allow you any privileges, as these are not authorised by the EMA, and not recognised by the Ministry of Health, according to the Kleine Zeitung newspaper. Instead you will have to show a negative test.The Ministry of Health does not recommend having an extra jab with an approved vaccine at present.
How long do I have to wait before I can stop testing?
You will have to wait a period of 21 days after your first vaccination until you can show your vaccine certificate in place of a negative test for the coronavirus.
The date of the vaccination must be clearly shown on the certificate, the Kurier newspaper reports. If you do not get your second jab for full vaccination, the vaccine certificate will expire. So don’t miss out on getting fully vaccinated.
It does not matter which of the vaccines approved in Austria you received as part of the corona vaccination, according to the Kurier newspaper. Does it make any difference which vaccine I got?
So when will I get a digital vaccination certificate?
At the beginning of June, the digital vaccination pass (“Green Pass”) should be available, which can be downloaded as a QR code onto your mobile phone.
However, a citizen card or a mobile phone signature is a prerequisite for the digital vaccination pass, the Kronen Zeitung newspaper reports.
You can find out how to get a mobile phone signature here. Anyone who has been vaccinated, tested or recovered from Covid 19 disease then only has to show their cell phone to be granted admission to bars or restaurants.
I don’t have a smartphone
People who do not have a smartphone can – at least in a transitional phase – print out the pdf file with the QR code and use the paper as an “analogue entry ticket” according to the Kronen Zeitung newspaper.
According to the Ministry of Health, it is envisaged that people who do not feel at home in the digital world can have the paper printed out on their local authority or the municipal authorities in order to come to the theatre or the cinema.
Can the vaccination certificate be forged?
A major concern of Austrian and European authorities is that the certificates could be forged.
There have been media reports, according to Die Presse newspaper, that the planned European corona vaccination certificate is not forgery-proof.
Media reports in Germany have said the vaccination certificates entered in the yellow vaccination pass could easily be transferred to the new EU vaccination card in doctor’s practices, vaccination centres or in pharmacies, since this proof in the yellow vaccination pass is easy to forge, and the new EU certificate based on it is also said to be susceptible to fraud.
Ministry of Health says forgery not a problem in Austria
The Austrian Ministry of Health has said there is not the same risk of forgery in Austria because in this country all vaccinations are entered in the e-vaccination pass, the Kurier newspaper reports. The vaccination certificate for the ‘Green Pass’ will be generated directly from the e-vaccination pass.
What about children?
In Lower Austria, children and adolescents between the ages of twelve and 15 can now be registered for the corona vaccination at this link. The EMA’s approval of the vaccine is expected around the end of May or the beginning of June. Vaccine appointments will not be available before then. The age group includes around 67,000 children.
Impfpass – vaccination pass
Impfkarte – vaccination card
Impfpass – vaccination certificate
Impfung – vaccination
Handysignatur – Mobile phone signature
Grüner Pass – Green pass (digital certificate)
Eintrittsberechtigung – entry authorisation