EXPLAINED: What will the rules be when Austria eases restrictions on May 19th?

Emma Midgley
Emma Midgley - [email protected]
EXPLAINED: What will the rules be when Austria eases restrictions on May 19th?
A cafe in Vienna setting out chairs for outside dining at the city's Naschmarkt

Restaurants, hotels, schools, sport, events and swimming pools will open up again on 19th May - with rules in place. Here’s your complete guide to how that will work. 


Chancellor Kurz has told Austria that from May 19th everything "from soccer matches to brass band music" will be  possible again". Further opening steps should come by July 1st at the latest.

So what will the rules be in May? 


How will testing and registration work? 

From May 19th, the first phase of the "green pass" will start. You must provide evidence that you have been vaccinated, tested or recovered to go out to a restaurant.

PCR tests will be valid for three days, antigen tests valid for two days, and there should also be the option of digital self-tests, which are valid for one day. In addition, it should be possible to carry out a self-test  on site. For children, testing at school will work as an entry test.

Registration is expected when when visiting a restaurant, this will involve giving your name, telephone number and email address.

How many people can meet? 

Up to 10 people (plus children) can meet outdoors in groups. Indoors a maximum of four adults (plus children) can meet. 

Bars and restaurants 

There will be access tests and registration requirements. When you are not seated in your assigned seat, you must wear an FFP2 mask. A maximum of four adults (plus children) are will be allowed indoors as a group, and up to ten people in the pub. There will be a curfew of 10pm. Drinking at the bar will not be allowed.


READ MORE: Plastic, paper or digital: How will Austria's coronavirus immunity card work?


 Indoor football will be allowed again, along with other contact sports. Access tests and registration will be necessary. When practicing sport, it will not be necessary to wear an FFP2 mask.The 20 square metre distance rule does not apply outdoors. 

Culture and Events

Cultural events will require access tests and prior registration. A space of 20 square meters must be available per person indoors in cinemas, large events and sports and culture events. With assigned seats, a maximum of 3,000 visitors will be permitted outdoors, and 1,500 people indoors, with one seat left empty between every household group. Events will be limited to 50 percent capacity. 

Without fixed seats, the maximum inside and outside is 50 people. A curfew of 10pm will be in place. There is no upper limit at the trade fairs, but a 20 square metre per person rule.

The Vienna Prater and other leisure facilities are also allowed to reopen. 



For museums, the 20 square metre rule must be observed, and people must wear FFP2 masks. However, it will not be necessary to show a test/vaccination/recovery certificate.

Students go back to school in Vienna. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Normal face-to-face classes will be back from May 17th. Mouth and nose protection (MNS) is required in lower grades and FFP2 masks in upper grades. Children should be tested three times a week. 


The Green Pass or proof of test, vaccination or recovery must be brought with you for check-in. Anyone who wants to use services in the hotel, such as wellness facilities or a restaurant for a longer period than the entry test allows must carry out additional testing to access these facilities.


In swimming pools and hot water baths, a minimum of 20 square metres must be available per guest.

What about weddings or big parties? 

Weddings, big celebrations or big club events are "not possible yet",  according to Chancellor Kurz, but may happen again when more vaccinations mean "a return to normality in summer".



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