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EXPLAINED: The new rules for entering Austria

Effective May 19th, Austria relaxed its quarantine for almost all arrivals. Here’s what you need to know.

EXPLAINED: The new rules for entering Austria
A sign at the Austrian border. Photo: BARBARA GINDL / APA / AFP

PLEASE NOTE: Austria changed the entry rules in mid-June. Please click the following article for more information. 

From Wednesday, May 19th, Austria’s coronavirus quarantine requirement will no longer apply. 

Now, entry from most countries will be unrestricted, other than areas deemed ‘high risk’ or where variants of the virus are prevalent.

It is replaced by a new system which requires proof of vaccination, testing or recovery from the virus. 

In order to enter, you will have to fill out a form.

The rules will change on June 10th, when pre-travel clearance to enter Austria will only be required if you are coming from a high-risk country or one of the states where variants of the coronavirus are prevalent.

People coming into Austria will still be required to show proof of vaccination, testing or recovery from the virus.

Here’s what you need to know. 

What are the new rules for entry? 

The new system is based around the EU health agency ECDC’s traffic light system, which differentiates between areas depending on the prevalence of coronavirus infections.

For countries coloured green or orange, entry is unrestricted. 

When a country is coloured red, negative coronavirus tests, proof of vaccination or recovery from the virus are required (known as the 3G Rule – see below). 

Everyone in quarantine will have the possibility of leaving quarantine after the fifth day with a negative test. 

This system therefore resembles that which is in place federally prior to May 19th. 

UPDATED: Everything you need to know about Austria’s quarantine rules

The map as at May 17th is shown below. An up to date copy of the map can be found here at this link. 

What is the 3G Rule? 

Anyone wanting to enter Austria from red or dark red regions will now need to do so pursuant to the so-called ‘3G Rule’. 

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) for conspiracy theorists, this has nothing to do with mobile phone networks. 

The 3G Rule refers to ‘Getestet, Geimpft, Genesen’ (Tested, Vaccinated, Recovered) and describes the three ways someone can provide evidence they may enter from a ‘red zone’ country. 

This means they will need to show evidence of vaccination, a negative test or having recently recovered from the virus. 

Are there any exceptions? 

Yes. People who want to visit Austria for family and business reasons will be allowed to enter. 

Children under the age of 10 are exempt from the test obligation

Similarly, cross-border commuters are also allowed to enter, as are people in transit. 

When the rules were announced on May 18th, Germany – which was coloured red at the time – was also announced as an exception. This means people can arrive from Germany without restriction. 

What about the entry form? 

Since January, everyone entering Austria has had to fill out a form to do so. 

This does not change from May 19th, but will no longer be necessary unless you are coming from a high risk country from June 10th. 

More information on the form can be found at the following link. 

READ MORE: Here is the form you need to enter Austria

Does this apply to people from all across the world?

Not exactly. While the quarantine has been relaxed, entry bans for non-EU/EFTA citizens remain. Specifically, entry from Brazil, India, South Africa or United Kingdom, which have been identified as “virus variant” countries, is not permitted. A landing ban is also in place for these countries. 

READ MORE: Austria to reinstate ban on direct flights from UK

The only exceptions are for humanitarian workers, persons who have been summoned by the courts and people traveling to an international organisation on business, provided they can provide evidence of a negative PCR test result.

In effect, except for these groups, entry into Austria is restricted to Austrian citizens, Austrian residents and citizens of European Union and EFTA countries. 

Travel: Who is allowed to enter Austria right now?

Austrian citizens and residents will not be restricted from entry regardless of which countries they have been in for the past ten days, although in most cases they will need to quarantine. 

People transiting through Austria without stopping will also not be restricted from entering. 

Arrivals from a handful of non-European countries will be allowed to enter: Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea. 

Also, people from Iceland and the Vatican will not be required to quarantine. 

More information on this requirement is available at the following link. 

UPDATED: Which countries are now on Austria’s quarantine list?

Arrivals from almost every non-European country are restricted.

This means that American citizens are not currently allowed to visit Austria, unless of course they hold Austrian or European citizenship and residency. 

LATEST: When will Americans be able to travel to Austria again?

As yet, there is no indication as to when this will change. However, Austria as a EU member will participate in the bloc’s decisions regarding visas and entry. 

Official information from the Austrian government is available here. 

Member comments

  1. We are Americans living in Germany and have residence visas there. If we drive to Austria, we would be turned away because we have American passports, even though we are fully vaccinated and have residence visas in an EU country? Curious if they just mean flying or driving too.

    1. The Austrian rules are totally biased. Entry from the UK is banned. If you look at the statistics you discover:
      New cases per 1 million population
      France 193
      Germany : 53
      Austria 49
      UK 47
      Source worldometers https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries
      Yet Austria lets in people from Germany and France but not UK. A blinkered country if ever there was one.

      1. They fear the Indian variant. I have family in the UK I’d like to see too, but don’t know when it’ll happen again.

        1. They say they fear the Indian Variant , but it is widespread throughout Europe as well so actually they are just biased.

  2. Nearly 200 people ordered to quarantine in German city over fears of Covid Indian variant outbreak
    Coronavirus news live: India variant now in 53 territories

  3. Reply to “c”: Where-as the UK is totally un-biased when it comes to travellers from the EU (Corona tested or not):
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/may/21/uk-like-an-enemy-state-to-eu-nationals-detained-by-border-force
    At least the Austrians just won’t let you in, they don’t detain you, finger print you, take away your luggage and phone, put you in a detention center, mark your passport and/or deport you. Count yourselves lucky eh?

    Question/comment for “Lyssa77”: Why do you think you’ll be unable to enter Austria? I am also a DE resident with a UK passport and would be interested to know if there is a valid reason to deny entery when driving from Germany.

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For members

LIVING IN AUSTRIA

How much do you need to earn for a good life in Austria?

Austria is known as a country with a high standard of living, but it also comes with a high cost of living. Here’s an overview of what you can expect to earn in Austria.

How much do you need to earn for a good life in Austria?

As with most things in Austria, the question of ‘what is a good salary?’ is difficult to answer as the cost of living (and wages) can vary between states and cities.

For example, the east of Austria is typically much cheaper than the west for housing (with the exception of Vienna). And those living in cities often have easier – and cheaper – access to public transport when compared with people living in rural areas. 

READ ALSO: ‘Bad-tempered locals’: Vienna ranked the world’s ‘unfriendliest city’

Childcare is also something to consider with huge differences between Vienna, where there is access to heavily subsidised services, and places like Tyrol where childcare costs more.

To delve a bit deeper, we looked at the data to find out the average salary in Austria and how it differs between professions and locations.

What is the average salary in Austria?

In 2021, the average gross annual salary in Austria was €44,395, according to the latest data from Statistics Austria

However, in the latest survey by online job platform Step Stone, the average gross annual salary in Austria is €49,609.

The Step Stone survey then broke it down further by industry with those working in pharma earning the most at €60,504. This was followed by energy at €60,345, medical technology at €59,106 and banking at €58,711.

The industry with the lowest average annual salary is hotels/gastronomy at €37,546, followed by agriculture at €39,779 and tourism at €43,965.

FOR MEMBERS: REVEALED: The best and worst districts to live in Vienna (as voted for by you)

Occupation also plays a part with people working in management earning the most – on average €66,768. Consulting came second at €53,721.

And like many other European countries, the gender pay gap in Austria prevails. The average annual salary for a man is €52,633 and for a woman it is €44,330.

Furthermore, the top earning city in Austria is Bregenz in Vorarlberg with an average annual salary of €54,620. When comparing the west of Austria with the east, the median salary in Vorarlberg is €46,450, whereas in Burgenland it is just €39,100.

What is the average cost of living in Austria?

Many international residents will find everyday living costs in Austria to be expensive, especially for those that come from countries with a much lower cost of living.

Inflation has also been rising steadily in Austria throughout 2022, leading to some steep rises in prices for groceries, housing costs and energy.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: 10 ways to save money on your groceries in Austria

However, the average cost of living varies across the country, depending on the location. For example, Vienna and Innsbruck in Tyrol are two of Austria’s most expensive cities, but more affordable places to live are Graz in Styria and Klagenfurt in Carinthia.

In Vienna, the average price for a one bedroom apartment in the city centre is €915, going up to €2,000 for a three bedroom apartment, according to Expat Arrivals.

Whereas in Graz, the average cost of a one bedroom city centre apartment is around €609, and a three bedroom apartment is €1,170.

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