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
      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):
    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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Austria in shock over doctor’s suicide following anti-vax abuse

Austrians expressed shock and anger this week over the suicide of doctor who had been the target of a torrent of abuse and threats from anti-vaccination protesters.

Austria in shock over doctor's suicide following anti-vax abuse

The bells of Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral rang out in memory of Lisa-Maria Kellermayr on Monday, and hundreds of people held a candle vigil outside, after the 36-year-old doctor was found dead at her practice on July 29.

She had long been the target of death threats because of her criticism of the widespread anti-lockdown protests of 2021.

An autopsy later confirmed that Kellermayr had taken her own life.

Austria has found itself deeply polarised over coronavirus restrictions and in particular a government policy –subsequently dropped — of making vaccination against the coronavirus compulsory.

Kellermayr — whose practice was in the region of Upper Austria where immunisation rates are particularly low — had frequently complained of the menace.

“For more than seven months, we have been receiving… death threats from those opposed to coronavirus measures and vaccinations,” she wrote at the time, sharing a message from one internet user who said they would pose as a patient in order to attack her and her staff.

She described how she had “invested more than 100,000 euros” ($102,000) in measures to ensure her patients’ safety and was on the brink of bankruptcy.

Then, at the end of June, Kellermayr announced on her professional website that she would not be seeing patients until further notice.

Daniel Landau, who organised a memorial vigil for her in Vienna, said that Kellermayr had become a virtual recluse for several weeks. “She didn’t dare to leave” her office, Landau told AFP.

Fanning the aggression

On Saturday, the head of Austria’s doctors’ association, Johannes Steinhart, said that while aggressive behaviour towards medical staff was not new, it had been “fired up and noticeably aggravated” by the debate over Covid-19 and vaccines.

The police, who had previously suggested Kellermayr was exploiting the situation for attention, insist they did everything to protect her. The local prosecutor’s office also rejected suggestions it could have done more.

“As soon as we received the police report (identifying one of the suspects), we sent it over to the relevant authorities in Germany,” spokesman Christoph Weber said.

On Friday, prosecutors in the neighbouring German state of Bavaria said a 59-year-old suspect was being investigated by a specialist hate speech unit.

At the beginning of the week, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen visited the small town of Seewalchen where Kellermayr lived to lay flowers in her memory.

After news of her death broke, he had appealed to Austrians to “put an end to intimidation and fear”.

‘They’re gagging us’

But on some Telegram groups, the hateful messages continue.

“Some people are celebrating her death; others believe the vaccine killed her,” said Ingrid Brodnig, a journalist and author who investigates online disinformation.

“Stricts laws exist” already against online hate, but not enough is done to implement them, Brodnig said.

One government minister has floated the idea of a separate prosecutor’s office to target such cases. Doctors and researchers have also been targeted elsewhere.

French infectious disease specialist, Karine Lacombe, described how she had been vilified for her work as part of a collective of doctors combatting coronavirus-related disinformation.

She, too, complained that the response from the authorities in the face of threats was not robust enough, and has scaled down her public appearances this year.

“You end up thinking that the risk isn’t worth it,” she told AFP. “In that sense (the aggressors) have won, they are gagging us,” she said.