EXPLAINED: What are Austria’s new coronavirus measures?

EXPLAINED: What are Austria's new coronavirus measures?
A group of cyclists ride past people enjoying a drink in Linz, Austria. Austria will relax its coronavirus measures from May 19th onwards. Photo: LUK BENIES / AFP
Austria is set to wind back several of its coronavirus measures from Wednesday onwards. Here's what you need to know.

The rules were relaxed further from June 10th. Click here for Austria’s updated rules. 

On April 23rd, Austria announced a widespread relaxation of coronavirus measures would take place from May 19th. 

Chancellor Sebastian 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 from May 19th? 

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.

More information is available at the following link. 

‘3G Rule’: How to prove you have been vaccinated, tested or recovered from Covid in Austria

Is the nighttime curfew still in place? 

No. This has been relaxed and no longer applies in any Austrian state. 

As a result, you will no longer need an official reason to leave your apartment or home in Austria after 8pm – or indeed at any time at all. 

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?

Sports

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. 

Quarantine

Austria is set to relax its strict coronavirus quarantine on May 19th for most EU countries, making summer travel easier both for people wanting to visit Austria as well as Austrians returning home.

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. 

The likely exceptions are to include high-incidence countries or regions, or areas where virus variants are particularly prevalent.

More information is available in the following link. 

READ MORE: Austria to relax coronavirus quarantine on May 19th

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. 

Museums

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.

School
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. 

More information about schools is available at the following link. 

EXPLAINED: What are the rules for schools in Austria?

Hotels 

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.

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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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