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

'3G Rule': How to prove you have been vaccinated, tested or recovered from Covid in Austria
Bars and restaurants can open again in Austria. Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
Austria is open again for vaccinated, tested or recovered people. Here’s what you need to know about how to prove you are in one of these categories.

After six months of being locked down, Austria allowed events, amateur sport, hotels and restaurants to open again from May 19th. 

“We are on the final stretch in our fight against the pandemic,” Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told reporters in a press conference when announcing the measures in April.

Only people who have been vaccinated against the virus, have tested negative or who have contracted the virus and have recovered are entitled to participate in the reopening. 

This is known in Austria as the ‘3G Rule’ (see below). 

The reopening was to be integrated with Austria’s green pass, however this is not expected to be ready until June 6th. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

Austria reopened on May 19th

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has told Austria that from May 19th everything “from soccer matches to brass band music will be possible again”. 

The changes included allowing restaurants to open again, along with events, amateur sport and schools. 

For more information on the nature of the measures being relaxed, please check out the following link. 

EXPLAINED: What coronavirus measures will apply in Austria from May 19th?

The quarantine requirement has also been largely dropped. 

For more information, click the following link. 

EXPLAINED: The new rules for entering Austria

Further opening steps should come by July 1st at the latest.

What is the ‘3G Rule’ in Austria? 

Anyone wanting to visit restaurants, hotels and take part in events, etc, need to do so pursuant to the so-called ‘3G Rule’. 

The 3G Rule refers to ‘Getestet, Geimpft, Genesen’ (Tested, Vaccinated, Recovered) and describes the three ways someone can provide evidence they are immune to the virus. 

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

While proving this status will become easier when Austria’s green pass comes into effect – most likely from June 6th – until then you will need to show paper evidence. 

This is outlined specifically below. 

How do I prove I have been vaccinated? 

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 confirmed. 

Please note that this applies 21 days after your first shot in Austria. Until then, you need to continue to prove immunity through testing. 

If you don’t have an Impfpass, 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. 

You will receive evidence of your vaccination regardless of where it is carried out, whether that be at a doctor’s office, a pharmacy or a vaccination centre. 

More information is available at the following link. 

EXPLAINED: How can I prove I’ve been vaccinated to access pubs and hairdressers in Austria?

What about with a negative test?

You can also show evidence of a negative test, although this does get a little complicated due to the variety of tests on offer. 

There are three broad categories of test and they apply for different time periods. 

The self-tests, which you can carry out yourself at home, are valid for 24 hours. 

The antigen tests, which you can get done at pharmacies, doctors and testing centres (aka test streets) across the country, are valid for 48 hours. 

PCR tests – which take longer but are considered the ‘gold standard’ when it comes to testing – apply for 72 hours. 

The rules are slightly different for children, who can show their test sticker books. These are valid for 48 hours after the test. 

More information on the test sticker books is available below. 

‘Ninja tests’: What are Austria’s coronavirus sticker book tests for children?

What about proving recovery?

This can get a little more difficult, particularly if you have not visited the doctor when you caught (or believe you caught) covid. 

For people who have a medical certificate saying they were infected, this is relatively simple. You can show this for six months after your infection. 

If you do not have a medical certificate proving you were infected, you can take an antibody test. 

Companies that carry out antibody tests have been encouraged by the government to produce results which are easy to read, i.e. that simply say “positive” or “antibodies found”. 

The results of these tests last for three months, provided of course that the results show you have had the virus. 

Generally speaking, you will need to carry out the tests at your own expense. 

More information is available at the following link. 

READ MORE: How to prove you have recovered from Covid in Austria?

What evidence do I need – and when will we go digital?

Given that Austria still runs on paper, anyone wanting to show compliance will have to provide evidence in paper-based form. 

This will be the case until early June, when the green pass – which will incorporate digital QR code technology – will come into effect. 

However, Chief Medical Officer Katharina Reich from the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday, May 18th, that photographic evidence of the above vaccine, medical certificate or test result, on a mobile phone will also suffice. 

Reich told the press that information should be presented “in PDF form if possible” and must be legible. 

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