To grab a seat, patrons needed to have a document proving that they’ve been vaccinated, tested negative or recently recovered from Covid-19.
Along with eateries, the Alpine EU member also opened hotels, sports, leisure and cultural venues including the renowned Vienna State Opera.
“It feels strange after so many months,” said 46-year-old Christoph Neubauer, an insurance broker enjoying a coffee with a colleague in the historic Cafe Central in downtown Vienna.
“But I really look forward to tonight, because I have a reservation for a restaurant, and I expect it to be busy,” he told AFP.
Many restaurants reported being fully booked, especially as new regulations limit the number of people per table to four indoors, with a mandatory minimum distance of two metres (6.6 feet) between groups.
A third of Austria’s nine million people have been vaccinated so far. The country has recorded some 10,500 deaths since the start of the pandemic.