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What are Austria’s current Covid-19 measures?

Austria is set to relax several coronavirus measures from June 10th, including rules for masks, restaurants and curfew. Here's what you need to know.

What are Austria's current Covid-19 measures?
Austria will further relax coronavirus measures on June 10th. Photo: Christof STACHE / AFP

From July 1st, new coronavirus measures will apply. Here’s what you need to know. 

Just over one week after relaxing a range of coronavirus measures on May 19th, Austria announced it will take steps to further relax existing measures from June 10th.

Austrian health minister Wolfgang Mückstein indicated that the previous round of relaxations has been successful, meaning that further measures can be relaxed.

The one proviso on the additional loosening of measures is that infection rates, along with hospitalisations and fatality rates, remain low in Austria.

A further round of relaxations will take place from July 1st. More information is available at the following link. 

READ MORE: Austria to lift almost all coronavirus restrictions by July 1st

What measures will be relaxed from June 10th? 

According to the Minister of Health, the plans relate mainly to masks, gastronomy and events. 

While previous reports had indicated the relaxations could come into effect on the 17th of June, Mückstein confirmed on Wednesday that June 10th was the new date.

In order to access bars, restaurants, events and travel, you will need to comply with the so-called 3G rule. 

This means that 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. 

More information on the 3G rule is available at the following link. 

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

Masks

From June 10th, the mask mandate will be relaxed for outdoor areas for people who have been vaccinated, have tested negative all those who have recently recovered from the virus.

Masks have been required in outdoor areas where the mandatory two-metre distance has been difficult to maintain, for example at protests or in public spaces where large amounts of people congregate.

The indoor mask mandate however, is expected to remain in place.

Weddings

The number of people allowed at weddings is also expected to increase, although specifics of this plan have yet to be released.

Currently, food and drink may not be served at weddings and a maximum of 50 people are allowed to attend.

The relaxations are expected to include a higher maximum on attendees along with a relaxation of the ban on catering.

Restaurants

From June 10th, the mandatory closing time for restaurants will be increase from 10:00PM to midnight.

In addition, the number of people who may sit at a table will be doubled from four to eight people.

Retail

The rules are also expected to change in shops. Currently, one person is allowed per 20 square meters. This will be changed from June 10th to allow for one person per 10 square metres.

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COVID-19 RULES

Austrian court rules certain bans for unvaccinated were ‘unconstitutional’

Austria's constitutional court found that banning unvaccinated people from going to hairdressers or cultural institutions was unconstitutional

Austrian court rules certain bans for unvaccinated were 'unconstitutional'

The Constitutional Court (VfGH) has found a regulation which stopped people from going to hairdressers in the second lockdown for the unvaccinated was unconstitutional and, therefore, illegal.

However, the Court of Justice did confirm it was admissible to distinguish between people with and without 2G evidence (proof they had recovered from or been vaccinated against Covid-19), meaning the lockdown for the unvaccinated was itself legal.

READ ALSO: Four options: These are Austria’s autumn Covid lockdown plans

As there were exceptions to the lockdown, allowing people without vaccinations to leave their homes to “cover the necessary basic needs of daily life”, this should have included trips to the hairdressers as part of these “basic needs” on a long term, the court ruled.

It clarified that the rules were at first supposed to last for 10 days, but as the lockdown got extended several times, lasting a total of 11 weeks, the “basic needs” evolved and should have included hairdresser visits.

According to the Constitutional Court, it was also illegal for the government to ban unvaccinated people from entering cultural institutions in autumn 2021.

In this case, the reason was that people were still allowed to go to church and other places of religion, which the court found was “in violation of equality”.

READ ALSO: LATEST: The Covid rules across Austria from August 2022

The court found the ban on entering sports facilities ordered by the Minister of Health during the first lockdown in March and April 2020 was also unlawful, as there was not sufficient justification, broadcaster ORF reported.

Strict Covid-19 measures

Austria was one of the countries which imposed several lockdown periods during the pandemic, as The Local reported. While some were aimed at the entire population, more recently, only those who didn’t get vaccinated against Covid-19 were prevented from going out of their homes without a justification (such as grocery shopping or emergencies).

The country had also imposed a Covid-19 vaccination mandate, but that was scrapped after new variants of the virus evolved into less severe cases of the disease, the government said.

Currently, there are few coronavirus restrictions in place. You can check out all the measures across Austria here.

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