Austria: Bars and restaurants face €3,600 fines for not checking tests

Hospitality venues are required to ensure everyone on the premises is in compliance with Austria's testing and immunity rules. Here's what happens if they don't.

Austria: Bars and restaurants face €3,600 fines for not checking tests

With restaurants, pubs, amateur sport and larger events allowed again from May 19th, Austria brought into effect the ‘3G Rule’.

The 3G Rule 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.

A major concern among Austrian authorities however has been forgery.

Hospitality venues are required to ensure everyone on the premises is in compliance with the 3G Rule.

This entitles them to ask to see evidence of recovery, vaccination or a negative test, while they are also allowed to ask for ID if they feel someone is presenting another person’s test result. 

The fine for failing to properly check – and having someone caught on the premises who does not have appropriate documentation – can be up to €3,600, Austrian media reports.

There are also high fines for individuals, along with possible jail terms. 

While it might not seem like such a big deal, under Austrian law, forged tests are considered to be forgery of official documents and carry heavy penalties.

This can result in a fine of “several thousand euros” for the person presenting the forged test or vaccination result, Austrian media reports.

A police spokesman said the exact amount of the fine will depend on the circumstances.

Not only that, but forgers can spend several months in jail for doing so, with prison sentences of up to one year possible under Austrian law.

Documents do not need to be professionally forged – although professional forgery services have cropped up over Europe ahead of the release of the immunity card – for you to fall foul of the rules.

So even if you turn the ‘1’ into a ‘7’ on your certificate while thirsty for a quick pint, you could get yourself in a world of trouble.

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‘Decomposing smell’: Austrian police called due to smelly shoes

Austria's police department said they were called to an apartment complex in Vienna after a person was concerned about a "smell of decomposition".

'Decomposing smell': Austrian police called due to smelly shoes

This week, the Viennese police department started a weekly ‘series’ of sharing interesting stories on their social media accounts

Calling the series ‘Misunderstanding Wednesday’ (Missverständnismittwoch), the very first post is about a call they received to an apartment complex after a concerned citizen complained to emergency services about a “smell of decomposition in the staircase”.

READ ALSO: Stephansdom: Vienna woken up after hacker sets church bells to ring at 2am

The alleged corpse, it turns out, was just the neighbour’s smelly shoes which were left in the building corridor, in front of their apartment.

The police didn’t say when exactly the incident took place.

“When our colleagues are called because of the ‘smell of decomposition in the staircase’… and notice that the stunk is from the neighbour’s shoes which were left in front of the apartment door”, the official Twitter account of the Vienna police department reads.

‘When in doubt it is an emergency’

The authorities were light-hearted about the misunderstanding, even sharing a “meme-like” picture on their social media accounts, saying “some missions turn out to be different than initially assumed”.

READ ALSO: Austrian police warn public about new ‘fake cops’ scam

However, they reiterated that the misunderstandings should not deter people from calling 133, the emergency police number. They added that in case of emergencies and even if you are not sure, the authorities should be called and they will assist you.

“Note: in case of doubt, it is an emergency”, the Vienna police department says. “Never be afraid to dial the emergency number.”