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.