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TRAVEL NEWS

UPDATED: What are the rules for entering Austria right now?

Visiting Austria or thinking about doing so? Here’s what you need to know.

A test station at the Austrian border with Germany
A test station at the Austrian border with Germany. Photo: Christof Stache/AFP

This report was last updated on January 24th. We make every effort to ensure the information is correct, but we cannot issue legal advice. Links to official authorities are provided at the end of the article. 

The circumstances under which you can enter Austria depend on your reason for travel, and on your vaccination or recovery status. As of January 24th, there is no longer any distinction based on which country you travel from after Austria scrapped its virus variant list — but note that this has been scrapped and reinstated at different points during the pandemic, so this could change.

To enter Austria as a tourist, the basic rule is that you need proof of 2G (two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine or recovery from the virus) as well as either proof of a booster dose or a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours on entry to Austria. This is called the 2G+ rule.

There are some cases in which you’re exempt from these requirements, so we’ll go into more detail below.

What are the rules for entering Austria? 

Austria has used three different sets of regulations throughout the pandemic: low incidence countries, virus variant countries, and all others. As of January 24th, countries are no longer divided in this way and the same rules apply regardless of where you’re travelling from.

In general, the 2G+ rule applies.

This means you need proof of 2G (a full course of a Covid-19 vaccine or recovery from the virus within the last 180 days) in order to enter Austria.

In order to enter without needing to quarantine or fill out a pre-travel clearance form, you also need proof of a booster dose or a negative PCR test result no older than 72 hours on arrival to meet the 2G+ requirement.

If you meet the 2G requirement but do not have a booster or negative PCR result, then you need to fill out the pre-travel clearance form before travel and enter quarantine on arrival, which can be ended after receiving a negative PCR test result. If you recovered from Covid-19 after receiving a full course of vaccination, you do not need to show a negative PCR test result.

Only a few groups are allowed to enter Austria without 2G proof, including Austrian and EU residents, as well as pregnant women and people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. For regular commuters to Austria (people who travel at least once for work, study or family reasons), the 3G rule applies, meaning they can show a PCR test or antigen test instead of 2G proof.

Low incidence countries and virus variants

Previously, Austria has had more lenient rules for certain countries judged to be ‘low incidence’ (mostly those inside the Schengen region, but also around a dozen from further afield, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Vietnam and Singapore) and stricter rules for countries labelled as ‘virus variant countries’. 

As of January 24th, these distinctions do not apply.

What applies to children?

Children aged 12 and under do not need to show any entry proof.

Children up to the age of 17 are able to enter Austria without needing to quarantine if they are accompanied by fully vaccinated or recovered adults, but between the ages of 12 to 17 they still need to have their own proof of 3G.

In general, children should follow the same rules regarding quarantine and pre-travel clearance forms as the adult they are travelling with.

What’s the pre-travel clearance form?

In some cases, you will need to fill out a pre-travel form giving details about your personal information and the duration and location of your stay. You can find an English-language online version of the form here.

Which vaccines are accepted? 

In Austria, for entry purposes you are considered fully vaccinated after your second shot of a two-shot vaccine (or 22 days after the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine — this is different from the domestic 2G rules, for example to enter hotels or restaurants, where one dose of Johnson and Johnson is not considered as full vaccination). 

Proof of vaccination is considered valid for 270 days after your second shot, after which you need to have proof of a third dose in order to enter using proof of vaccination. This is also valid for 270 days. This is also different from the domestic 2G rules, where a second dose will only be valid for 180 days as of February 1st 2022 although the booster is valid for 270 days.

To enter Austria, you must have been vaccinated with an EMA-approved vaccine or one approved from the WHO. Again, this is different from the domestic rules for 2G, which only accept EMA-approved vaccines as valid proof of vaccination.

The WHO approval requirement means vaccines from more manufacturers are accepted. This includes: 

Comirnaty (BioNtech/Pfizer), Vaxzevria/AstraZeneca, and Covishield from Serum Institute of India COVID-19, Vaccine Janssen from Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Moderna, Sinopharm SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell), Inactivated (InCoV) and Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine, SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell), Inactivated. 

Where can I find more?

FAQ on travel rules to Austria from the Health Ministry

Austria’s pre-travel clearance form in English

Austrian Tourist Board

Member comments

  1. The UK Government website says that proof of vaccination is the only requirement to enter Austria yet your website says from 22nd Nov a negative PCR test is required.
    ” As of November 22nd, only negative PCR tests will be accepted as 3G proof for most travellers including anyone travelling for the purpose of tourism.”
    Can someone please clarify.
    Thanks

    1. Hi,
      3G means ‘tested, vaccinated, or recovered’ – you only need to adhere to one of these in order to fulfil the criteria. If you have a valid vaccine pass, that’s all you need to meet this criteria, but if you are using a test, you can only use PCR tests (and not antigen tests). Thanks!

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COVID-19 ALERT

Travel: What Covid rules are in place when visiting Austria this summer?

From entry rules to local Covid-19 restrictions and the latest data, here is what you need to know before visiting Austria in the summer of 2022.

Travel: What Covid rules are in place when visiting Austria this summer?

Austria is a very popular tourist destination, especially during the summer months, with its pristine lakes and beautiful cities ready to receive thousands of travellers.

However, the pandemic is still not over and many tourists are left with several questions when they decide to visit another country.

Here is what you need to know about the Covid-19 situation, rules, and requirements before visiting the Alpine country.

What are the entry rules?

First of all, what are the rules for entering the country? That’s an easy one: there are currently no Covid-19 restrictions for entering the country.

More specifically: there is no need to show proof that you were recently vaccinated, recovered from Covid-19 or tested negative for the disease.

You also don’t need to quarantine upon entry or fill in a specific online form.

This could change on short notice, though, in case any variant of concern is found in Europe or further afield. 

Here is the official website where you can find more information in English.

Are there any Covid-19 restrictions?

Austria has lifted most of its coronavirus-related restrictions, and life is almost as it was over two years ago. However, there are still a few rules to keep in mind, especially concerning masks.

There are also some differences when it comes to Vienna and the rest of the country, as Mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ) chose to stick with the “Viennese way” and keep some restrictions, most notably the mandatory use of masks in public transport.

Currently, masks are no longer mandatory in essential stores or public transport in most of Austria.

READ ALSO: LATEST: These are the Covid rules in Austria and Vienna from June 2022

According to the federal government, there is still an FFP2 mask mandate in “vulnerable” settings. These include hospitals, elderly and care homes, and health services.

Vienna has a few more restrictions when it comes to using of masks. In the capital, they are still mandatory in pharmacies, health care, and public transport (including the stations).

Besides the mandatory FFP2 mask usage in the entire country, Vienna also has a PCR test obligation to visitors. There are no longer visitor restrictions, though.

Self-isolation rules: what if I test positive?

In Vienna, the quarantine after a positive test lasts for ten days. It ends automatically if, during the last 48 hours, the person has shown no symptoms. People can test themselves free after five days if the PCR result is negative or a CT value above 30.

In the rest of Austria, people who tested positive but had a mild course of the disease and showed no symptoms for 48 hours can leave quarantine on the fifth day of isolation.

READ ALSO: What tourists in Austria should do if they test positive for Covid

If they test negative, they are free from restrictions.

Still, if they do not get tested or get a CT value below or equal to 30, they go into “traffic restriction” and need to wear a mask and not visit events or gastronomy for the next five days.

Can I take a free Covid-19 test as a tourist? What about a free vaccination?

Technically, yes. With the tests, it can be a bit more complicated, but we wrote a complete guide on how to get free Covid tests in Austria as a tourist.

READ ALSO: How tourists, visitors (and residents) can get free Covid tests

There are still “test streets” and “test boxes” where you can get tested for free without having an Austrian social insurance number. Remember to carry a picture ID and wear an FFP2 mask in those places, though.

As for vaccination, it is also possible to get a Covid-19 vaccine for free and without Austrian health insurance in the country. You will also need a picture ID and to wear a mask.

What if I get Covid-19 before my trip to Austria?

You are not allowed to enter Austria if you know you have Covid-19 – though there are currently no more checks, this falls largely into personal responsibility.

If you need to cancel your trip due to a positive test result, here is what you need to know about your rights.

READ ALSO: Reader question: Can I get a refund after cancelling my Austria trip due to Covid?

Airline companies are not required to refund you or allow you to make changes to your flight for free – unless the ticket you purchased entitles you to these rights.

The same is valid for hotel reservations. Most of them, primarily if you have used an online booking platform, will have different fees, and travellers have additional rights. It is essential to understand each tariff and what they entitle you to.

What is the current situation regarding Covid-19 in Austria?

Coronavirus numbers are rising in Austria, with many experts alerting to a Covid-19 wave, as The Local reported.

On Monday, July 4th, Austria reported 7,745 new coronavirus infections after 60,917 PCR tests. There were 929 hospitals with Covid-19 and 51 people in intensive care units. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 18,798 people have died from the disease in Austria.

Just under 62 percent of the population has all the necessary vaccination doses for a valid “green pass”, according to the Health Ministry.

READ ALSO: 11,000 new cases: Will Austria reintroduce restrictions as infection numbers rise?

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