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

Closed gates at the Austrian border during the Covid pandemic in 2020. Photo by Harmen Jelle van Mourik on Unsplash
Closed gates at the Austrian border during the Covid pandemic in 2020. Photo by Harmen Jelle van Mourik on Unsplash
Visiting Austria or thinking about doing so? Here’s what you need to know.

This report was last updated on October 22nd.  

The circumstances under which you can enter Austria will depend largely on your vaccination or recovery status.  

You’ll need to fill out a form if coming to Austria in most cases, and show proof of either a negative Covid-19 test, proof of full vaccination, or proof of recovery from a past Covid-19 infection. More information about the form is available here. 

Children under 12 do not need to be tested, vaccinated or recovered in order to enter Austria without quarantining, provided they are travelling with an adult who is in compliance with the rules. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

What are the rules for entering Austria right now? 

There are two main areas to consider: where you are coming from and whether or not you can show adherence to the 3G Rule. 

People are deemed to be 3G compliant where they have been fully vaccinated against Covid, have contracted and recovered from the virus in the past six months or tested negative. 

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

Low incidence countries

Those from certain countries, listed in Austria’s Appendix A to the travel regulation, are allowed to enter without restriction or quarantine, although everyone arriving will need to comply with the 3G rule which is laid out below. The official list is available here

While the countries are mostly inside the Schengen region, there are around a dozen from further afield, including Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. The United States was removed from this list on September 15th.  You need to have spent all of the last ten days within countries on the low-incidence list.

Entry from one of these countries is possible provided you can prove vaccination, recovery from the virus (in the previous six months) or show a negative test (a PCR test no older than 72 hours or an antigen test no older than 48 hours). If you do not have one of these proofs, you can instead take a negative test upon arrival in Austria within 24 hours, but note that you will need proof of 3G to check into a hotel. 

If travelling from Cyprus and using a negative test as your proof for entry, only a PCR test is accepted.

Countries not on the low-incidence list, Appendix A, need to follow a different set of rules.

High epidemiological risk countries

Those in the second group – Appendix B2 – are considered ‘high epidemiological risk’ countries. As of October 22nd, these countries are Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica and Suriname.

READ MORE: Austria to remove UK and India from Covid variant list from Sunday

Entry from virus variant countries is only allowed for Austrian residents or citizens, European residents or citizens, people entering for business or study purposes, or diplomats. No tourism is allowed from these countries, until further notice. 

Arrivals who are permitted to enter need to provide evidence of a negative test and will need to quarantine for ten days, although you can leave quarantine after the fifth day with a negative PCR test

All other countries

If you are travelling to Austria from a country not on either of the above lists, in other words the majority of non-EU countries, you can enter Austria for any purpose.

In this case, the rules you need to follow depend on which proof of entry you have. For people with proof of full vaccination or recovery, there is no need to fill in the pre-travel clearance form or to isolate on arrival.

If you are travelling with a negative test, you will need to register your travel online first (find the form here) and quarantine for ten days on arrival, though you can end this on the fifth day if you test negative for Covid-19. You cannot leave your place of isolation for any purpose except to take the day five test.

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 proof of 3G.

What do vaccinated people need to show to enter?

Arrivals can show this by being consistent with the so-called ‘3G rule’. 

READ MORE: Can I travel to Austria if I’ve been vaccinated?

This rule states that those who have been vaccinated, along with those who have recently recovered from the virus and who have tested negative, can enter Austria. 

As has been indicated in the following article, this can be demonstrated either with paper evidence, a QR code on paper or a mobile, or an EU Covid pass. 

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

Everyone entering Austria will need to be consistent with the 3G rule, regardless of where they enter from. 

Which vaccines are accepted? 

In Austria, you are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after your second shot of a two-shot vaccine (or 22 days after the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine). 

You are considered fully vaccinated for a year (360 days) after your second shot. 

To enter, you must have been vaccinated with an EMA approved vaccine or one approved from the WHO.

The WHO approval requirement is also relatively rare in Europe, as it 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. 

You can also enter if you have recovered from the virus in the past 180 days.

Testing

You can also show evidence of a negative test to arrive if you come from a low incidence country, although this does get a little complicated due to the variety of tests on offer.

There are two broad categories of test and they apply for different time periods.

The antigen tests, which you can get done at pharmacies, doctors and testing centres (aka test streets) across the country, are valid for 24 hours.

PCR tests – which take longer but are considered the ‘gold standard’ when it comes to testing – apply for 72 hours.

Keep in mind that those entering with a test (i.e. who have not been vaccinated or recovered from the virus) from a country not on the low incidence list will need to quarantine for ten days, although they can leave after five days with another negative test


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