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TRAVEL

Entry, masks and nightclubs: What are the rules in some of Austria’s favourite holiday destinations?

Thinking of a holiday? Here are the rules in some of your favourite holiday destinations.

Entry, masks and nightclubs: What are the rules in some of Austria's favourite holiday destinations?
Photo: KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / AFP

Austria has relaxed several coronavirus measures. 

This has meant that international travel is allowed to take place again, whether that be with people visiting Austria or for those travelling further afield. 

From Thursday, July 1st, people from several non-European countries including the United States will again be allowed to enter Austria. 

More information is available at the following link. 

READ MORE: Austria to allow American arrivals from Thursday

But what about Austrians heading abroad? 

Here’s the low down on the rules in place in some of the most popular holiday destinations. 

These are accurate as at June 30th, but are of course subject to change depending on the underlying epidemiological situation. 

France

Shops, restaurants and museums are open in France – albeit with restrictions on capacity and the requirement to register for contract tracing if you sit indoors – and the nighttime curfew has been lifted. Face masks are still required in many places including some outdoor areas.

France has placed Austria on its green list, meaning entry is not restricted. 

If you’ve been vaccinated you can enter with proof, if you have not you’ll need to show a negative PCR test which is less than 72 hours old. 

Anyone entering France will also need to fill in a form promising that they do not have Covid symptoms and haven’t had contact with anyone with Covid for the past 14 days. 

The form is available here in French and English. 

Germany 

The rules in Germany have largely been relaxed regarding entry, although this will vary from state to state due to the federal system. 

Entering by land – whether road or train – is unrestricted, but those entering via air will need to show evidence of a negative test (antigen less than 48 hours or PCR less than 72 hours), recovery certificate or vaccination. 

Germany has had a strict approach to most coronavirus measures, with bars, restaurants and cultural facilities largely closed for a six-month period. 

Where the state has a low Covid rate, restaurants and bars are allowed to open up again, as are museums, theatres, galleries and other cultural and sporting facilities. 

In some states, a negative test or proof of vaccination or recovery is needed to sit inside at bars and restaurants.

Masks are generally still required in shops and on public transport, but the type of mask – i.e. whether it is FFP2 or a just a cotton mask – will vary from state to state. 

Spain

Austrians can enter Spain freely. 

This includes mainland Spain and the Balearic and Canary Islands. 

Masks are no longer required in outdoor areas as of June 26th

You do not need to show evidence of vaccination or a negative test, but you will need to fill out the following form, which will give you a QR code to show on arrival. 

Italy

Italy has also relaxed many of its coronavirus measures, with the mask requirement in outdoor areas relaxed on June 28th. 

People from Austria are allowed to enter but will need to fill in the following form (English and Italian). 

You’ll need to show proof of vaccination or recovery – if not you need a negative antigen test which is less than 48 hours old. 

Switzerland

Austrians can enter from Switzerland by road or train without restrictions, however those arriving via air will need to show a negative PCR or antigen test. 

You will also need to fill out the following form. 

Greece

Travel to Greece is permitted although you will need to show evidence of vaccination, recovery or a negative test (PCR). 

Masks are required in all outdoor areas and there is a nighttime curfew, although it only applies from 1am to 5:30am, so it’s only likely to be felt by the most dedicated of party goers. 

You’ll need to fill out the following form to enter Greece. 

Portugal

Portugal might be currently suffering from an increase in the Delta variant, however people are still allowed to enter provided you can show a negative test. 

There are relatively strict rules in place domestically however, including a maximum of six people allowed inside restaurants and cafes, a maximum of ten people outside. 

Bars and restaurants must close at 1am. 

You will need to fill out the following form

Turkey

From July 1st, holidays to Turkey will be largely restriction-free for Austrian arrivals. 

Restaurants and cafes can open again, although there is a curfew which kicks into place at midnight. 

To enter, you need to show you’ve been vaccinated or that you have recovered from the virus.

You can also enter pursuant to a negative test, provided it is less than 48 hours old (antigen) or less than 72 hours old (PCR). 

You’ll also need to fill out the following form. 

United Kingdom

At present, this is one of the hardest destinations to visit, primarily due to concern surrounding the Delta variant. 

Entering the United Kingdom is possible, however as Austria is on the UK’s amber list, you must quarantine for ten days, along with bringing a negative Covid test (even if you’re vaccinated). 

Once there, you will need to pay for two more Covid tests, one on the second day and one on the eighth day, before ending the quarantine on the tenth day. 

What about further afield? 

While Austria will not prevent you from going to any of these nations, each still has relatively strict border rules which may prevent you from entering. 

As far as United States, Australia and New Zealand are concerned, the travel ban on foreign tourists is still in place, with no news about when it will be lifted.

If you are a resident or citizen of one of these nations you will be able to enter, subject to quarantine rules and possible quotas. 

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TRAVEL

Explore Austria: Mauer, a charming wine-hiking spot on Vienna’s outskirts

Catch the very tail-end of the wine season and autumn foliage in one of the lesser-explored corners of the Austrian capital: Mauer.

Explore Austria: Mauer, a charming wine-hiking spot on Vienna’s outskirts
Beautiful views and cosy taverns await you on the edge of Vienna. Photo: Catherine Edwards

Wine-hiking is an autumn must-do in Austria, and although the official Wine Hiking Day (Weinwandertag) that usually draws crowds has been cancelled two years in a row during the pandemic, it’s possible to follow the routes through beautiful scenery and wine taverns on your own.

Mauer in the southwest of Vienna is one of the routes that is mostly frequented by locals.


The footpath takes you through scenic vineyards. Photo: Catherine Edwards

You can reach this part of the 23rd district using Vienna’s public transport, and you have a few options. From the Hietzing station on the U4 line, you can take the tramline 60 or bus 56A. The former will take you either to Mauer’s central square or you can get off earlier at Franz-Asenbauer-Gasse to start the hike. If it’s too early in the day for wine just yet, you could start your day at the small and charming Designo cafe (Geßlgasse 6).

Otherwise, the residential area itself doesn’t have much to see, but keep an eye out as you wander between the taverns later — there are some beautiful buildings.

To start the hike, head west along Franz-Asenbauer Gasse, which will take you up into the vineyards, growing some red wine and Vienna’s specialty Gemischter Satz or ‘field blend’, which as the name suggests is a mixture of different types of grapes.

Photo: Catherine Edwards

The paved road takes a left turn, but the hiking route follows a smaller path further upwards. Here you’ll have magnificent views over the whole of Vienna.

If you stick to the official hiking route (see a map from Weinwandern here) you can keep the whole route under 5 kilometres. But more adventurous types don’t need to feel limited.

You can also follow the Stadtwanderweg 6 route (see a map here) either in full, which will add on a hefty 13 kilometres, or just in part, and venture further into the Mauerwald. If you do this, one spot to aim for is the Schießstätte, a former hunting lodge offering hearty Austrian meals.

EXPLORE AUSTRIA

In any case, you should definitely take a small detour to see the Wotrubakirche, an example of brutalist architecture from the mid-1970s built on a site that was used as a barracks during the Second World War.

Not far from the church is the Pappelteich, a small pond that is not only an important habitat for local flora and fauna, but a popular picnic spot for hikers. Its only water supply is from the rain, and due to climate change the pond has almost dried out in recent years, prompting the city to take action to boost its water supply by adding a permanent pipe.


The church is made up of over 150 concrete blocks. Photo: Catherine Edwards

What you really come to Mauer for, though, are the Heuriger or Viennese wine taverns. 

The most well-known is Edlmoser (Maurer Lange Gasse 123) which has previously been named as the best in Vienna. Note that it’s not open all year so check the website, but in 2021 it should be open between November 5th and 21st, and is also serving the goose that is a popular feature on Viennese menus this time of year.

Tip for translating Heuriger opening times: look for the word ausg’steckt, which is used by those taverns which aren’t open year round. They will also often show that they’re open by attaching a bunch of green twigs to the sign or front door.


Buschenschank Grausenburger. Photo: Catherine Edwards

Also worth visiting are cosy Buschenschank Grausenburger (Maurer Lange Gasse 101a), Heuriger Wiltschko (Wittgensteinstrasse 143 — located near the start of the hiking route, this is a good place to begin your tour) and Heuriger Fuchs-Steinklammer (Jesuitensteig 28).

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