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TRAVEL

Austria lifts worldwide travel warning – with a few exceptions

Green list countries include all EU states, as well as some international destinations, but the UK, South Africa, Brazil and India remain on the red list.

Austria lifts worldwide travel warning - with a few exceptions
A destination board. Photo: Pexels.

The worldwide travel warning that Austria implemented 15 months ago in response to the pandemic has now been lifted.

Transport State Secretary Magnus Brunner (ÖVP) announced the news at a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) on Thursday, July 1st.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that EU states and three Western Balkan states – Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania – are now classified as green.

This means people can enter Austria from these countries for tourism, as long as they have a negative test, are vaccinated or have recovered from coronavirus. 

Schallenberg did not rule out that restrictions could be tightened again and added that they are watching the situation in Portugal.

The green travel list

Other non-European countries on the green list include the USA, Saudi Arabia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and Thailand.

Brunner said there are already more international flights operating at Vienna International Airport and added that flight bans will expire at some point.

However, each individual country has its own travel rules and regulations, so the lifting of the worldwide travel warning in Austria doesn’t mean the same applies elsewhere.

An overview of the situation in other countries can be found at the link below.

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

The orange travel list

Most non-European countries have been switched from red to orange, with full immunisation required for entry to Austria from a country classified as orange. There is no quarantine for arrivals from these countries.

Full immunisation is acquired 14 days after the second dose of vaccines like Pfizer and AstraZeneca, or after the one and only shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Alternatively, recovery from coronavirus plus one dose of a vaccine is also valid for entry from a country on the orange list.

The red travel list

Only a handful of countries remain on the red list, including Brazil, South Africa, India and the United Kingdom, due to the high number of cases of coronavirus variants in the community.

This means only Austrian citizens or residents travelling from these countries can enter Austria with a negative PCR test, even for people that are fully vaccinated or have recovered from coronavirus, and all arrivals must undergo a quarantine.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has warned against travelling to “red” listed countries.

READ MORE: EU Covid certificate: What are the different entry rules in place around Europe?

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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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