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Everything that changes in Austria in July 2021

From coronavirus rules to easier entry for tourists, here's what is set to change in July, 2021.

Everything that changes in Austria in July 2021
Here is what is set to change in Austria in July. Photo by Majid Rangraz on Unsplash

Here are some of the most important changes set to come into effect in July 2021. 

Coronavirus measures

Austria’s latest wave of Covid measures relaxations came into effect on July 1st. 

Rules relating to masks, nightlife, events and groups will be relaxed. 

Only a few measures will remain, including the 3G Rule – which requires people to prove they have been vaccinated, tested or recovered from Covid in order to take part in most activities. 

An extensive list of the new measures can be found at the following link. 

IN DETAIL: How Austria will relax coronavirus measures from Thursday

Not all the relaxed measures apply in Vienna, including the FFP2 mask requirement and rules relating to testing and children. Click here for a list of the relevant measures in Vienna. 

Vienna to keep in place stricter coronavirus measures: What you need to know

The Austrian government wants to relax the rule which requires people to give their contact details when visiting restaurants on July 22nd, although Vienna has indicated it will keep this rule in place. 

Rules for visiting Austria

The rules for visiting Austria have been relaxed as of July 1st.

This is particularly relevant for people from outside of Europe, including Americans, who are again allowed to enter. 

Only people who are deemed to be immune to the virus can enter Austria. 

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

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. 

Click the following link for more information:

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

EU digital Covid pass launches

This digital ‘travel pass’ should make things a little easier if you’re venturing out of the country. 

Officially the EU’s Covid-19 certificate, as it’s properly known, launches across the bloc on July 1st.

From that date, people who can show they are fully vaccinated can travel anywhere within the EU or Schengen zone without needing to follow certain health measures, such as quarantining or testing. But note that strict measures remain in place for ‘virus variant’ countries, which currently includes Portugal. 

Slightly confusingly, some nations already accept it. On Thursday, June 24th, Norway eased regulations to allow visitors from 12 EU countries to travel using the EU Covid certificate. For the rest, it will be available from July 1st.

Along with Austria, the EU pass will soon be valid in countries such as Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Romania, United Kingdom, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, as well as Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway.

New EU VAT rules for imported goods

Imported goods with a value of €22 or less used to be exempt from tax, but this condition will be scrapped on July 1st across the EU.

This means all goods arriving into Austria and other EU countries from non-EU countries will be subject to VAT, regardless of their value.

This EU-wide regulation will particularly affect businesses that import goods from outside of the bloc and people who shop online on international websites such as China’s AliExpress.

If the goods cost more than €150 (not including transport, insurance and handling charges) you will also have to pay customs duty.

If businesses don’t register with the The Import One-Stop Shop (IOSS), the VAT will be paid by the customer when importing the goods into the EU.

Postal or courier companies may charge the customer an additional clearance fee to collect this VAT and carry out the necessary procedures when importing the goods.

Official information is available here. 

Brexit means Brexit

As of July 1st, if you are driving in Austria on your British licence you are technically driving without a licence. 

People who became legally resident in Austria before Brexit and have a British driving licence should note the deadline for exchanging their British licence for an Austrian one was June 30th, 2021.

Under Austrian law, you are required to change your driving licence over after a maximum of six months in the country. 

According to the Article 50 Rules, this means that June 30th is the relevant date for switching over, as it is six months from the Brexit deadline. 

There are potentially serious fines or insurance consequences for those who have not changed over their licence in time. Read the following link for more information. 

Brexit: What happens if you don’t exchange your driving licence in Austria by the June 30th deadline?

Standard consumption tax (NoVa) for cars to increase

The NoVa tax which applies to almost all new car purchases will increase in July 2021 – and will continually increase up until 2024.  

The amount you will pay varies depends on the purchase price and the type of car, but is higher on larger cars. 

For motorcycles, the percentage of NoVa tax will increase from 20 to 30 percent. 

More detailed information is available at the following link

New rules for short-time working/Kurzarbeit/Furlough

Austria’s furlough scheme will also change from July 2021, with the rules expiring at the end of June. 

Short-time work will now receive a reduced level of funding, which is 15 percent lower than the previous rate. 

In sectors that are deemed to be particularly affected by the pandemic, this will not change. More info is available here. 

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WHAT CHANGES IN AUSTRIA

Everything that changes in Austria in October 2022

From the presidential elections, Covid rules, the final date for the €500 Klimabonus and the National Day holiday, here are some of the most important changes you need to be aware of in Austria in October.

Everything that changes in Austria in October 2022

Austria to elect a new president

Austria’s presidential election will take place on October 9th, with seven candidates vying to take over at the Hofburg – the official workplace of the country’s president.

According to opinion polls, the favourite to win is the current president Alexander Van der Bellen, who is running for reelection. He could win this election with an absolute majority already in the first round, avoiding a run-off if polls continue favourable to the incumbent.

Austrian citizens aged 16 and over can vote in the elections, and the Federal President is eligible for two elected terms (each lasting for six years).

READ ALSO: Austrian presidential elections: Who are the seven candidates?

Stricter Covid rules in Vienna to expire – or be extended

Vienna currently has stricter rules concerning the coronavirus pandemic than the remaining Austrian states. The main difference is that FFP2 masks are still mandatory in all Viennese public transport (and stations).

The current regulation had been extended in late August, with the new expiration date set for October 23rd. This means that by the end of the month, people in Vienna might be able to drive the trains and metros without a mask.

The regulation could, of course, easily be extended as it was before. From what health authorities in the capital say, it looks like it will be prolonged to last during the cold months as well. If the pandemic worsens, with more people being hospitalised, the city (and the country) could impose stricter measures.

READ ALSO: Could Austria be spared another wave of Covid this winter?

Fuel to become more expensive in Austria

Starting October 1st, fuel will become more expensive in Austria. This is because the CO2 tax, part of the federal government’s eco-social reform announced earlier this year, will come in place after being postponed due to rising inflation.

Austria’s auto and motor association ARBÖ has advised motorists to fill up their cars ahead of the coming month – to take advantage of current prices before they rise.

For motorists, the new tax will mean a price difference for a 50-litre tank filling of about €4 to €4.5, on top of the fuel price increases worldwide, according to ARBÖ.

READ ALSO: ‘Mission 11’: Austrian government reveals tips on how to save energy and fuel

Final date to get the €500 bonus (for some)

The Austrian federal government is sending out €500 in anti-inflation and climate payments – better known as the Klimabonus. Everyone who has lived in Austria for at least six months this year is entitled to receive the amount (minors get half, €250).

However, the payment is being made in stages. Those who have already lived for 183 days at the first reference date, July 3rd, will be the first people to receive. Residents who have not completed 183 days living in Austria as of this date, or babies who weren’t 183 days old at that point, will only receive at a later time, as the second round of payments is set for the end of the year.

The millions who are part of the first group are already getting their €500 wire transfer (or voucher), but not all. The IT company making the wire transfers has already stated that they should be finished by the end of the first week of October, while the federal government said that all vouchers would be sent by the end of October.

READ ALSO: When will Austria hand over the €500 anti-inflation payment and how do I get it?

Austrians celebrate the National Day

Austria has a big holiday coming up as it celebrates its National Day on Wednesday, October 26th.

On this day in 1955, Austria signed its so-called Declaration of Perpetual Neutrality, although the date has only been a public holiday since 1965.

The Declaration marked the end of the Allied occupation in Austria by British, American, French and Soviet Union forces, who had controlled the country since World War II in 1945.

On Austrian National Day, the Federal President usually addresses the nation on TV, honouring the victims of the war and laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This is also the day when the Austrian Armed Forces recruits are sworn in.

Additionally, military celebrations typically occur at Vienna’s Heldenplatz and many museums offer free or discounted entry.

READ MORE: What is Austrian National Day and why is it celebrated?

Wind those clocks

After a colder than usual summer which felt a little disappointing, winter is on its way. It’s hard to believe we’re already heading into the last part of the year, but here we are.

From Saturday, October 29th to Sunday, October 30th, clocks in Austria will be set to wintertime. So at 3 am, the clock will go back one hour to Central European Time (CET).

The good news is that we all get an extra hour of sleep. The bad news is that it will get darker earlier in the evening.

Unpack the jacket

You might have kept the cold at bay with a light jumper or sweater in September, but October is the month when winter starts to rear its chilly head.

The average temperatures in Austria are between 7°C and 15°C, depending on where in the country you are.

On average, October has 11 rainy days (out of 31) and six hours of daylight per day.

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