How to get Austria’s green pass without a ‘Handysignature’ in Vienna

People have reported issues getting a 'Handysignature', which is a prerequisite for Austria's Covid-19 health pass in the city of Vienna. Here's how to get the pass without it.

How to get Austria's green pass without a 'Handysignature' in Vienna
Photo: Soeren Stache / POOL / AFP

It is now possible to obtain your Covid-19 health pass – otherwise known as an immunity pass or a green pass – without a Handysignature (mobile phone signature) in Vienna.

Prior to this, people had been advised to visit once they had been fully vaccinated, tested negative or had evidence they’d recovered from the virus in order to get the green pass. 

According to the advice, people could activate their citizen card or mobile phone signature by visiting FinanzOnline at this link and selecting ‘Bürgerkarte/Handy-Signatur aktivieren’ (activate citizen card/mobile phone signature). 

As a consequence, you are set to receive a letter of approval in the mail in the coming days. 

What if you cannot get a Handysignature? 

Some readers have told us they have had issues getting a Handysignature as they do not have Austrian phone numbers.

The platform appears unable to send out Handysignatures unless the phone has a +43 prefix as an Austrian number. 

The City of Vienna has sent out a communication which says anyone using the city’s Homecare app – which was originally developed to monitor testing and quarantine – can use it instead of a Handysignature. 

If you have been tested, vaccinated or received documentary evidence of your recovery in Vienna, you will be able to access the app with your 12-digit pin. 

Recovered and vaccinated persons should be automatically notified by SMS once their vaccination certificate is available.

You can then use the link from the SMS and your 12-digit PIN to call up the vaccination certificate. In selected testing centres, proof of recovery and proof of vaccination can be picked up as printouts.

More information is available at the following link

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EXPLAINED: How Austria’s compulsory vaccine mandate could be back in June

The much-debated policy sparked controversy since before it was approved in February, meaning that May could be a definitive month in the country.

EXPLAINED: How Austria's compulsory vaccine mandate could be back in June

Austria’s Federal Government has a ticking time bomb on its hands: an ordinance that suspended its vaccine mandate law is set to expire by the end of May, which means that the controversial mandatory vaccination would be again in place as early as June 1st.

In order to keep that from happening, Austria’s Health Ministry needs to extend the current regulation or create a new one.

If it doesn’t, the Covid-19 mandatory vaccination law would automatically be back in June.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What are Austria’s plans to bring back the vaccine mandate?

Since, by June, the vaccine mandate stated that non-vaccinated would start getting fines, the resumption of the law would mean that, from next month, those who are not vaccinated could be fined in routine checks, such as traffic checks.

The ins and outs of the vaccine mandate

The law was first introduced in February, even though the technical requirements for it to be enacted were not in place. The first stage of it was purely “informational”, and Austrian residents received letters explaining about vaccines and about the regulation.

A second stage, when people could have been fined if they were not vaccinated, was set to start in mid-March. Before a single person was fined, though, Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) suspended the law with an ordinance.

The law was suspended for a variety of reasons, primarily due to the relatively high vaccination coverage the country had already received, along with the lower virulence of the Omicron variant. 

READ ALSO: Austria to scrap mandatory Covid vaccinations

To create a new regulation or extend the existing one stopping people from being fined, Rauch must await the report of the vaccination commission, which should be ready in May, according to the Ministry.

The coronavirus commission will assess whether the Vaccination Act is suitable and useful from a medical and legal point of view. A previous report said there were arguments for and against mandatory vaccination for those who were completely unvaccinated.

READ ALSO: How Austria’s attempt to make vaccines mandatory changed the country

Der Standard reports there is little political support for compulsory vaccination and says there are still technical problems regarding automated fines. However, according to the Ministry of Health, the infrastructure should be completed in June.