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COVID-19 HEALTH PASS

Austria to introduce on-the-spot fines for breaching 3G rule

From Thursday, on-the-spot fines of €90 can be issued for not complying with the rule to be vaccinated, recovered or have tested negative in certain places. Citizens, residents and tourists can all be fined.

Austria to introduce on-the-spot fines for breaching 3G rule
A person attending an event has their Covid credentials checked. Photo: SAMEER AL-DOUMY / AFP

Anyone wanting to visit restaurants, hotels and take part in events, get a haircut, etc, in Austria needs to do so pursuant to the so-called ‘3G Rule’. 

The 3G Rule refers to ‘Getestet, Geimpft, Genesen’ (Tested, Vaccinated, Recovered) and describes the three ways someone can provide evidence they are immune to the virus.

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

This means they will need to show evidence of vaccination, a negative test or having recently recovered from the virus. 

The rule applies for everyone over the age of 12 in Austria, although in Vienna it applies from the age of six.

People can either show paper evidence of compliance, or do so through the app. 

Fines of €90 to be issued from Thursday

As of Thursday, July 15th, police will be able to issue on-the-spot fines for breaching the rules. 

This includes people who have forged their 3G credentials – i.e. by using a forged certificate or by using that of another – or those who are not compliant with the 3G Rule but are in an area where it is required. 

Previously, it was possible to fine someone for not complying with the rule, however this needed to take place through an administrative procedure which was time intensive.

UPDATE: What are the current rules for masks in Austria?

Now fines can be issued immediately. 

Anyone who is not complying with the rule can be fined, regardless of whether they are an Austrian citizen, a resident or a tourist. 

Under the rule, anyone “failing to provide evidence of a low epidemiological risk” is liable for a fine of €90. 

Failing to wear an appropriate mask properly in an area where it is required will also result in fines of €90. 

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COVID-19 VACCINES

Austria recommends Covid booster shot for children aged five and over

The commission also recommends three doses of the vaccine for people who have recovered from the coronavirus disease.

Austria recommends Covid booster shot for children aged five and over

Austria’s National Vaccination Board has recommended that children from the age of five get a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccination, the “booster” dose.

“This third vaccination should take place at the latest at the beginning of the school year ahead of the expected next waves of infection in autumn”, the board said in a press statement.

The third dose is recommended six months after the second shot, the commission added.

Additionally, the updated recommendation given by the government body also clarified that a total of three vaccinations are needed for “the best possible and long-term protection”, even among people who have already been infected with Covid-19.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: The latest coronavirus restrictions in Austria

The commission stated that “from an immunological point of view, these vaccinations are to be regarded as a basic vaccination”. This means that, in the future, the Covi-19 vaccination schedule will consider three doses of an approved vaccine.

According to the board statement, an infection with the coronavirus would only lead to a postponement of the vaccinations but shouldn’t replace any dose.

Austria’s Health Minister Johannes Rauch reinforced the need for vaccination in the country, which currently has fewer than 70 per cent of its population with two doses of the vaccine up to date.

“The corona vaccination has saved the lives of countless people and continues to do so. The ongoing adaptation of recommendations ensures that new scientific findings are constantly incorporated”, Rauch said in a press statement.

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

The new recommendation can be found on Austria’s Health Ministry website. However, the ministry hasn’t specified how the recommendation would affect the Covid-19 passes or the “green pass” validity, especially those held by people who have recovered from the disease.

Covid numbers

Austria this Monday reported 4,111 new coronavirus infections, with 89,861 PCR tests taken in 24 hours. According to the Health Ministry, there are currently 1,492 people hospitalised with the virus (26 fewer than the day before), and 124 people are in intensive care units with Covid.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 18,054 people have died from the Covid-19.

The alpine country has currently 68.4 per cent of its population with a valid vaccination certificate, and 54.5 per cent of its population has received the third dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

READ ALSO: Austria to keep masks only in ‘essential places’ from April 16th

Austria has recently removed almost all of its coronavirus restrictions, including the need to show a valid vaccination certificate to enter bars and restaurants. The country also dropped its FFP2 mask mandate in all indoor areas except for “essential” places such as public transport, health areas, and supermarkets.

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