Austria imposes stricter penalties for breaching green pass rules

Austria imposes stricter penalties for breaching green pass rules
A security guard checks a vaccine pass outside a nightclub. Photo: Sylvain THOMAS / AFP
Austria has put in place stricter penalties for those breaching the 3G Rule, with venues liable for up to €3,600 and guests liable for up to €500.

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.

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’. 

‘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. 

Fines of €90 can be issued on the spot

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. 

Guests can be fined up to €500 for more significant breaches, however this is only through a court procedure. 

Bars and restaurants face fines of up to €3,600 for failing to ensure the 3G rule is being upheld, i.e. by failing to check green passes or allowing people who do not have a valid 3G pass to get a test. 

Rise in infections in bars and restaurants

Austrian authorities said they were concerned to make sure that people were complying with the rules in bars and restaurants. 

Evidence shows that infections are on the rise in hospitality venues. 

Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein said there could be no reopening without adherence to the 3G rule. 

“We worked hard together to create the openings. The cornerstone of this relaxation was from the start the 3G certificate,” Mückstein emphasised.

We need “all businesses and companies to monitor compliance with the 3G regulation particularly thoroughly in order to prevent a further increase in the number of infections as far as possible.” 

Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger said people needed to comply with the rules. 

“We will do everything we can to ensure that the access rules in night-time catering, as well as in all other catering establishments, are complied with across the board. It is in the interest of night-time catering and its guests that these rules are taken seriously,” she said.

“This serves to protect everyone and helps that we don’t need any further protective measures. With the Green Check application, on-site checks can be carried out quickly and efficiently”.

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