Austria: Covid-19 restrictions reintroduced in Tyrol

For the first time since the start of the summer, Covid-19 restrictions are being introduced again as the number of cases significantly rise in the Lienz district of East Tyrol.

Austria: Covid-19 restrictions reintroduced in Tyrol
Covid restrictions are being re-introduced in the eastern part of Tyrol. Photo: JOHANN GRODER / APA / AFP

New exit restrictions are being introduced in East Tyrol after Covid-19 cases increased by more than 100 per cent in one week.

The state of Tyrol has taken action in the Lienz district after the AGES seven-day incidence rate reached 311.4 – the highest number in Austria.

The majority of cases have been recorded in the communities of Innervillgraten and Oberlienz.

The announcement about the new restrictions was made on Monday evening and will come into effect from midnight on Wednesday August 11th. 

EXPLAINED: What is Austria’s Covid-19 immunity card and how do I get it?

The measures include exit tests (negative PCR or antigen tests) to leave Innervillgraten and Oberlienz – with an exception for vaccinated people and for those that have recovered from coronavirus and received one dose of the vaccine.

This applies to all people that have stayed in Innervillgraten and Oberlienz and want to leave the district – regardless of where they usually live.

In Innervillgraten and Oberlienz, events with more than 50 people will also be banned during the period of restrictions.

Other measures in the Lienz district include a maximum of 100 people at events, mandatory registration at all events, and an FFP2 mask requirement for retail, indoor and outdoor events. 

UPDATE: Austria to roll out Covid booster shots in autumn

The compulsory exit tests are scheduled to end on August 24th at midnight, and all other measures will end on September 1st at midnight.

The new measures are the first set of regional restrictions to be imposed in Austria since the start of the summer.

It follows the guidance from the federal government that action should be taken when the seven-day incidence rate passes 300.

According to ORF Tirol, the Lienz district has a lower than average vaccination rate.

READ MORE: What do we know about Austria’s vaccine sceptics?

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Reader question: Do I need to wear a mask on flights to/from Austria?

The EU has eased recommendations for face masks on flights and in airports, but member states are free to put their own rules in place.

Reader question: Do I need to wear a mask on flights to/from Austria?

Since Monday, May 16th, it is no longer mandatory to wear a medical-grade face mask on flights and at airports within the EU.

But Austria will continue with the rule for now, meaning that masks are required on flights to Austria.

The implementation of the EU recommendation is based on the national rules in individual countries. 

For flights, where a destination country has a mask rule in place, then masks must be worn. 

An Austrian Airlines spokesperson told the Kronen Zeitung: “The easing of the mask requirement is an EU recommendation that must be reflected in a national regulation in order to also apply in Austria.” 

The aviation safety agency EASA and the EU health authority ECDC states that if masks are mandatory on public transport at the point of departure or at the destination, then the regulation should also continue on board the aircraft.

According to current Austrian Covid-19 regulations, wearing an FFP2 mask is still required in hospitals, elderly and nursing homes, public transport (including stops and stations), taxis, customer areas of vital trade, such as supermarkets, and administrative buildings.

READ MORE: LATEST: What are Austria’s current Covid-19 rules

In addition to Austria, masks are still compulsory in some public areas in Germany, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy – all key tourism destinations for travellers from Austria.