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1-2-3 Ticket: Austria’s nationwide unlimited rail pass available from October

After several years of waiting, Austria's nationwide unlimited rail pass - now renamed the Klimaticket (climate ticket) - will be available from October, although some states have yet to sign up.

1-2-3 Ticket: Austria's nationwide unlimited rail pass available from October
Wiener Linien is offering free travel to refugees from Ukraine. Photo by Samuel-Elias Nadler on Unsplash

Austria’s much awaited ‘1-2-3 Ticket’ – which gives unlimited travel across the entire country – will be valid for travel from Austrian National Day on October 26th onwards.

The idea behind the 1-2-3 ticket is that Austrian residents can choose to pay one euro per day for unlimited public transport in their own state, two euros per day for travel in two neighbouring states or three euros per day to travel throughout Austria. 

The ticket has been renamed the Klimaticket – meaning climate ticket – to highlight the positive environmental outcomes associated with rail travel. 

The ticket has been repeatedly delayed due to disputes over costs and the suitability of particular routes, however these look now to be settled.

The official announcement was made on Wednesday, with Austria’s Kronen Zeitung newspaper saying Austria chipped in an additional 100 million euros to make the project work.

How much will it cost? 

The ticket for the whole of Austria – including all nine states – will cost 1095 euros per year, although it will go on sale for an introductory price of 949 euros annually from October 1st.

Senior citizens and people under the age of 26 will only have to pay 821 euros per year – or 699 euros if they buy the ticket before October 26th. 

For those who want to travel through two states, it will cost 730 euros, while travel through one state will be 365 euros annually.

The 365 euro ticket has been in place for some time in the state of Vienna and has won International acclaim.

READ MORE: What is the 1-2-3-ticket? Everything you need to know about the new ticket planned to give unlimited public transport across Austria

Which types of travel are included – and which states are part of the plan? 

When it is launched, the ticket will be valid for all types of travel in Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Carinthia, Tyrol and Vorarlberg, including buses, trains, long-distance trains (i.e. ÖBB) and trams. 

Three eastern states – Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland – are however still holding out on the project. 

As it stands, ÖBB travel in these states as well as bus travel and S-Bahn services will be included in the ticket, along with travel on services operated by Wiener Linien. 

Other forms of regional and local transport will not be included in these three states. 

Transport Minister Leonore Gewessler said she was confident the other three states would sign up. 

“We’ll make it there as well, I’m certain” she said. 

“You really get a hell of a lot for your money.”

Why are these three states holding out? 

Broadcaster ORF says the fact that no solution has yet been found is also due to the resistance of the federal state of Burgenland.

The complaint relates to the fact that the ticket would dramatically increase the cost of travelling from Burgenland to Vienna, which is a relatively common commuter trip. 

As travelling from Burgenland to Vienna involves crossing Lower Austria, the price of a season ticket from Neudörfl to Vienna, for example, which currently costs 730 euros, would increase to 1,095 euros per year under the new scheme.

An estimated 25,000 people commute regularly from Burgenland to Vienna, based on pre-pandemic numbers

Transport authorities are pushing for Lower Austria and Burgenland to be treated as one state for the purposes of the pass, Der Standard reports, thereby allowing for a reduction in the cost for commuters. 

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TRAVEL

Entry, masks and nightclubs: What are the rules in some of Austria’s favourite holiday destinations?

Thinking of a holiday? Here are the rules in some of your favourite holiday destinations.

Entry, masks and nightclubs: What are the rules in some of Austria's favourite holiday destinations?
Photo: KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / AFP

Austria has relaxed several coronavirus measures. 

This has meant that international travel is allowed to take place again, whether that be with people visiting Austria or for those travelling further afield. 

From Thursday, July 1st, people from several non-European countries including the United States will again be allowed to enter Austria. 

More information is available at the following link. 

READ MORE: Austria to allow American arrivals from Thursday

But what about Austrians heading abroad? 

Here’s the low down on the rules in place in some of the most popular holiday destinations. 

These are accurate as at June 30th, but are of course subject to change depending on the underlying epidemiological situation. 

France

Shops, restaurants and museums are open in France – albeit with restrictions on capacity and the requirement to register for contract tracing if you sit indoors – and the nighttime curfew has been lifted. Face masks are still required in many places including some outdoor areas.

France has placed Austria on its green list, meaning entry is not restricted. 

If you’ve been vaccinated you can enter with proof, if you have not you’ll need to show a negative PCR test which is less than 72 hours old. 

Anyone entering France will also need to fill in a form promising that they do not have Covid symptoms and haven’t had contact with anyone with Covid for the past 14 days. 

The form is available here in French and English. 

Germany 

The rules in Germany have largely been relaxed regarding entry, although this will vary from state to state due to the federal system. 

Entering by land – whether road or train – is unrestricted, but those entering via air will need to show evidence of a negative test (antigen less than 48 hours or PCR less than 72 hours), recovery certificate or vaccination. 

Germany has had a strict approach to most coronavirus measures, with bars, restaurants and cultural facilities largely closed for a six-month period. 

Where the state has a low Covid rate, restaurants and bars are allowed to open up again, as are museums, theatres, galleries and other cultural and sporting facilities. 

In some states, a negative test or proof of vaccination or recovery is needed to sit inside at bars and restaurants.

Masks are generally still required in shops and on public transport, but the type of mask – i.e. whether it is FFP2 or a just a cotton mask – will vary from state to state. 

Spain

Austrians can enter Spain freely. 

This includes mainland Spain and the Balearic and Canary Islands. 

Masks are no longer required in outdoor areas as of June 26th

You do not need to show evidence of vaccination or a negative test, but you will need to fill out the following form, which will give you a QR code to show on arrival. 

Italy

Italy has also relaxed many of its coronavirus measures, with the mask requirement in outdoor areas relaxed on June 28th. 

People from Austria are allowed to enter but will need to fill in the following form (English and Italian). 

You’ll need to show proof of vaccination or recovery – if not you need a negative antigen test which is less than 48 hours old. 

Switzerland

Austrians can enter from Switzerland by road or train without restrictions, however those arriving via air will need to show a negative PCR or antigen test. 

You will also need to fill out the following form. 

Greece

Travel to Greece is permitted although you will need to show evidence of vaccination, recovery or a negative test (PCR). 

Masks are required in all outdoor areas and there is a nighttime curfew, although it only applies from 1am to 5:30am, so it’s only likely to be felt by the most dedicated of party goers. 

You’ll need to fill out the following form to enter Greece. 

Portugal

Portugal might be currently suffering from an increase in the Delta variant, however people are still allowed to enter provided you can show a negative test. 

There are relatively strict rules in place domestically however, including a maximum of six people allowed inside restaurants and cafes, a maximum of ten people outside. 

Bars and restaurants must close at 1am. 

You will need to fill out the following form

Turkey

From July 1st, holidays to Turkey will be largely restriction-free for Austrian arrivals. 

Restaurants and cafes can open again, although there is a curfew which kicks into place at midnight. 

To enter, you need to show you’ve been vaccinated or that you have recovered from the virus.

You can also enter pursuant to a negative test, provided it is less than 48 hours old (antigen) or less than 72 hours old (PCR). 

You’ll also need to fill out the following form. 

United Kingdom

At present, this is one of the hardest destinations to visit, primarily due to concern surrounding the Delta variant. 

Entering the United Kingdom is possible, however as Austria is on the UK’s amber list, you must quarantine for ten days, along with bringing a negative Covid test (even if you’re vaccinated). 

Once there, you will need to pay for two more Covid tests, one on the second day and one on the eighth day, before ending the quarantine on the tenth day. 

What about further afield? 

While Austria will not prevent you from going to any of these nations, each still has relatively strict border rules which may prevent you from entering. 

As far as United States, Australia and New Zealand are concerned, the travel ban on foreign tourists is still in place, with no news about when it will be lifted.

If you are a resident or citizen of one of these nations you will be able to enter, subject to quarantine rules and possible quotas. 

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