How Vienna wants to restrict restaurants and events to vaccinated people only
Authorities in Vienna have put forward one of Europe's strictest set of rules for entering restaurants, bars, events and nightlife venues.
The Vienna state government wants to tighten 3G rules so that only those who have been vaccinated may visit restaurants, attend large events or bars and nightlife venues.
Under the change, Austria's 3G rules - which allow for people who have tested negative, been fully vaccinated or contracted the virus in the previous six months - would be wound back to a 1G rule only for the vaccinated in most examples in Vienna.
Vienna health chief Peter Hacker said unvaccinated people should be banned from sports and leisure facilities, with similar restrictions for bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
“There is no way of getting around the fact that only vaccinated people should be allowed in” Hacker said.
Hacker said Vienna would have no hesitation adopting different rules to the rest of the country as it had done before.
"If the number of infections increases, and they look likely to increase at the beginning of the school year, then, for example, unvaccinated teachers will teach with masks."
“Better to make things vaccination only rather than have more closures” Hacker said.
Austria’s Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein said the government was contemplating restricting events to vaccinated people, but said such a move wouldn’t come into effect before October.
"I believe that before an increasingly precarious epidemiological situation in autumn we have to talk about a 1G rule - and I can certainly imagine that in October," Mückstein told ORF.
This represented a change from what the minister said on Sunday, where Mückstein said it was too early to consider further tightenings.
Support for Vienna's plan, although nationwide solution remains preferred option
Thomas Szekeres, President of the Medical Association, said the federal government should "absolutely support" Hacker's plan.
Hacker also has won support from businesses in the hospitality and gastronomy sector, who have said they would welcome rules which restrict entry to the vaccinated.
Several prominent entrepreneurs in the Vienna bar and restaurant scene told Krone on Monday that they support Hacker’s efforts.
"Peter Hacker's move is the right announcement that we need now,” said Martin Ho, who owns several bars and restaurants in the Austrian capital.
David Schober, who runs several bars in Vienna, said the proposals outlined by Hacker would prevent further lockdowns.
"The Viennese advance is going in the right direction, which will save us lockdowns."
Thomas Figlmüller, who runs Vienna’s famous Figlmüller schnitzel restaurant, said the change would be a constructive step in returning to normal.
"Any clear legal requirement that increases the vaccination rate and thus accelerates the return to normal is to be welcomed."
Vienna Chamber of Commerce chair Peter Dobcak said more needed to be done to inform people about the importance of vaccination, particularly the large immigrant community in Vienna.
Dobcak said bringing in such a rule too early would have "dramatic consequences" for the hospitality sector in Vienna.
Several other Austrian states have said they would welcome stricter rules for the unvaccinated, including Styria, Carinthia and Tyrol, however they said a national approach should be pursued.
"That is absolutely the right approach, but it only works if the federal government and the states agree on clear measures together," said the Styrian health councilor Juliane Bogner-Strauss (ÖVP) on Sunday.
Her counterpart in Carinthia said stricter rules for the unvaccinated were “unavoidable”.