Vienna tightens rules for Covid-19 tests

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Vienna tightens rules for Covid-19 tests
Covid tests will be valid for a shorter period of time from September in Austria. Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

The validity of both PCR and antigen Covid tests has been shortened in Vienna as of Wednesday, in a bid to encourage people to get vaccinated.


Covid-19 tests will allow access to bars and restaurants for a shorter period of time from 1st September in Vienna, Mayor Michael Ludwig announced on Tuesday.

Antigen tests taken in a test centre or pharmacy will be valid for just 24 hours, while the PCR test validity will be reduce from 72 to 48 hours.

Tests are required to enter anywhere where the 3G rule applies in Austria, unless people have been vaccinated or recently recovered from the virus. 

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

The changes will not apply to children aged under 12, who are not eligible to be vaccinated.


Why is the test rule being tightened? 

While Austria was one of the most enthusiastic adopters of a widespread testing regime, the government is making the change in order to encourage people to be vaccinated rather than rely on tests. 

People must show that they have tested negative, recovered from or been vaccinated against Covid-19 to access restaurants, bars and sporting and recreational facilities in Austria’s capital, so the move will make life harder for people who have not been vaccinated.   

3G to 1G: Could Austria make bars, gyms, hairdressers and events ‘vaccinated only’?

Vienna is considering stricter measures to turn the screws on the unvaccinated, including the so-called '1G' rule which would restrict entry in bars, restaurants, nightclubs, hairdressers and gyms to the unvaccinated only. 

Vienna officials, including health chief Peter Hacker, are in favour of this plan. 

As at August 25th, Austrian federal authorities said they are in the process of considering such a plan. 

Several Austrian states have indicated they are in favour of this idea, however have preferred a federal solution rather than going it alone. 

READ MORE: How Vienna wants to restrict restaurants and events to vaccinated people only


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