Austria wants to make nightclubs and apres ski ‘vaccinated only’ from October

Austrian Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein has submitted a proposal to restrict nightclubs and apres ski venues only to those who have been vaccinated from October.

Austria wants to make nightclubs and apres ski ‘vaccinated only’ from October
An apres ski bar in the Austrian winter sports village of Ischgl. Photo: Von Anna Moritz - Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The plan was submitted by the Green Party minister to his coalition partners the Austrian People’s Party at the start of September. 

Currently, Austria has in place a strict 3G rule for all bars, gyms, restaurants and other indoor areas, which requires people to be vaccinated, recovered from the virus recently or negatively tested in order to enter. 

This is however stricter in nightclubs, with only those who have been vaccinated or who have had a recent negative PCR test able to enter. 

3G to become 2G: Austria tightens green pass rules

In effect, this is therefore a further tightening, which would mean people who have tested negative would no longer be admitted – while it would also include smaller venues used for parties after skiing and late-opening restaurants. 

Mückstein said it was necessary to protect people from the virus, even if the unvaccinated don’t have the sense to protect themselves. 

READ MORE: Austria’s plan for vaccinated-only bars, restaurants and gyms: Is it legal?

“One area is night catering, but also stand-up parties like après-ski. We need to protect the unvaccinated. That means that the unvaccinated should not be allowed into these high-risk areas. For their own protection.”

A similar plan is being considered in Vienna for bars and restaurants, although this appears not to have federal support. 

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

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who needs to approve the proposal in order for it to be passed, has previously said that lockdown measures should only apply to the unvaccinated in the future. 

“For the vaccinated, the pandemic is over” Kurz said in July

If the proposal is approved, it will be implemented in October ahead of the coming ski season. 

Another part of the plan is to require masks indoors across the country. 

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What to know about Austria’s new advice on Covid vaccines

As the coronavirus pandemic progressed, each country developed its own vaccination recommendation, which often changed. Here is the new advice from the Austrian vaccination panel.

What to know about Austria's new advice on Covid vaccines

The Austrian National Vaccination Panel has updated its recommendations on Covid vaccination on several points, the Ministry of Health announced.

“Special attention continues to be paid to the completion of the basic immunisation, which is recommended for all persons five years of age and older, and to the booster vaccination,” according to the Ministry of Health.

The booster shot is generally available to all persons 12 years of age and older and is free of charge, but it is especially recommended for persons 60 years of age and older and those at risk.

READ ALSO: Masks against Covid and flu: What’s ahead for Austria this winter

In Austria, the basic immunisation against Covid-19 consists of three vaccine doses. A fourth dose, also known as a booster shot, is also recommended.

What is new in the recommendation?

Austria is adding a new coronavirus vaccine, from Sanofi (VidPrevtyn Beta), to the list of offers against the virus. The new vaccine is protein-based and has already been approved by the European authorities. 

In Austria, the Sanofi vaccine can be used from the third vaccination onwards on people older than 18. The offer will be available at the vaccination sites in the coming week at the earliest, according to the Ministry. 

READ ALSO: Colds and flu: What to do and say if you get sick in Austria

Another change is that the variant Comirnaty Original/Omicron BA.4-5 from BioNTech/Pfizer will also be used for the third vaccination of children aged 5 to 11 years. 

This vaccine is specially adapted to the virus variants Omicron BA.4 and 5. It is now available for children in a special application shot that should be in vaccination sites starting next week at the earliest. 

READ ALSO: What to expect from the ski season in Austria this winter

Also included in the recommendations is a clarification specifically on an additional booster vaccination (fifth vaccination). 

People at risk from the age of 18, and those from the age of 60 can receive the additional booster vaccination four months after the fourth vaccination. According to the vaccination panel, no fifth vaccination is necessary for healthy people under 60.