EXPLAINED: What are the rules for travel between Austria and the UK?

EXPLAINED: What are the rules for travel between Austria and the UK?
People at Vienna Airport. Photo: ALEX HALADA / AFP
Travel between Austria and the United Kingdom is much easier than it was just a few months ago, but there are still a few hoops to jump through. Here’s what you need to know.

From late 2020 until the middle of 2021, travel between Austria and the United Kingdom was heavily restricted. 

Indeed, it was difficult or in some cases impossible for people to make the trip unless they were citizens or residents of both countries. 

With the progress of the vaccination campaign in both countries however, things have begun to return to normal. 

UPDATED: What are the rules for entering Austria right now?

Entering Austria from the UK

Austria’s current (as at September 27th) entry rules are highly dependent on which country you are arriving from. 

Austria keeps a list of ‘low incidence’ countries. People can enter from these countries if they are fully vaccinated, have tested negative or recently recovered from the virus. 

Those who have not brought with them evidence of one of these three things can be tested on arrival in Austria. 

As at September 27th however, the United Kingdom is not on the list of low incidence countries. 

This means that in order to enter, arrivals must be fully vaccinated and show proof of vaccination on arrival. 

Those who have had the virus and recovered from it in the past 180 days (and have proof) will also be allowed to enter. 

In effect, this means that people who are unvaccinated or recovered from the virus in the past 180 days will not be allowed to enter Austria, unless covered by another exception (i.e. citizen, resident, transit passenger, etc). 

However, negative tests will not be accepted for entry, whether that be upon entering Austria or getting a negative test before. 

Austria also has a list of virus variant countries from which entry is further restricted, however the UK is no longer on this list. 

The following vaccines are accepted:

BioNtech/Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, or Sinovac and Johnson&Johnson (Janssen). 

Click here for more information. 

Entering the UK from Austria

Austria is currently on the UK’s ‘green list’, which is the lowest risk category that the UK government has. 

From October 4th, the rules will change for entry to the UK from Austria. 

Prior to October 4th, vaccinated travellers will need to fill out a passenger locator form before entering the UK. 

In addition, they will need to complete two tests. The first test must be taken in the three days before departure, then another test must be taken after arrival in the UK. 

After October 4th, vaccinated travellers from the rest of the world list will not have to take pre-departure Covid-19 tests. Day 2 tests will still be required. 

More information on the rules can be found at the official UK government site (at the following link). 

The government has also changed the policy on people who have been vaccinated with doses from two different manufacturers. Now, unlike previously, if people are vaccinated with two different doses (for instance AstraZeneca and Biontech/Pfizer), they will count as being fully vaccinated. 

*This article has been updated to remove the incorrect information that travellers can book an antigen test instead of a PCR test for day 2 after arrival from October 4th. In fact this will only be possible later in October as the article now states.


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