FOR MEMBERS

Everything that changes in Austria in October 2021

Everything that changes in Austria in October 2021
A clock sits on a wall against a white background. Photo by Cats Coming from Pexels
From Covid restrictions to travel rules, here are some of the most important changes to life in Austria in October 2021.

Stricter Covid rules in Vienna

Despite already having the strictest Covid rules of any state in the country, things are going to get a little tighter in Vienna from Friday, October 1st. 

Due to a rise in Covid infections and increasing hospitalisations, Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig is turning the screws in the nation’s capital. 

There will be tougher restrictions for unvaccinated people and a blanket FFP2 mask requirement for customers in all shops.

There will be a 2-G rule for entering bars and late night gastronomy venues. This means only people that are vaccinated or recovered will be allowed access.

Events and gatherings of more than 500 people will also be subject to the 2-G rule – including staff.

In places where the 3-G rule (vaccinated, recovered or negative test) was previously in place, antigen tests are no longer valid proof. This includes places like cafes and restaurants.

More information on the applicable rules can be found at the following link. 

2G and stricter mask rules: New Covid restrictions in Vienna from Friday

Tax reforms due in October

Tax reforms are in the pipeline in October as the Austrian government plans to relieve the burden on low and middle incomes, Der Standard newspaper reports.

The Greens, who are in coalition with the centre right OVP party want to encourage people to be greener by taxing CO2 emissions. However, the OVP wants to help entrepreneurs.

The coalition wants to lower taxes for two groups: Anyone who has an annual income of €18,000 to €31,000 will in future pay 30 percent tax on this part of the salary instead of the previous rate of 35 percent. Those who earn €31,000 to €60,000 should only pay 40 percent instead of the current rate of 42 percent.

Longer notice periods for workers

From October 1st, there will be very little difference in notice periods between blue-collar and white-collar workers in Austria when the Legal Equality Act from 2017 will be implemented.

The Act was planned to be introduced at the start of 2021 but was delayed due to Covid-19 and the impacts on the economy.

Up until now, blue-collar workers in industries like hospitality, trade and craft could be dismissed with just two weeks’ notice.

FOR MEMBERS: Everything you need to know about health insurance for freelancers in Austria

Instead, from Friday, a statutory notice period of six weeks will apply to workers in the first and second year of employment.

From the third year the notice period will increase to two months, and from the sixth year it will be three months.

After 16 years of service, the notice period will be four months, followed by five months after 26 years.

It is estimated that 600,000 workers will benefit from the new rules, with most employed in the hotel and catering industry.

However, there are exceptions in some seasonal roles where the 14-day notice period will still apply.

The notice period for temporary workers will increase from two weeks to three weeks in 2023.

Entering the UK from Austria

As at the end of September, 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. 

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

Wind those clocks

After a colder than usual summer which felt a little disappointing, winter is on its way. It’s hard to believe we’re already heading into the last part of the year, but here we are.

During the night from Saturday October 30th to Sunday October 31st, clocks in Austria will be set to winter time. At 3am the clock will go back one hour, back to Central European Time (CET).

The good news is that we all get an extra hour of sleep. The bad news is that it’s going to get darker earlier in the evening. 

Unpack the jacket

You might have kept the cold at bay with a light jumper or sweater in September, but October is the month when winter starts to rear its chilly head. 

The average temperatures in Austria are between 7°C und 15°C, depending on where in the country you are. 

On average, October has 11 rainy days (out of 31) and an average of six hours of daylight per day. 

READ MORE: How to find a job in winter sports in Austria


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