3G and 2G rules
The first thing to understand about Austria’s Covid-19 regulations is that they are based on 3 ‘G’s: Geimpft (vaccinated), Genesen (recovered), Getestet (tested negative).
You will need to show proof that you fit into one of these categories in order to access many indoor venues.
Proof of testing negative includes either a PCR test (valid for 72 hours in most regions, but 48 hours in Vienna) or an antigen test (valid for 24 hours in most regions, but not accepted as proof of 3G in Vienna). Self-tests available at most Austrian pharmacies are also only valid for 24 hours.
Proof of vaccination includes either Austria’s own Grüner pass, or an EU digital Covid-19 pass (if you have an EU pass with a QR code but live in Austria, you will be able to upload this to your Grüner pass) or other equivalent. The NHS Covid app is accepted, for example.
In some cases, currently only in the Vienna region and at some workplaces , a 2G rule is in place instead, which means that only proof of vaccination or recovery is accepted for entry. You might also hear about the 2.5G rule, particularly in Vienna, which means that either proof of vaccination, proof of recovery, or a PCR test (but not an antigen test) are required.
Visiting restaurants, bars and cafes
There are no limits on opening times for food and drink venues.
In most of Austria, a 3G rule is in place for these venues. In Vienna, the 2.5G rule applies for restaurants and gastronomy during the day time, meaning that only PCR tests, not antigen tests, are sufficient to meet the ‘Getestet’ requirement.
There are stricter rules for evening dining and drinking (see below).
There is no mask requirement, unless you are visiting the business for take-away only (see below).
Evening dining and bars
Separate rules apply to what’s known as ‘night gastronomy’ (Nachtgastronomie in German). There is no legal definition for this, but it generally covers dining and drinking during the evening and night time, as well as night clubs.
In most of the country, a 2.5G rule applies, meaning entry is only possible with proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative PCR test (not an antigen test).
Vienna has implemented a 2G rule for these venues, meaning that a negative test is not sufficient for entry.
In all of Austria, night gastronomy venues also need to collect customers’ data; they will usually do this using a registration app when you arrive.
You can enter restaurants and cafes to pick up food to takeaway without proof of 3G. This also applies to street food stalls, for example.
However, you need to wear an FPP2 mask at all times while inside the venue.
Visiting cultural venues (theatres, museums, libraries etc)
Here a distinction is made between venues like theatres and cinemas, which are based around events with audiences, and venues like galleries and museums, which people typically visit as individuals. In the former, the 3G rule applies, as well as the usual rules for events.
In the latter, there is no 3G rule but unvaccinated people need to wear an FFP2 mask, and vaccinated people are also advised to. In Vienna, everyone must wear an FFP2 mask in cultural venues regardless of vaccination status.
Shops and supermarkets
There is no limit on opening hours for shops, and you do not need proof of 3G to enter.
At supermarkets and pharmacies, everyone must wear a FFP2 mask, regardless of vaccination status.
Unvaccinated people must wear FFP2 masks inside all shops, including non-essential businesses. In most of the country, masks are recommended, but not mandatory, for people with proof of vaccination or recovery. The exception is Vienna, where everyone must wear an FFP2 mask in all shops, regardless of vaccination status.
Nationwide, the 3G rule applies to events for over 25 people.
Events for over 100 people must collect attendees’ contact data, and events for over 500 people must receive official authorisation.
In Vienna, the 2G rule applies to staff and attendees at events for over 500 people.
Going to the hairdresser or beauty salons
For this kind of service, where you need to have a close proximity to staff, the 3G rule applies.
In Vienna, the 2.5G rule applies, meaning that you cannot use an antigen test for entry.
In any situations where wearing a face mask is mandatory, you should wear an FFP2 mask, not a cloth mask or ordinary surgical mask.
You need to wear an FFP2 mask at all times while using public transport, regardless of your vaccination status.
You also need to wear an FFP2 mask inside essential businesses, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, regardless of your vaccination status. In most of the country, only unvaccinated people need to wear an FFP2 mask inside other retail shops, but in Vienna, everyone needs to wear an FFP2 mask inside all retail shops.
In Vienna, you need to wear FFP2 masks at all cultural institutions, such as theatres and museums. In the rest of the country, FFP2 masks are only required for people who do not have proof of 2G (vaccination or recovery).
Where can I find out more?
We do our best to keep this page regularly updated; you can see when it was last fact-checked and updated by checking the date in the top corner.
We also recommend the following websites:
- Current Covid-19 Measures (from the Austrian government, currently only available in German)
- Coronavirus Information in English (from the Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection)
- Up-to-date Information on the Coronavirus Situation (from the Austrian tourist board, focused on information for tourists)
- Overview of Current Covid-19 Measures (from the Austrian government, currently only available in German)
If you have questions about the Covid-19 situation in Austria, please contact our editorial team at [email protected] or submit them using the form below and we will do our best to help.