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COVID-19

What are the Covid-19 rules and regulations in Austria now?

UPDATED: The rules you have to follow in Austria depend both on your vaccination status and which region you're in. Here's an overview of the restrictions in place in restaurants, shops, cultural venues and more.

A woman wearing an FFP2 face mask in an Austrian supermarket
FFP2 masks are compulsory in all shops and on public transport. Photo: Alex Halada/AFP

3G and 2G

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).

As of November 8th, 2G (vaccination or recovery only) is the main rule in place, and it applies to everyone over 12, although 12-15-year-olds in most regions may enter 2G venues with a negative PCR test instead. The exception is Vienna, where 2G applies from the age of 12.

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 often accepted, for example.

In areas with a 2G rule, there is a four-week transition (until December 6th) during which proof of a first vaccine dose together with a negative PCR test is accepted for entry in 2G venues, to ensure everyone has enough time to get both doses.

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.

A 2G rule is in place for entry, meaning that you must show proof of vaccination or recovery.

Previously, separate, stricter rules were in place for what’s called ‘night gastronomy’ (Nachtgastronomie in German, referring to bars, clubs, and some late-night dining venues), but with the introduction of the 2G rule there is no longer a distinction.

There is no mask requirement, unless you are visiting the business for take-away only (see below).

Take-away food

You can enter restaurants and cafes to pick up food to takeaway without proof of 2G. This also applies to street food stalls, for example.

However, you need to wear an FPP2 mask at all times while inside the venue or while ordering at street food stalls.

Hotels and cable cars

A 2G rule is in place in order to check in to hotels and cable cars.

There are exceptions for people who use cable cars as a form of public transport if they are local residents, and for hotel employees, who do not have to show proof of 2G to work but can use a negative test.

At work

At the workplace, a 3G rule (vaccination, recovery, or negative test) applies in any place where you cannot rule out contact with other people. This means people such as truck drivers are exempt, but even if you have a private office, you must have proof of 3G if you could come into contact with others in the reception area, a meeting room, or lunch space for example.

There is no requirement to wear a face mask.

Until November 14th, a transition period is in effect, during which people can wear an FFP2 mask if they are unable to show proof of 3G.

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 2G rule applies, as well as the usual rules for events.

In the latter, there is no 2G rule but all visitors need to wear an FFP2 mask, regardless of vaccination status.

Shops and supermarkets

There is no limit on opening hours for shops, and you do not need proof of 3G or 2G to enter.

In all retail venues, FFP2 masks must be worn. Previously the rules on mask-wearing differed based on the type of business, the region and the individual’s vaccination status but as of November 8th this is no longer the case.

Note that staff members do not have to wear FFP2 masks. This is because they are at their workplace and therefore will have shown proof of 3G. 

Events

Nationwide, the 2G rule applies to events for over 25 people.

Events for over 50 people must notify local officials, appoint a Covid officer and come up with a risk reduction strategy, and events for over 250 people must receive official authorisation.

Going to the hairdresser or beauty salons

For this kind of service, where you need to have a close proximity to staff, the 2G rule applies. 

Face masks

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 all retail businesses, such as shops, supermarkets, pharmacies and malls.

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:

If you have questions about the Covid-19 situation in Austria, please contact our editorial team at [email protected] and we will do our best to help.

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COVID-19 ALERT

‘The pandemic is not over’: Vienna keeps mask rule in public transport

Austria's capital has decided to keep mandatory FFP2 masks in public transport but is dropping them in supermarkets.

'The pandemic is not over': Vienna keeps mask rule in public transport

Austria’s capital Vienna will still have mandatory usage of FFP2 masks even if the federal government is dropping the requirement in the rest of the country.

It will still be mandatory in Vienna to wear masks when public transport, pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and hospitals, SPÖ Mayor Michael Ludwig announced this Tuesday.

People no longer will need to wear masks in supermarkets and other essential trade, though. The decision was taken after a meeting with the city crisis committee and health authorities, according to the mayor.

“The pandemic is not over yet. We will remain on the consistent and safe path”, Ludwig said.

Earlier this Tuesday, Austria’s Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) had announced the country would “pause” mask requirements from June 1st in all but health establishments during the summer months, as reported.

READ ALSO: Austria to ‘pause’ Covid mask mandate from June 1st

Rauch justified the decision by saying that the coronavirus numbers, both of new infections and of hospitalised people, have significantly dropped and maintained a downwards trend for weeks.

“The number of new infections has fallen, as well as the number of people in hospitals due to Covid-19, for several weeks now. This is good news”, he said.

Since the last major easing step in mid-April, the FFP2 obligation has only been in force in enclosed spaces of hospitals and homes, public transport and taxis, in the customer area of vital trade, in party traffic of administrative authorities and in institutions for the practice of religion outside trade fairs.

However, the federal government sets out the minimum standard for the country, but the different states may adopt stricter measures. Vienna has often kept tougher regulations during the pandemic, including a more extended period when only vaccinated or recovered people were allowed in bars and restaurants.

Vaccination campaign

The Viennese mayor also commented on the suspended vaccine mandate law, stating that vaccination protects and the city would have a “corresponding vaccination campaign soon”.

Ludwig added that he would demand the same from the federal government. “All of this is done to protect the health of the Viennese population”, he said.

Austria this Tuesday reported 2,177 new coronavirus infections after 185,230 PCR tests, according to the Health Ministry. Currently, there are 596 people hospitalised with Covid-19 and 57 in intensive care units.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 18,607 people have died from Covid-19 in the country.

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