Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday

Red balloons fly into the air on Austrian National Day in Vienna. Photo by michael schaffler on Unsplash
Red balloons fly into the air on Austrian National Day in Vienna. Photo by michael schaffler on Unsplash
Find out what's going on today in Austria with The Local's short roundup of the news.

Happy Austria National Day

Today, October 26th, is Austrian National Day. 

Celebrations will be slightly pared down again in 2021 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, but October 26th in Austria usually sees the unfurling of flags and a number of celebrations. 

Austrian National Day has been around nowhere near as long as Austria itself. October 26th, 2021, marks the 66th year of Austrian National Day, as the date has only been a public holiday since 1965. 

READ MORE: What is Austrian National Day and why is it celebrated?

Austria releases details of 3G workplace rollout

From November 1st, all workplaces must be compliant with Austria’s 3G Rule – i.e. everyone must be fully vaccinated, recovered from the virus or have tested negative. 

On Monday evening, Austrian Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein released further details of the plan. 

All workplaces where people may come into contact with others must be 3G compliant. 

‘3G Rule’: How to prove you have been vaccinated, tested or recovered from Covid in Austria

Even if people work in individual offices or otherwise on a solo basis, they will need to illustrate compliance with the 3G Rule if they come into contact with others at any point during the day, for instance in the office canteen. 

People who do not come into contact with others at all, for instance truck drivers, do not need to comply. 

There will be a grace period of two weeks, in which anyone who is not 3G compliant must wear an FFP2 mask. 

After November 14th however, the rule will apply in full. 

Christmas market and skiing rules laid out

Austria has also confirmed the rules for skiing – including apres ski – and Christmas markets. 

Visiting advent and Christmas markets will require compliance with the 3G rule. 

Anyone in chairlifts or gondolas will need to be 3G compliant, although skiing down the slopes itself won’t require compliance with the 3G rule. 

Apres-ski venues are covered by stricter rules which reflect those in nightclubs, known as the 2.5G rule. 

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

These are linked to the infection risk level in Austria, which is based on the available capacity of intensive care beds. 

At the moment Austria is in level 1, which means these venues can be accessed using proof of 3G. But if the situation worsens, this may be changed to 2G meaning that only proof of vaccination or recovery are accepted for entry, not a negative test. 

The official rules are laid out here. 

Nationwide rail ticket now available

Austria’s nationwide rail ticket – known as the Climate Ticket but formerly known as the 1-2-3 Ticket – is available as of today. 

The ticket enables travel across the country all year round with a single subscription. 

More information is available at the following link. 

1-2-3 Ticket: Austria’s nationwide unlimited rail pass available from October

EMA approves Moderna booster jab

The European Medicines Agency has approved the Moderna booster jab, saying countries across the bloc should administer the shot “taking into account the local epidemological situation”. 

“The data showed that a third dose of Spikevax, which was administered six to eight months after the second dose, led to an increase in antibody levels in adults whose antibody levels had decreased,” said the Amsterdam authority on Monday.

The approval means the Moderna jab should soon be rolled out in Austria. 

Currently, Austria recommends booster jabs for those in high risk categories, with the Pfizer/Biontech jab being used. 

READ MORE: How do I get my Covid booster shot in Austria?

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