2G for bars and more masks: Styria tightens Covid-19 restrictions

Restaurant people
Only proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid will be accepted for entry to late-night dining and bars. Photo: K8/Unsplash
Styria has become Austria's latest region to tighten its Covid-19 measures, with stricter rules for late-night dining and mask-wearing set to come into effect from early November.

Starting from November 8th, Styria will require proof of either vaccination or recovery from Covid-19 in order to enter evening dining venues (so-called ‘night gastronomy’, meaning venues that do their main business after 10pm), bars, and events for more than 500 people. 

This is the 2G rule, compared to the current rule which allows unvaccinated people to enter as long as they have a valid negative test.

And FFP2 masks will be required for everyone in customer-facing areas of business premises, as well as cultural institutions and religious sites like churches.

It comes amid a rapid rise in daily reported cases, and regional governor Hermann Schützenhöfer said in a press conference that the measures were necessary despite the recently announced changes to the national measures, which will be tightened if the rate of occupancy in ICU units surpasses a certain threshold.

“That’s a reaction plan, not an action plan,” said Schützenhöfer. “We want to tighten restrictions now so that it doesn’t get even worse and so that we can get this virus under control. We must do everything we can to prevent a fourth lockdown. That would be a social catastrophe for Austria.”

He added that the tighter rules were necessary partly due to the region’s low vaccination rate, with only 63 percent of the population having received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.

In addition to the 2G rule for evening dining, employees and visitors in hospitals, nursing homes and convalescent homes will be required to adhere to the 2.5G rule, meaning they must show proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative PCR test but antigen tests will no longer be valid.

The new rules will apply from November 8th, a time period which the governor said gave event organisers and business owners time to prepare and adjust.


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