Overview of the Covid-19 situation in Austria
As of November 5th, the 7-day incidence rate (new infections per 100,000 people) was 522. Upper Austria has the highest incidence (796) followed by Salzburg (785), while Burgenland (406) and Vienna (325) have the lowest rates but still a sharp upward trend.
A total of 72,226 people in Austria were currently positive for Covid-19 on November 5th, with 1,837 people being treated for the disease in hospital. A total of 362 Covid patients are currently in intensive care, which means Austria will soon enter the next stage of its five-step restrictions plan.
A total of 5,940,486 people (66.5 percent of the total population, and 75.2 percent of the population eligible for vaccination) have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose and 5,747,475 (64.3 percent) have received two doses as of November 5th.
Rules in place at the moment include an FFP2 mask mandate for everyone on public transport and in supermarkets and pharmacies, and proof of 3G (vaccination, recovery, or negative test) needed for entry to many businesses, with stricter rules in some regions. This is changing on Monday with a change to 2G (vaccination or recovery — see more here).
Friday, November 5th
The government has announced new Covid restrictions, which mean a 2G rule (proof of vaccination or recovery only) will be introduced for several areas of society, while vaccination proof will only be considered valid for nine months after the second dose instead of the current 12, to encourage uptake of booster doses. Read more at these links:
- UPDATE: Austria to further tighten Covid restrictions from Monday
- ‘Lockdown light’ for the unvaccinated: Austria tightens Covid rules
The background to these changes is a continued sharp rise in Covid cases, with 9,388 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.
In Vienna, booster doses will now be available without an appointment. The National Vaccine Council has said that in general these should take place at least six months after the second dose, but in certain cases such as for people with an increased risk of illness, this gap could be reduced to four months.
Thursday, November 4th
Vienna has announced that it will introduce stricter Covid restrictions from the end of next week, effectively jumping to stage 4 of the national five-step Covid plan. This means the 2G rule (vaccination or recovery only) will be required for entry to a range of businesses including restaurants, cafes, hairdressers, beauty salons, and events for over 25 people.
Upper Austria will also tighten its Covid rules, starting from November 8th. Here, a 2.5G rule (vaccination, recovery or a negative PCR test) will be required for situations including restaurants, hotels, hairdressers, theatres and cinemas, and in hospitals and nursing homes. Read our full update on the rules here.
Nationwide, in the last 24 hours, 8,593 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Austria.
Wednesday, November 3rd
Austria recorded 6,506 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, passing the 2021 record once again.
Several new municipalities will see exit checks (a requirement for proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test in order to leave the area) introduced: Kirchdorf and Wels-Land in Upper Austria, Landeck and Reutte in Tyrol, both from Friday, and Liezen in Lower Austria from Monday.
Salzburg currently has one of Austria’s highest incidence rates (new daily infections per capita) and will tighten Covid restrictions further from November 8th, including mask requirements and a 2.5G or 2G rule in some locations.
Salzburg oncologist Richard Greil, who has criticised the region for its measures, has called for even tighter restrictions “close to a lockdown”. He said plans for a lockdown for unvaccinated people only are not sufficient, and told the ORF broadcaster: “The population needs to know that there are limits to what can be treated. And that there is collateral damage for other [non-Covid] patients.”
New tighter restrictions are also expected to be announced in Upper Austria tomorrow.
Austria’s National Vaccine Council has recommended that everyone get a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine six months after the second, meaning more regions will be rolling this out to the general population after Vienna and Vorarlberg began this week.
On a positive note, Burgenland has achieved the goal it set for its vaccination lottery (read more on what it’s all about here) with 10,000 extra first doses administered as of today. It had aimed to achieve this before the regional holiday on November 11th. The region has the highest vaccination rate at about 73 percent of the total population (81 percent of the eligible population) of all of Austria and has maintained a much lower than average incidence rate, even without needing to tighten Covid restrictions as other regions have. A total of 1,000 non-cash prizes, including three cars, will be raffled off on November 11th and any Burgenland residents who have received a Covid-19 vaccine have the chance to register for the lottery until November 10th.
Tuesday, November 2nd
More than 300 Covid-19 patients are currently being cared for in ICUs, which means Austria will enter the second stage of its five-step Covid restrictions plan from next week.
Two Austrian regions, Vienna and Vorarlberg, are rolling out Covid vaccine booster shots from today. To get the third dose, at least six months must have passed since your second dose.
Self-PCR tests are being ruled out in Styria from today, as the regions are stepping up offerings of PCR tests due to the 3G and 2.5G rules in place at various locations from the workplace to restaurants. It comes as Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein warned Austria is close to reaching the threshold at which national measures will be stepped up and antigen tests will no longer be accepted.
More parts of Austria have had exit checks introduced, meaning proof of 3G (vaccination, recovery or a negative test) is required in order to leave particularly high-incidence areas: Perg, Steyr-Land and Vöcklabruck in Upper Austria and Waidhofen an der Ybbs in Lower Austria.
Monday, November 1st
Austria’s 3G rule for workplaces comes into effect today, meaning you will need to show proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test in order to enter a workplace if there’s a chance you will have contact with others. For the first two weeks, there is a transition period where you can instead wear an FFP2 mask if you don’t have 3G.
But in other workplaces, employees who show proof of 3G will no longer need to wear masks. This means that staff in supermarkets for example will not need to wear them because they will be showing their 3G proof (although customers still need to wear FFP2 masks).
How does Austria compare to its neighbours?
The chart below from Our World in Data shows how the number of reported daily Covid cases in Austria compares to those in neighbouring countries.
Do you have a question about Covid-19 in Austria? Contact our editorial team at [email protected] and they will get back to you and do their best to help.