2G for restaurants, hairdressers and events: Vienna tightens Covid rules again

Restaurant table
Both Vienna and Upper Austria tightened their Covid restrictions on Thursday, with significantly stricter measures in the capital for unvaccinated people. Photo: Sandra Seitamaa/Unsplash
Vienna on Thursday announced another tightening of its Covid-19 measures, meaning that unvaccinated people will be unable to access venues such as restaurants and hairdressers. Upper Austria also tightened its Covid rules.

In Vienna, the 2G rule (meaning proof of either vaccination or recovery from Covid-19 is required for entry and a negative test is not valid) will be implemented in several kinds of businesses.

These include:

  • All gastronomy venues, meaning restaurants, cafes and bars. Note this is gastronomy, not ‘night gastronomy’ (pubs, clubs and late-night dining), where 2G has already been in effect.
  • Services that require close physical contact, such as beauty salons, hairdressers and masseuses. These are sometimes called ‘body-hugging’ services in a direct translation from the German.
  • All events for over 25 people.

In effect, these rule changes put Vienna at level 4 of the national five-step Covid plan. Mayor Michael Ludwig said they will come into effect “at the end of next week”, without providing a concrete date. 

Around 64 percent of Vienna residents are fully vaccinated. 

It is not exactly clear how this will affect children. Ludwig said that in most cases the rule would apply from the age of six, and encouraged parents to get 5-11 year-olds vaccinated, but he did say there may be some exceptions, including for children, when the rules are defined more precisely.

At the moment, children under 12 can get vaccinated in a few places in the capital but Ludwig acknowledged demand is high. He said plans were underway to allow children in this age group to get their vaccine at the ‘Impfstraßen’ vaccination services around the city, with children’s doctors on hand to give advice, also starting late next week.

The region of Upper Austria also announced new Covid rules on Thursday.

Effective from Monday, November 8th, Upper Austria will have a 2.5G rule (proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative PCR test required) in many areas including restaurants, hotels, places like hairdressers or beauty salons that require close physical contact, in indoor cultural and leisure facilities like theatres and cinemas, and in hospitals and nursing homes.

Upper Austria will also use the 2.5G rule for events of more than 25 people, and the 2G rule for events for over 500 people.

In order to facilitate more PCR testing, the region is rolling out more at-home PCR tests known as ‘gurgle tests’ in Austria, and will also launch a vaccination lottery — awarding prizes at random to vaccinated residents — modelled after a successful scheme in Burgenland.

If you have questions about the latest Covid rules, you can contact our editorial team at [email protected] and we will do our best to help.


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