Austria’s Green Pass: What counts as proof of 2G?

When Austria tightened its rules for entry to many public venues, it also changed the rules for 2G validity. Here's a look at the proof you need to enter places like restaurants, hotels, hairdressers and events.

Covid pass being scanned
You can present your proof of 2G in paper or digital form, showing the QR code and full details. Photo: Claudio Schwarz/Unsplash

For vaccinated people

People who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 can show their yellow Impfpass (vaccination booklet), or data from their e-Impfpass, for example a printout of their vaccine certificate, the Grüner Pass app or an EU digital Covid pass from another EU country. 

For most people, proof of vaccination will be a valid ‘G’ for nine months, or 270 days to be precise, after the second dose, as of December 6th. After this, a third dose is required to be allowed entry to 2G venues. The vaccine pass will be valid for another 270 days (nine months) from the date of the third dose.

The exception is people who received one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. From January 3rd, 2022, a second dose of this vaccine will be required.

Only vaccines which have received EMA approval (that’s Moderna, AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson) are accepted as valid proof.

What if I was vaccinated outside the EU, or with a vaccine not approved by the EMA?

In the wording of the regulation, it doesn’t state whether non-EU vaccine certificates are accepted, however The Local’s readers have reported being allowed entry to 3G venues using an NHS Covid certificate from the UK, for example. If you experience difficulties with a foreign vaccine pass or have questions, you can contact our editorial team by emailing [email protected] and we will do our best to help.

For people who were vaccinated with a jab that isn’t approved by the EMA, such as Sputnik V or Sinopharm, the advice of Austria’s National Vaccine Committee is to take a test to prove Covid antibodies and get a dose of an EMA-approved mRNA vaccine (that’s Pfizer or Moderna) at least one month after your first dose. These two proofs together should be accepted as 2G, even though neither antibody proof nor a single dose of an mRNA vaccine are accepted as 2G outside this scenario.

For recovered people

People who have caught and recovered from Covid-19 can show either a ‘recovery certificate’ or a doctor’s proof of infection together with a PCR test result. These are valid for 180 days after the infection.

Proof of Covid-19 antibodies is not accepted as proof.

For children

In principle, the new 2G rule applies from the age of 12 upwards, but there is an exception for children up until the end of their ninth year of school (aged 12-15). Children in this group can show a negative PCR test, for example using the Ninja Pass based on school tests, to enter 2G venues.

Vienna, however, is likely to require 2G from the age of 12 when it updates its own regulation later this week.

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‘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.