Austria’s 2G rule: What do I do if I can’t get vaccinated?

Covid vaccine syringe
For the vast majority of the population in Austria, the vaccine against Covid-19 is safe and is recommended to protect against serious illness. But what about those who can't have it? File photo: Thomas Kienzle/AFP
Under Austria's current Covid-19 measures, unvaccinated people are excluded from many parts of society such as restaurants, hotels, hairdressers and events. So what about those who can't get the jab?

According to data from the Austrian Health Ministry, 11 percent of the population is unable to get the Covid-19 vaccine, either due to their age (the vaccine is currently only available for over-12s) or for medical reasons.

For those aged under 12, the 2G rule does not apply, and teens aged 12-15 should be able to show a negative test result using the Ninja Pass (test certificates for children) in order to enter 2G venues, which is particularly useful for 12-year-olds who have not been eligible for the vaccine long enough to have had both doses.

Statistik Austria shows that at the start of 2021, a total of 1,031,247 people were aged under 12, making up just over 11 percent of the total population, so only a very small number of people are affected by illnesses or conditions that make them ineligible for the vaccine.

If you do belong to this group, you are exempt from the 2G rule and should have already received information from your doctor on obtaining proof of this in the form of a medical certificate. You can show this proof together with an authorized negative PCR test result (not an antigen test) to enter 2G venues. A negative test on its own is not enough; you also need the valid proof of medical exemption from the 2G requirement.

The other group of people who may be unable to get the Covid vaccine are those who tested positive for the virus recently.

People in this category can instead use the second ‘G’ (genesen or ‘recovered’) for their proof of entry, by getting a recovery certificate from their doctor. Recovery is valid 2G proof for 180 days, and during that time you should be able to get your Covid vaccine.

If you do not fall into one of the above categories, you will need to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to enter 2G venues. You can call the health helpline 1450 for advice, or speak to your own doctor, if you have questions before getting the vaccine.

Note that foreign residents are not excluded from vaccination in Austria. You can get the Covid vaccine for free, without needing to show a social security number or e-card. You can also request a social security number for the specific purpose of getting the vaccine (for example if you are living in Austria with private insurance rather than an Austrian insurance), which will ease the process of getting your vaccine details added to your Green Pass. 

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