Key points: The Covid rules that apply nationwide and regionally in Austria

The Local Austria
The Local Austria - [email protected]
Key points: The Covid rules that apply nationwide and regionally in Austria
(Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)

As well as a nationwide lockdown for unvaccinated people, there are many different Covid rules to keep track of in Austria, depending on your vaccination status and where in the country you are.


Lockdown for unvaccinated people

People aged over 12 without proof of 2G (full vaccination or recovery, or a first vaccine dose plus a negative PCR test) may not leave their homes except for essential reasons such as work or buying food.

For children aged 12-15, they may use a Ninja Pass from school tests to enter 2G areas, although in Vienna only PCR tests (not antigen) are considered valid proof for this age group).

The reasons include:

  • Essential errands (such as buying food or medicine)
  • Attending work or education
  • Caring for people in need
  • Healthcare, including attending Covid-19 vaccinations
  • Basic religious needs
  • Caring for animals
  • Necessary administrative procedures that cannot be done online
  • Participating in elections
  • Avoiding an immediate danger to life, health or property 

There are also exceptions covering "exercising family rights and duties with close relatives and contacts" and "physical and mental relaxation outdoors with close contacts".

According to the Interior Ministry, the fines for violating the lockdown for the unvaccinated are €500, while refusing to participate in checks carries a fine of up to €1,450.

There is no form required to leave your house, but you could be asked to show proof of 2G.

This lockdown is currently in place for ten days as of November 15th.


Other Covid rules nationwide

A 2G rule continues to apply in the following venues:

  • Gastronomy (ie. restaurants, cafes, bars, whether indoor or outdoor, although employees can still use a test option)
  • Hotels
  • Services requiring close physical contact like hairdressers and beauty salons
  • Cinemas and theatres
  • Events for over 25 people, whether seated or standing
  • Visiting hospitals or care facilities (except for accompanying a childbirth, or visiting palliative or hospice care, where you can wear an FFP2 mask as an alternative to 2G)

The 2G rule applies from the age of 12, and children aged between 12 and 15 can continue to use tests and will be allowed entry, for example using the Ninja Pass which shows school tests (although in Vienna children aged 12 and 15 can only use a PCR test for entry). 

In workplaces, a 3G rule (vaccination, recovery, or a recent negative test) applies.

FFP2 masks are required in most places not mentioned above:

  • On all public transport
  • All retail venues
  • Supermarkets and pharmacies
  • In museums and libraries

In addition to these rules, some regions have stricter requirements in place, which we've outlined below.

Covid rules in Vienna

For 12-15 year-olds, 2.5G applies, meaning only negative PCR tests are accepted.

2G applies at food stalls (such as street food venues and Vienna's famous Würstelstände or 'sausage stalls')

Further rules are set to come into effect from later this week, including a 2G+ rule (vaccination or recovery, plus a negative Covid test result) for bars and events, and extending the FFP2 mask mandate to cover all public indoor spaces.


Covid rules in Salzburg

At restaurants and other venues serving food and drinks, guests must be seated, and groups must be at least one metre apart from each other.

FFP2 masks are required for all staff who have close contact with colleagues or customers, including for example hairdressers, beauticians, bartenders, waiters, and market stall owners.

The sale of alcohol at Christmas markets is banned.

Covid rules in Upper Austria

At restaurants and other venues serving food and drinks, guests must be seated, and groups must be at least one metre apart from each other.

The 2G rule applies to food stalls.

‘Night gastronomy’ venues must close until December 6th. That’s primarily bars and night clubs, but also some late-night dining venues.

There’s a blanket ban on large events until December 6th, with an exception only for the professional sports and culture sector, as long as they have an FFP2 mask mandate and assigned seating.

Christmas markets may take place, but FFP2 masks must be worn, and consumption on-site is not allowed (though buying food or drink to take away is permitted).

FFP2 mask mandates also apply in all enclosed indoor spaces, for example in restaurants except while seated.



Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also