FOR MEMBERS

Covid-19: What are the rules for New Year’s Eve in Austria?

A couple clink glasses. What are the rules for partying in Austria on NYE?Photo by Artem Kniaz on Unsplash
A couple clink glasses. What are the rules for partying in Austria on NYE?Photo by Artem Kniaz on Unsplash
Are New Year’s Eve parties allowed in Austria this year? What is the current curfew for bars and restaurants? Here’s what you need to know.

Once again New Year’s Eve is falling at a time of rising Covid-19 cases in Austria as a new strain – this time, Omicron – sweeps across the country.

What does this mean for celebrating the start of 2022? 

Here’s everything you need to know about the current Covid-19 restrictions in Austria and how to celebrate safely.

Curfew for bars and restaurants

Since December 27th, the gastronomy sector (bars, restaurants and cafes) has to close at 10pm. This replaces the previous curfew of 11pm and also applies to hotels.

Guests are required to submit contact details for contact tracing in the event of a positive case, and FFP2 masks have to be worn when not sitting at a table.

FOR MEMBERS: UPDATED: What are the rules for entering Austria right now?

The Austrian Federal Government had initially planned to remove the curfew on December 31st, but after a rise in Covid-19 cases the curfew was reinstated.

The curfew means people can go out for dinner or for a drink earlier in the evening with proof of 2G (recently recovered from Covid-19 or fully vaccinated with at least two doses). Under Austria’s current nationwide 2G rules, a negative test is no longer valid proof for entry.

For more information about Austria’s 2G rules, click here.

The new curfew was announced two weeks ago at a press conference by Austria’s Chief Medical Officer Katharina Reich, who said the intention was to show that now is “not a time to celebrate”.

Covid-19 rules for events or meeting in groups

The Austrian Crisis Commission recommends against large gatherings for New Year’s Eve, and has asked people to celebrate in small groups in line with 2G rules. 

The Commission is encouraging everyone to get a Covid-19 test before meeting people from another household, and has asked regional leaders to expand testing offerings.

READ MORE: Austria: Johnson and Johnson vaccine ‘no longer valid’ for Covid pass

The current laws allow private gatherings of up to 25 people with 2G proof, but if they are indoor and without assigned seating, FFP2 masks are compulsory. The authorities request that people reduce their contacts as much as possible.

If assigned seating is available, the maximum number of people rises to 500 if everyone has proof of 2G; 1,000 for 2G+ (full vaccination or recovery and a negative PCR test), and 2,000 if people have 2G+ and a booster dose. FFP2 masks are required.

How to safely celebrate on New Year’s Eve

As we are now almost two years into the pandemic, most people know the drill when meeting others in a group (whether at home or at a venue), but here’s a reminder anyway:

If meeting with people outside of your household on New Year’s Eve, everyone should do a Covid-19 test before (preferably an Antigen/PCR test at a testing centre).

READ ALSO: Austria rules out further tightening of Covid measures – yet

Practice good hand hygiene by regularly washing hands or using hand sanitizer.

Regularly open doors or windows to ventilate rooms.

Don’t share food or drinks.

If you, or someone in your household has symptoms, avoid social contact with others.

If you experience symptoms of Covid-19 after meeting with others on New Year’s Eve, take a PCR test.

Covid-19 symptoms

Many cases of Covid-19 show symptoms similar to the common cold (for example, headache and fatigue), but signs of a more severe infection include:

Fever.

Cough.

Sore throat.

Shortness of breath.

Breathing difficulties.

Diarrhoea.

Sudden loss of taste and smell.

Covid-19 tests (Antigen and PCR) are free throughout Austria and can be booked at a local testing centre/testing street, at a pharmacy or at a doctor’s practice. Self-tests are also available at pharmacies.

Useful links for Covid-19 testing information (by state)

Vienna

Lower Austria

Upper Austria

Styria

Salzburg

Tyrol

Burgenland

Vorarlberg

Carinthia


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