SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

COVID-19 RULES

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

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.

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

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 Under Austria’s current nationwide 2G rules, a negative test is no longer valid proof for entry.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READ MORE: Austria: Johnson and Johnson vaccine ‘no longer valid’ for Covid pass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

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

COVID-19 RULES

Austrian court rules certain bans for unvaccinated were ‘unconstitutional’

Austria's constitutional court found that banning unvaccinated people from going to hairdressers or cultural institutions was unconstitutional

Austrian court rules certain bans for unvaccinated were 'unconstitutional'

The Constitutional Court (VfGH) has found a regulation which stopped people from going to hairdressers in the second lockdown for the unvaccinated was unconstitutional and, therefore, illegal.

However, the Court of Justice did confirm it was admissible to distinguish between people with and without 2G evidence (proof they had recovered from or been vaccinated against Covid-19), meaning the lockdown for the unvaccinated was itself legal.

READ ALSO: Four options: These are Austria’s autumn Covid lockdown plans

As there were exceptions to the lockdown, allowing people without vaccinations to leave their homes to “cover the necessary basic needs of daily life”, this should have included trips to the hairdressers as part of these “basic needs” on a long term, the court ruled.

It clarified that the rules were at first supposed to last for 10 days, but as the lockdown got extended several times, lasting a total of 11 weeks, the “basic needs” evolved and should have included hairdresser visits.

According to the Constitutional Court, it was also illegal for the government to ban unvaccinated people from entering cultural institutions in autumn 2021.

In this case, the reason was that people were still allowed to go to church and other places of religion, which the court found was “in violation of equality”.

READ ALSO: LATEST: The Covid rules across Austria from August 2022

The court found the ban on entering sports facilities ordered by the Minister of Health during the first lockdown in March and April 2020 was also unlawful, as there was not sufficient justification, broadcaster ORF reported.

Strict Covid-19 measures

Austria was one of the countries which imposed several lockdown periods during the pandemic, as The Local reported. While some were aimed at the entire population, more recently, only those who didn’t get vaccinated against Covid-19 were prevented from going out of their homes without a justification (such as grocery shopping or emergencies).

The country had also imposed a Covid-19 vaccination mandate, but that was scrapped after new variants of the virus evolved into less severe cases of the disease, the government said.

Currently, there are few coronavirus restrictions in place. You can check out all the measures across Austria here.

SHOW COMMENTS