Austria scraps virus variant list, opening test-free travel to anyone with Covid booster

The Local Austria
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Austria scraps virus variant list, opening test-free travel to anyone with Covid booster
Austria's virus variant list, which currently imposes harsher entry rules on travellers from 14 countries, will be scrapped from Monday. Photo: Claudio Schwarz/Unsplash

The new rules apply to people travelling to Austria from all countries, including those from countries currently listed as virus variant areas.


As of Monday January 24th, all travellers who have received a booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccination (a third dose in most cases, or a second dose if the first dose was the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) will be allowed entry into Austria without requiring a PCR test, and without any quarantine requirement.

The reason for the relaxation of entry restrictions is that the Omicron variant is now dominant in Austria, making it illogical to place extra restrictions on travellers from countries which saw an early spread of this variant.

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All 14 countries will be removed from Austria’s virus variant list, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK, South Africa and nine other countries in southern Africa. Confusingly, different rules had applied to the European virus variant countries and the African countries, with a landing ban imposed on the latter.

Entry into Austria from a virus variant area was previously only possible either if travellers had both a booster dose and a negative PCR test, or belonged to an exempt category such as Austrian/EU citizens or residents who generally still needed to show proof of 2G (vaccination or recovery). Travellers in those exempt categories usually also needed to quarantine for 14 days if they did not have a booster vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test.

The new entry rules are known as 2G+, which means travellers must be vaccinated or recently recovered from the virus (within the last six months), as well as having proof of either a booster vaccination or negative PCR test.

The 2G+ rule has been in place for the countries not on the virus variant list for some weeks, so for those countries there is no change.

Recovered travellers and those with only two doses of the Covid-19 vaccination must show a negative PCR test (no older than 48 hours at the time of entry into Austria). However, travellers with a booster vaccination certificate or a recent recovery from Covid-19 (in addition to full vaccination) do not need to show proof of a negative PCR test.

The 2G+ entry regulation into Austria is currently set to last until at least the end of February for all countries.


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