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Covid-19 vaccines For Members

Who is exempt from Austria's new vaccine mandate?

The Local Austria
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Who is exempt from Austria's new vaccine mandate?
People wait in line for the corona vaccine outside of Christmas Market in front of Vienna's city hall in Vienna, Austria on November 15, 2021. - Authorities began vaccinating children between 5 and 11 against coronavirus in the capital on November 15, 2021, among soaring rates that saw a country wide lockdown for some two million people who have not been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

After lawmakers voted to make Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for people in Austria, here's a closer look at the small number of exceptions that apply.

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Most of the exemptions from the mandate are time-limited and are valid until the end of the month following the end of the reason for exemption.

For example, someone who turns 18 on June 7th would need to get their vaccine before the end of July; someone who gave birth on August 27th would have until the end of September to get vaccinated.

The mandate itself is currently set to apply until January 31st, 2024, but the law requires that the situation be monitored every three months to determine if it is still justified by the pandemic situation.

Here are the exemption categories explained.

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Children

The vaccine mandate only applies for people aged over 18.

That's even though vaccines are currently offered to children from the age of five in Austria.

An earlier draft of the bill would have begun the mandate from the age of 14, but this was tweaked.

Pregnant people

People who are pregnant are exempt from the vaccine mandate for the duration of their pregnancy.

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People with medical proof of recent recovery from Covid-19

Anyone who has had a recent Covid-19 infection is exempt from the requirement to be vaccinated for 180 days after their positive test.

People in this category will need to have a medical certificate confirming their recovered status to show in the event of checks.

People with proof of a medical exemption from vaccination

The Ministry of Health has not yet published final details on which illnesses or conditions are sufficient for a medical exemption or how these should be proven.

It's expected to be a short list, including for example people who have recently undergone an organ transplant and those with certain autoimmune diseases. But it may not be exactly the same as the current exemptions from showing proof of 2G.

Only a certain group of doctors will be allowed to issue exemption certificates (public health officers, epidemic doctors, or the patient's doctor at a specialist outpatient clinic -- in German the terms are Amtsärzte, Epidemieärzte and Spezialambulanzen), and it will not be possible to get these from a GP.

Tourists

Several readers of The Local have been in touch to ask if the vaccine mandate will apply to tourists or only people resident in the country. The answer is the latter; people resident in Austria will be required to get the vaccine. This includes non-Austrians, as long as you are a registered resident in Austria (ie. you have completed a Meldezettel, which is a requirement for anyone planning to stay in Austria for three months or more). This will also cover some people with second homes in Austria because if they have a residence (Wohnsitz) registered in Austria.

Tourists will be affected by two other sets of rules: the rules for entry and domestic rules around vaccine passes.

From January 24th, the so-called 2G+ rule will apply to travellers from all countries entering Austria, meaning they need either full vaccination or a recent recovery from the virus, as well as either a booster dose or a negative PCR test. There are a few cases in which travellers can follow slightly more lenient rules, including those travelling for urgent reasons and Austrian residents.

Meanwhile, separate rules govern which public places require proof of 2G (full vaccination or recent recovery). At the moment, that includes for example restaurants, cafes, hotels, museums, and large events, and this applies to both locals and tourists.

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joebusby 2022/01/23 14:51
“Pregnant people”?? Seriously, is The local going to provide information or push every leftist example of political correctness? Is The Local a forum for information or a place of not-so-subtle indoctrination? It is very sad. I have a little son; every honest person on Earth knows he will never be pregnant. I have a little daughter too. I hope she becomes a mother someday. These thoughts, these facts should not be controversial.

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