Mayor of Vienna Michael Ludwig (SPÖ) confirmed on Tuesday that Vienna will remain with 2G rules and the widespread use of face masks – probably until April.
Ludwig said restrictions would only be eased when the number of infections have reduced, which is expected to happen in March.
This means 2G (recovered or vaccinated) rules will remain in place in Vienna for gastronomy and hotels, and FFP2 masks will still be required in all public indoor areas, such as shops and public transport.
The news comes as the rest of Austria prepares for a relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions on Saturday March 5th.
During the announcement, Ludwig said he is “very sceptical” about the extensive opening steps across Austria from Saturday while case rates remain high. He also said he expects the 2G rule for gastronomy to stay in place in Vienna for some time.
Additionally, the 2G+ rule (recovered and vaccinated plus booster or negative PCR test) for hospitals will remain in the capital.
What are the nationwide Covid-19 rules from Saturday?
From March 5th, most of Austria’s Covid-19 rules will be removed.
This means the end to 2G and 3G requirements (proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test) to enter venues, as well as the re-opening of night clubs, and the removal of the current midnight curfew for restaurants.
Proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test will only be required in what the government called “particularly vulnerable settings” such as hospitals and nursing homes.
These proofs are also still required for travel into Austria, but for entry into the country 3G will apply rather than the current 2G+ rule. However, any countries classed as virus variant countries will have stricter requirements (at the moment there are no countries on the list).
Also on March 5th, the current requirement to wear an FFP2 mask in all public indoor spaces will be relaxed, with mask-wearing only mandatory on public transport, in essential retail stores (which mainly refers to supermarkets and pharmacies), and in hospitals and nursing homes.
Essentially, the FFP2 mask requirement is set to cover only those indoor areas where people can’t opt out of being present.
The re-opening plan was announced by the Federal Government on February 16th following a summit with scientific experts and regional governors, with Chancellor Karl Nehammer dubbing the relaxations a “spring awakening”.