Travel: What are Austria's current entry and Covid rules?
As spring arrives and the country has relaxed its Covid restrictions, here are the rules you need to know when travelling to Austria
Please note: This article is up to date as at March 31st, 2022.
Since late February, Austria has allowed unvaccinated people to enter for tourism, as long as they have a negative Covid-19 test.
Vaccinated and recently recovered can enter showing proof of their status. The country accepts most of the vaccines recommended by the World Health Organisation, including Chinese Sinovac and Sinopharm.
Here is what you need to keep in mind regarding Covid-19 restrictions when travelling to and inside Austria. The rules are valid for every person over 12 years of age, regardless of the reason for travels, residence status, citizenship or country of arrival.
The exceptions include people in transit and certain professionals. Last week, Austria also updated its travel rules to allow for people who enter the country due to military conflict to be exempt from the ordinance.
The '3G rule' is the norm
All people entering Austria need to present at least one of the documents:
- Proof of complete vaccination (two doses)
- Proof of recent recovery
- A negative Covid test (PCR or rapid test)
The vaccinated person needs to show proof that they took two doses of an approved vaccination or one dose of the Jansen vaccine.
The vaccines accepted for entry into Austria are BioNTech/Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Covishield, Covaxin, Covovax, Johnson & Johnson (single dose), Moderna, Nuvaxovid (Novavax), Sinovac, and Sinopharm.
However, only BioNTech/Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson (two doses), Moderna and Nuvaxovid (Novavax) are accepted inside of the country for those who want to enter 2G (vaccinated or recovered) establishments.
This makes things a bit more complicated. It basically means that a person who has one dose of the Jansen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine, for example, is allowed to enter the country without showing a test result, travel registration or going into quarantine.
However, this person is not considered fully vaccinated inside Austria and cannot enter 2G places - mainly gastronomy and clubs in Vienna.
The validity of the vaccination is also different for those entering the country or inside the country. To enter the country, the last dose cannot be older than 270 days. Inside Austria, the second dose cannot be older than 180 days (or 210 for people younger than 18 years).
After that, the country requires a booster, or third-dose vaccination, to enter 2G places.
If you fall into the "recovered" status, a medical certificate that includes the recovery date is necessary. You can find the official form (in English) here.
For people coming into the country using only a negative test result, PCRs are valid for 72 hours while rapid antigen tests for 24 hours.
What if I don't have 3G proof?
People who cannot prove that they have either been fully vaccinated, recently recovered, or tested negative can also enter the country as long as they fill out an online travel form and go into a ten-day quarantine. The quarantine can be ended earlier with a negative test result.
What happens after arrive in Austria?
Once you enter Austria, it is essential to keep in mind the current rules and restrictions regarding the pandemic. While in most of the country, the G-rules have fallen, meaning people can enter typical daily establishments without showing proof of vaccination, recovery, or negative test, that is not the case in Vienna.
Austria's capital city has kept the 2G rules for gastronomy, and tourists need to follow them to enter bars and restaurants.
As shown above, even if you have entered Austria as a vaccinated person, Vienna might not accept your proof of vaccination.
Only BioNTech/Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson (two doses), Moderna and Nuvaxovid (Novavax) are accepted inside of the country for those who want to enter 2G (vaccinated or recovered) establishments.
Those are valid for 180 days after the second dose (210 for people under 180 years).
Children up to five years old don't need to show proof of entry. From 6 to 12 years old, they can use PCR or antigen tests to go into bars and restaurants. From 12 to 15, only a PCR is valid for entry rules. After that, they follow the same rules as adults.