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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

A sign with the traditional Austrian greeting of Griaß di. Photo: Pixabay
A sign with the traditional Austrian greeting of Griaß di. Photo: Pixabay

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.

READ MORE: Travel rules update: Unvaccinated people can now enter Austria

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.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What are Austria’s current Covid rules?

Vienna rules

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. 

READ MORE: Record Covid case numbers: How close is Austria to a new lockdown? 

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TRAVEL NEWS

LATEST: What are Austria’s current Covid-19 rules?

Travellers entering the country no longer need to show proof of vaccination or a negative test, but masks are still mandatory in some places.

LATEST: What are Austria's current Covid-19 rules?

From Monday, May 16th, travellers coming into Austria no longer need to present proof that they have either been vaccinated against Covid-19, have tested negative for the disease, or recently recovered from it.

Previously, the so-called 3G rules were in place for all people coming into Austria, with very few exceptions.

The government over the weekend dropped the requirements just ahead of warmer months, stating that the epidemiological situation no longer justified them.

On Sunday, 15th, Austria reported 3,777 new coronavirus cases after just under 110,000 PCR tests were taken. In total, 807 people are currently hospitalised with the disease, and 62 are in intensive care units. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 18,303 people have died from Covid-19 in Austria.

Despite dropping the entry requirements, the federal government reiterated that the rules could change, mainly if a variant of concern is found.

READ ALSO: Austria extends Covid regulations as experts warn of autumn resurgence

Domestically, Austria still has a few coronavirus restrictions in place, including an FFP2 mask mandate in some areas.

These are the latest rules you need to be aware of:

FFP2 mask mandate

The obligation to wear an FFP2 mask only applies in enclosed spaces of hospitals, elderly and nursing homes, public transport (including stops and stations), taxis, customer areas of vital trade, such as supermarkets, and administrative buildings.

The mask mandate is no longer in place for enclosed places like gyms, restaurants and bars, and cultural establishments, but masks are still recommended.

READ ALSO: Tourists: What to do if you test positive for Covid in Austria

Isolation after a positive test

After the fifth day of isolation and at least 48 hours without symptoms, you can end quarantine for mild or asymptomatic cases.

However, there is a “traffic restriction” for another five days, with a mask mandate and no entry permitted in gastronomy venues, health and care homes, and events during this period.

READ ALSO: Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

In order to obtain an early lifting of the restrictions, a free PCR test can be carried out. If the test is negative or with a CT value (short for Cycle Threshold and is the gold standard for detecting Covid-19) above 30, the isolation can be lifted.

If the value is below 30, then you must remain in isolation.

Vienna doesn’t follow the ‘traffic restriction’, so the only way to end the 10-day isolation is with a PCR test (negative or CT value below 30) after two symptom-free days.

You can find more information on federal restrictions on the government website here.

The 3G rule

A 3G rule (proof that a person has either been vaccinated against Covid-19, recently recovered from the disease or has a negative test) is generally only needed for visitors, employees and service providers in hospitals and care homes.

READ ALSO: Ba.4 and Ba.5 Covid variants detected in Austria: What you need to know

In Vienna, on the other hand, the rules are stricter.

Visitors and workers need to have the 3G proof plus a negative PCR test. However, the city has dropped 2G rules for gastronomy and nightclubs – the only places where it was still required to show proof of vaccination or recovery.

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