Covid-19 rules For Members

Reader question: Do I still have to wear a face mask due to Covid-19 rules in Austria?

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
Reader question: Do I still have to wear a face mask due to Covid-19 rules in Austria?
Masks no longer mandatory on public transport in Austria. So when will all restrictions be lifted? Photo: Gabriel BOUYS / AFP

Most of the pandemic restrictions have been lifted in Austria, but some, including the mandatory use of FFP2 face masks in specific settings, remain. Here's what you need to know - and when all measures will be lifted.


Austria has gone through the coronavirus pandemic with strict restrictions, including lockdowns and even contact rules among people. However, after almost three years, the Alpine Republic seems to be "over" the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Austria's Corona-Ampel, the "traffic-light" analysis that measures the system risk in the country, the whole of Austria is rated as very low risk - Burgenland and Vienna provinces are rated as low risk. Systemic risk is measured as the risk of overloading the healthcare system with Covid-19 patients, according to the federal government.

There are practically no restrictions related to the pandemic in daily life, significantly since the capital Vienna dropped the FFP2 mask mandate in its public transport. However, masks are still mandatory throughout Austria in the "health sector" (Gesundheitsbereich) and there are other restrictions for those who test positive for Covid-19.

Here's a summary of the rules and when they are expected to drop.

READ ALSO:  What you need to know before travelling to Austria in spring 2023


Mask mandate

People in Austria are still required to wear an FFP2 mask when they are in "health sector" establishments. This includes, according to the government, "hospitals and convalescent homes, elderly and nursing homes and places where health and care services are provided".

If you visit your house doctor, for example, you will be required to wear a mask and might be asked to leave and buy one if you are not wearing it. However, many The Local readers have already spotted several people (and even doctors) without masks in offices and ambulatories. 

Despite that, masks are technically still mandatory until the requirement drops on May 1st.  

There will be no mask requirement from May in hospitals, nursing homes, and doctor's offices. However, people in risk groups will be able to take time off work if they feel they would not be adequately protected at the workplace (and working from home is not an option) - this will be valid until the end of April.

READ ALSO: The essential articles to read if you are moving to Vienna


'Traffic light restrictions'

The other restriction still ongoing in Austria applies only to those who test positive for Covid-19. 

Positively tested persons do not have to be quarantined and, provided they do not feel ill, can broadly participate in public life. 

According to federal regulations, these persons are subject to so-called traffic restrictions and a general FFP2 mask requirement. In addition, there are entry bans for particularly sensitive areas, such as visiting a hospital patient.

For persons with a positive antigen or PCR test result, a 10-day "traffic restriction" applies. After five days, it is possible to test free with a negative test result or a CT value above 30. 

A prerequisite for participation in public life during the "traffic restriction" period is the continuous wearing of an FFP2 mask. Positively tested persons must wear the FFP2 mask outside their own living area in all enclosed spaces and on public transport. In addition, if a minimum distance of two metres cannot be maintained outdoors or persons from outside the household are visiting, an FFP2 mask must also be worn here.

READ ALSO: Long Covid: What support is available in Austria?

In order to protect particularly sensitive areas, persons who have tested positive are prohibited from entering healthcare facilities, residential facilities for the elderly and disabled, kindergartens or elementary schools.


Positively tested persons who do not feel ill or have no symptoms may work with FFP2 masks - except for Viennese public employees working in sensitive areas. Those who do feel well can take sick leave just as with any other sickness.

From July, however, even these restrictions will end with the expiration of the Covid Measures Act. Covid-19 will no longer be a notifiable disease, so people who test positive won't have to follow any particular protocol.


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also