Austria: Bars and restaurants face €3,600 fines for not checking tests

Hospitality venues are required to ensure everyone on the premises is in compliance with Austria's testing and immunity rules. Here's what happens if they don't.

Austria: Bars and restaurants face €3,600 fines for not checking tests

With restaurants, pubs, amateur sport and larger events allowed again from May 19th, Austria brought into effect the ‘3G Rule’.

The 3G Rule means that only people who have been vaccinated against the virus, have tested negative or who have contracted the virus and have recovered are entitled to participate in the reopening.

A major concern among Austrian authorities however has been forgery.

Hospitality venues are required to ensure everyone on the premises is in compliance with the 3G Rule.

This entitles them to ask to see evidence of recovery, vaccination or a negative test, while they are also allowed to ask for ID if they feel someone is presenting another person’s test result. 

The fine for failing to properly check – and having someone caught on the premises who does not have appropriate documentation – can be up to €3,600, Austrian media reports.

There are also high fines for individuals, along with possible jail terms. 

While it might not seem like such a big deal, under Austrian law, forged tests are considered to be forgery of official documents and carry heavy penalties.

This can result in a fine of “several thousand euros” for the person presenting the forged test or vaccination result, Austrian media reports.

A police spokesman said the exact amount of the fine will depend on the circumstances.

Not only that, but forgers can spend several months in jail for doing so, with prison sentences of up to one year possible under Austrian law.

Documents do not need to be professionally forged – although professional forgery services have cropped up over Europe ahead of the release of the immunity card – for you to fall foul of the rules.

So even if you turn the ‘1’ into a ‘7’ on your certificate while thirsty for a quick pint, you could get yourself in a world of trouble.

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Austria recommends Covid booster shot for children aged five and over

The commission also recommends three doses of the vaccine for people who have recovered from the coronavirus disease.

Austria recommends Covid booster shot for children aged five and over

Austria’s National Vaccination Board has recommended that children from the age of five get a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccination, the “booster” dose.

“This third vaccination should take place at the latest at the beginning of the school year ahead of the expected next waves of infection in autumn”, the board said in a press statement.

The third dose is recommended six months after the second shot, the commission added.

Additionally, the updated recommendation given by the government body also clarified that a total of three vaccinations are needed for “the best possible and long-term protection”, even among people who have already been infected with Covid-19.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: The latest coronavirus restrictions in Austria

The commission stated that “from an immunological point of view, these vaccinations are to be regarded as a basic vaccination”. This means that, in the future, the Covi-19 vaccination schedule will consider three doses of an approved vaccine.

According to the board statement, an infection with the coronavirus would only lead to a postponement of the vaccinations but shouldn’t replace any dose.

Austria’s Health Minister Johannes Rauch reinforced the need for vaccination in the country, which currently has fewer than 70 per cent of its population with two doses of the vaccine up to date.

“The corona vaccination has saved the lives of countless people and continues to do so. The ongoing adaptation of recommendations ensures that new scientific findings are constantly incorporated”, Rauch said in a press statement.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What are Austria’s plans to bring back the vaccine mandate?

The new recommendation can be found on Austria’s Health Ministry website. However, the ministry hasn’t specified how the recommendation would affect the Covid-19 passes or the “green pass” validity, especially those held by people who have recovered from the disease.

Covid numbers

Austria this Monday reported 4,111 new coronavirus infections, with 89,861 PCR tests taken in 24 hours. According to the Health Ministry, there are currently 1,492 people hospitalised with the virus (26 fewer than the day before), and 124 people are in intensive care units with Covid.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 18,054 people have died from the Covid-19.

The alpine country has currently 68.4 per cent of its population with a valid vaccination certificate, and 54.5 per cent of its population has received the third dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

READ ALSO: Austria to keep masks only in ‘essential places’ from April 16th

Austria has recently removed almost all of its coronavirus restrictions, including the need to show a valid vaccination certificate to enter bars and restaurants. The country also dropped its FFP2 mask mandate in all indoor areas except for “essential” places such as public transport, health areas, and supermarkets.