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UPDATED: What are the rules for entering Austria right now?

UPDATED: What are the rules for entering Austria right now?
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Photo: ALEX HALADA / AFP
Austria has further relaxed the rules for entry in mid June. Here’s what you need to know.

This report was last updated on August 13th.  

The rapidly improving pandemic situation has allowed Austria to further relax its entry rules. 

Now, people from several dozen countries can enter without restrictions. 

The changes came into place on June 10th, with further coming into effect on July 1st. Austria already removed the quarantine obligation on May 19th. 

You’ll need to fill out a form if coming to Austria in most cases. More information is available here. 

Children under ten do not need to be tested, vaccinated or recovered, provided of course they are travelling with an adult who is in compliance with the rules. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

What are the rules for entering Austria right now? 

There are two main areas to consider: where you are coming from and whether or not you can show immunity to the virus. 

Austria had previously stated it would rely on the EU health agency ECDC’s traffic light system, which differentiates between areas depending on the prevalence of coronavirus infections.

This has now changed however, with three categories of countries. 

Those in Appendix A are allowed to enter without restriction, although everyone arriving will need to comply with the 3G rule which is laid out below. The official list is available here

While the countries are mostly inside the Schengen region, there are around a dozen from further afield, including Australia, New Zealand and the United States. 

These countries are: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Croatia, Latvia, Liechtenstein , Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, the Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, South Korea , Taiwan, Thailand, Czech Republic, Hungary, the USA, the Vatican and Vietnam. 

Of these countries, as of August 3rd arrivals from the Netherlands, Cyprus and Spain will need to show a PCR test if they are not vaccinated or have not recently recovered from the virus. 

Those in the second group – Appendix B2 – are ‘virus variant’ countries, i.e. countries where variants of the virus are prevalent. 

As at August 11th, these countries are Botswana, Brazil, Eswatini, India, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Russia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

However, from August 15th, the UK will be removed from the list along with India, Nepal, Botswana, Russia, Zambia and South Africa. 

READ MORE: Austria to remove UK and India from Covid variant list from Sunday

Entry from virus variant countries is only allowed for Austrian residents or citizens, European residents or citizens, people entering for business or study purposes, or diplomats. 

Arrivals will need to provide evidence of a negative test and will need to quarantine for ten days, although you can leave quarantine after the fifth day with a negative PCR test

The third ‘category’ is in fact those countries which are not in the first two categories. Entry is banned from these countries, unless one of the above exceptions applies. 

What about entry for vaccinated people? 

Only people who are deemed to be immune to the virus can enter Austria. 

Arrivals can show this by being consistent with the so-called ‘3G rule’. 

READ MORE: Can I travel to Austria if I’ve been vaccinated?

This rule states that those who have been vaccinated, along with those who have recently recovered from the virus and who have tested negative, can enter Austria. 

As has been indicated in the following article, this can be demonstrated either with paper evidence, a QR code on paper or a mobile, or by signing up to the EU immunity card system, which will be rolled out in July. 

‘3G Rule’: How to prove you have been vaccinated, tested or recovered from Covid in Austria

Everyone entering Austria will need to be consistent with the 3G rule, regardless of where they enter from. 

Which vaccines are accepted? 

Somewhat unusually, Austria accepts people after their first shot of the vaccine, with most countries requiring people to have had both shots (i.e. be fully vaccinated). 

You can enter from a safe country 22 days after your first shot (but not more than three months if you have only had one shot). The immunity is deemed to last for nine months from your second shot. 

To enter, you must have been vaccinated with an EMA approved vaccine or one approved from the WHO.

The WHO approval requirement is also relatively rare in Europe, as it means vaccines from more manufacturers are accepted. This includes: 

Comirnaty (BioNtech/Pfizer), Vaxzevria/AstraZeneca, and Covishield from Serum Institute of India COVID-19, Vaccine Janssen from Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Moderna, Sinopharm SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell), Inactivated (InCoV) and Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine, SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell), Inactivated. 

You can also enter if you have recovered from the virus in the past 180 days.

Testing

You can also show evidence of a negative test to arrive, although this does get a little complicated due to the variety of tests on offer.

There are two broad categories of test and they apply for different time periods.

The antigen tests, which you can get done at pharmacies, doctors and testing centres (aka test streets) across the country, are valid for 48 hours.

PCR tests – which take longer but are considered the ‘gold standard’ when it comes to testing – apply for 72 hours.

If you do not have a test, you can do one within 24 hours in Austria.


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