Reader question: Can I convert my foreign Covid passport into an Austrian green pass?

Reader question: Can I convert my foreign Covid passport into an Austrian green pass?
A generic image of a QR code. The QR code is the centrepiece of many vaccine passports/Covid certificates. Photo by sentidos humanos on Unsplash
Austria’s Covid passport, known as the ‘green pass’, is required for most activities. Here’s what to do if you’re visiting.

In spring of 2021, Austria became one of the first countries to ask for a ‘green pass’ to access bars, restaurants, events, gyms and other venues/activities. 

The green pass shows someone is compliant with the 3G rule, i.e. that they have been vaccinated, recently recovered from the virus or have tested negative. 

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

Please note that some events – for instance night-club visits and larger events – are 2G, i.e. they are only open to those who have recovered from the virus or have been vaccinated. 

3G to become 2G: Austria tightens green pass rules

Can I use my country’s Covid pass in Austria? 

With several other countries now having their own vaccination passports – along with one at the European Union level – Local readers have asked us the rules for getting the Covid certificate when coming from abroad. 

As at September 23rd, only passes from European Union countries are accepted in Austria.

Therefore, if you are coming from an EU state, you do not need to convert your pass and you can simply show your EU country one wherever the Covid certificate is required. 

Other passes however – such as the UK’s NHS pass and Israel’s green pass – are as yet not accepted in Austria as per government rules, although several readers have told The Local that their foreign apps have been accepted by venues in Austria. 

Can I convert my foreign vaccination passport into an Austrian ‘green pass’? 

For most people in Austria, getting the green pass is relatively simple. 

Once you have proof of compliance with the 3G rule, you can access your green pass using a mobile phone signature or citizen card. These are available at www.gesundheit.gv.at.

This is however more difficult for visitors. 

According to the Austrian government, you can have your vaccine status added into the green pass by an Austrian doctor after you arrive. 

“Entering a COVID-19 vaccination received abroad into the e-vaccination passport retrospectively is possible in return for a small fee at healthcare providers (doctors’ practices, etc.). Entry into the e-vaccination passport forms the basis for the issue of a vaccination certificate. If the vaccination was carried out with a vaccine approved by the EMA and entered into the e-vaccination passport, a vaccination certificate can be created and retrieved from gesundheit.gv.at.”

However, there is unfortunately a catch. 

To access the Green Pass, users need a Handy Signatur (a digital ID connected to an Austrian mobile phone number), an e-card or an Austrian citizen card

Some states such as Vienna have a workaround (see below), although others do not. 

READ MORE: How to get Austria’s green pass without a ‘Handysignature’ in Vienna

If I can’t get the green pass, what does this mean for my trip to Austria? 

Fortunately, Austria still runs on paper – meaning you can show your paper evidence of vaccination, recovery etc when visiting bars, events and restaurants in Austria. 

This includes paper evidence of vaccination from abroad, such as in the United Kingdom. 

Several readers have told us they have also been able to show their NHS app at certain venues, although this is not official government policy. 

While this must be an official document, it does not need to have a QR code to be valid. 

It needs to be either in German or in English in a latin script and must be produced on request from business owners or police. 

Both the UK and Israeli governments are currently working with the EU on getting their apps accepted in Austria. 


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