SHARE
COPY LINK
For members

TRAVEL NEWS

Reader question: What are the rules for commuting between Austria and Slovakia?

Many people cross the Austrian-Slovakian border for work. Here's a look at the latest rules that apply.

A Slovak police officer checks the papers of travelers crossing the Bratislava-Berg border crossing between Austria and Slovakia during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic on June 4, 2020.
A Slovak police officer checks documents at the AUstrian border. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP

What are the rules for travel between Austria and neighbour Slovakia for cross-border commuters at the moment?

Entry to Slovakia from Austria

People who are fully vaccinated against Covid can enter Slovakia from Austria for any reason, without needing to quarantine or present a negative test result — although you need to do a pre-travel registration. Note that proof of recovery is not accepted for entry.

If you are a commuter, you also have the option to enter Slovakia with a negative PCR test result no older than seven days (but not an antigen test) even if you are not fully vaccinated. Slovakia considers you to be a commuter if you have permanent or temporary residence in Austria (or another EU country) and work in Slovakia, or vice versa, or if you live less than 100 km from the Slovak border regardless of your purpose of travel.

Austrian or Slovak PCR tests are accepted, but it’s recommended to have the result in either English or Slovak.

If you are entering Slovakia using a PCR test rather than proof of vaccination, you will need proof from your employer that you are a cross-border commuter in case you are asked to show this.

You also need to register on the Slovak government website before you travel using the eHranica registration form. If you are fully vaccinated, you only need to register on this website once every six months (choose the option “I am a fully vaccinated person and I have proof of this”).

If you are a cross-border commuter entering with a PCR test you need to register every month (choose the option “I am not a vaccinated person”; then under the heading “I have an exemption from home isolation, choose the option “I have an exception that requires a negative PCR test result not older than 7 days”, and under Additional entry conditions choose the option “I have a certificate stating that I have an employment relationship, a similar employment relationship…”).

Only a very few kinds of workers are exempt from this registration, primarily transport employees such as bus or truck drivers.

Entry to Austria from Slovakia

People who regularly commute to Austria either for work, study, or for family purposes have a special exception to the general travel rules. If you travel between the two countries at least once per month for one of these reasons, you can enter Austria as long as you have proof of 3G (full vaccination, recent recovery from Covid-19, or a negative PCR test).

Regular commuters may use either a PCR or antigen test. If you cannot meet the 3G criteria, you need to fill out Austria’s pre-travel clearance form before travel and enter quarantine on arrival.

You also need to have proof of your reason to travel in case this is requested. This could include confirmation from your employer that you need to commute for work, for example.

For non-commuters entering Austria from Slovakia, as with most EU/EEA countries, the 2G+ rule applies.

This means that in order to enter Austria from Slovakia, as a general rule you need proof of full vaccination (two doses, or one dose if you got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) or medical proof of recovery from Covid-19 within the last 180 days.

As well as this, you also need either proof of a booster dose or a negative PCR test. If you have had a full course of the vaccination and have also recovered from Covid in the last 180 days, you do not need a booster or negative test.

Useful Links

The Slovak government’s Covid information portal

Austria’s Chamber of Commerce has a page (in German) to stay updated on the situation for commuters

The Chamber of Commerce has also created a draft confirmation of employment letter in German, Slovak and English. Download it here

Austria’s entry rules are summarised by the Austrian Health Ministry

The portal to register your travel to Slovakia, if needed, is called eHranica and an English-language version is available here.

The Slovak regulation which sets out the exemption for commuters (in Slovak)

The information in this article was correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication, but The Local cannot provide legal advice and we recommend confirming information with official authorities before you travel.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

JOBS

EXPLAINED: How to find a summer job in Austria?

Though Austria is mainly known for its winter resorts, there is no shortage of possibilities for those looking for seasonal jobs in summer.

EXPLAINED: How to find a summer job in Austria?

Summer is coming up, and those few hot months are a perfect opportunity for many people to get a seasonal job and earn some extra cash.

Austria’s economy is heavily based on tourism. But even though the winter resorts and sports are what the alpine country is most well-known for, the summer months are also hectic in the tourism and gastronomy sectors.

The demand for seasonal workers usually is high but has increased even more in the last few years. According to the Austrian employment agency AMS, there are more than 15,000 open positions in gastronomy and tourism still lacking workers.

The pandemic widened the gap, as the sector was hardly hit by lockdowns and changes in consumer behaviour. With coronavirus restrictions, the field lost some of its attraction. It is still having trouble finding new labour, AMS boss Johannes Kopf told broadcaster ORF.

A summer without coronavirus restrictions

However, for the first time since the pandemic started, Austria will see a summer with almost no coronavirus restrictions.

The country has recently dropped its 3G rule for entry for travellers, meaning that tourists (and residents) no longer have to show proof that they were vaccinated against Covid-19, recently recovered from the disease or tested negative.

The expectation is high that this will boost tourism, especially as the 3G rules and the mask mandate also fell in most indoor areas.

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

Last year, even with some restrictions still in place, the sector saw a recovery compared to 2020 but was still not at pre-pandemic levels, according to Statistik Austria.

Still, the May to October season had more than 66 million overnight stays, with almost half of them (42.7 per cent) coming from Germany.

From imperial cities to lakes and mountains, Austria has no shortage of offers during summer. As travelling resumes, the sector is desperately looking for workers.

vienna, pratter

Vienna is big touristic destination also during summer months (Photo by Anton on Unsplash)

Where can I find summer jobs in Austria?

The capital is undoubtedly where most visitors come, according to Statistik Austria. However, it is also where many establishments have a year-round crew, and seasonal work might not be as easy to find.

It is far from impossible, though, and it is worth the search if you have your eyes set on Vienna.

READ ALSO: One day in Vienna: How to spend 24 hours in the Austrian capital

However, other major Austrian cities also have openings, most notably the touristic towns of and around Innsbruck and Salzburg. Of course, the mountainous region of Austria might be most famous for its ski slopes. Still, they also offer breathtaking summer views, cool and beautiful alpine lakes, and numerous hiking trails.

Plus excellent hotels for people to stay in and great Austrian restaurants – all looking for employees.

What types of jobs are available?

There are many job openings to skim through, but most will be the most traditional service work in tourism and gastronomy: waitressing, housekeeping, cooking, and reception.

If you look outside of Vienna, several professions in the tourism and gastronomy sector are included in Austria’s list of shortage occupations.

READ ALSO: How Austria is making it easier for non-EU workers to get residence permits

Those include some surprising ones like department store sales clerks, waiters and waitresses, masseuses, and others. If you don’t have a right to work in Austria (non-EU citizens without a work permit, for example), being skilled in a shortage occupation makes it easier to be hired and get a residence permit.

Most of these jobs will require a certain level of German, especially since Germans are an overwhelming part of tourists entering Austria. However, the high demand for workers might help those who do not speak the language yet, especially for positions that don’t require much customer interaction.

READ ALSO: Austria: Six German expressions to entice your Wanderlust

Another popular job for summer is instructor, or caretaker, in summer camps. As many of them are bilingual or in English, German is not usually a mandatory language – there are also positions for English teachers, especially in camps and schools with summer courses.

Where can I find these jobs?

As with most industries and professions, searching online is usually the first step in finding a summer job in Austria.

Outside of known employment platforms such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn, Austria’s Karriere.at might be a good place to look.

READ ALSO: Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in Austria

Hogastjob is also a local platform with plenty of seasonal offers in Austria, Germany and Italy (South Tyrol region).

Another approach is to contact resorts or hotels directly to find out when they are hiring for the summer season and the types of roles that will be available – they should also have a job vacancies page on official websites that you can check.

Or get in touch with friends that have previously worked in the summer season in Austria and ask for a recommendation.

SHOW COMMENTS