Vienna to drop Covid face mask mandate by end of February

The Austrian capital Vienna will no longer require people to wear face masks on public transport after its Covid-19 decree expires at the end of February. Here's everything else that is changing.

Vienna to drop Covid face mask mandate by end of February
Commuters wear FFP2 protective face masks while leaving a train at the Westbahnhof underground station in Vienna on January 25, 2021, during the ongoing novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)

The FFP2 mask mandate currently in place in all Vienna public transport and its stations will fall on February 28th, the city’s mayor Michael Ludwig (SPÖ), said in a press conference on Wednesday.

“After considering all aspects and the epidemiological situation, the hospital situation and current model calculations, it is now justifiable not to extend the special corona regulations for Vienna after February”, the mayor said.

For several months, the Austrian capital has been the only province with a strict FFP2 mask mandate in public transport, as the city decided to keep stricter rules against the coronavirus pandemic. 

However, earlier this month, Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) announced that the country would drop all Covid restrictions by the end of June. Vienna could have kept its regulations until the end of July when the Covid Measures Act, which allowed provinces to opt for stricter guidelines, expires. 

The mayor also announced that other measures valid only in Vienna would expire by the end of February. The stricter rules for visitors in hospitals and elderly homes, who had to present a negative PCR test, will also fall. Additionally, employees at these establishments will no longer have to go through a weekly screening for Covid-19. 

READ ALSO: Austria to drop all Covid restrictions by the end of June

However, the obligation to wear masks in hospitals and nursing homes would end only on April 30th, as it is a federal determination.

“A special thank you goes to all employees in the health system. Mainly thanks to them, Vienna passed the test and prevented conditions like those in other countries”, Ludwig said.

According to the mayor, the goal now is to continue to expand the healthcare system and keep its high level. “In this way, everyone will continue to have the best possible medical care in the future”, he added.

Member comments

  1. Pingback: Anonymous
Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


5 places to celebrate Mother’s Day in Vienna

This Sunday, Austria will join countries across the world in celebrating Mother’s Day. Many Austrians mark the day by going on family outings, so if you find yourself in the Austrian capital, here are five great spots to visit to join in on the tradition.

5 places to celebrate Mother's Day in Vienna

Vienna, a city of timeless beauty and filled with culture, offers a host of captivating destinations to celebrate Mother’s Day in a memorable way. With its historical landmarks, serene parks, and vibrant markets, this Austrian capital provides a delightful backdrop for the date.

Whether you’re a local seeking new experiences or a visitor eager to create lasting memories, here are five remarkable places in Vienna that will make this Mother’s Day celebration truly exceptional.

Riverside meal at Motto am Fluss

Going out for a family brunch or dinner is a classic way to celebrate Mother’s Day. At Motto am Fluss, you can take your pick. This elegant two-story establishment overlooking the Danube Canal features a restaurant for dinner on the first floor and a café for brunch on the enclosed upper deck above, which opens out onto a sun terrace. Both menus boast a variety of dishes, so you’ll be sure to have a delicious Mother’s Day meal. 

Vienna Culinary Festival at Stadtpark

In a case of fortuitous timing, the Wiener Genuss-Festival at the gorgeous Stadtpark takes place this weekend, making for a perfect Mother’s Day treat.100 booths featuring delicacies from across Austria will have samples on offer. And with the stations manned by the culinary creators themselves, you can also get insight into the process that lies behind their tasty bites. 

Donau Park and Danube Tower

An activity-filled Mother’s Day awaits at Donau Park. You can explore the park’s lush greens and colourful gardens via its various walking paths or on board the mini-train that traverses the grounds. The area is great for sports as well, as it has tennis courts, football pitches, and even a minigolf course.

The park is also home to the famous Danube Tower, Austria’s tallest structure. The 150-meter-high viewing platform, as well as the rotating café and restaurant located just above, provide panoramic views across the entire city. 

Picnic at Cobenzl Vineyards

If you’re looking for a more secluded outdoor experience, check out the Cobenzl vineyards, located northwest of the city centre. You can order a picnic box from the Genuss am Cobenzl restaurant online and enjoy it in their beautiful vineyard. Alternatively, you can plan a DIY picnic at the nearby Bellevuewiese. Bring your own supplies and some homemade goodies and enjoy the view from this luscious meadow that looks out over the city.

Tchaikovsky at Konzerthaus

Finally, you can’t go wrong with a trip to the famous Wiener Konzerthaus to get a taste of Vienna’s world-renowned classical music scene. At 15:00 on Sunday, the Vienna Symphony will perform Tschaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. Billed as a family concert, this promises to be an excellent Mother’s Day outing for the musically inclined.