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Covid-19 Ski Holiday Rules in Austria

At PlanetSKI we are looking  at the rules and regulations in place in the main ski nations as winter approaches. All the main ski nations have confirmed that resorts are set to open. First we look at the situation in Austria.

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Many winter activities are subject to special safety measures and regulations.

In Austria you will need to show proof of vaccination, past infection or a negative test to access many areas – learn more about these so-called “entry tests” here.

In general Austria is working with a 3-stage system with stricter rules coming into force depending on the coronavirus situation and people in intensive care with the virus.

The information we have posted here is reproduced from the official Austria Info web site.

Also on the site are the specific details in all the major ski resorts in Austria.

The rules and regulations can change quickly so do check the official web site frequently and view this PlanetSKI page as a guide.

You should double check all the information with the correct authorities before making any travel choices and decisions.

At the moment Stage One is in effect in Austria.

These are the rules affecting ski resorts:

Cable Cars

· FFP2 masks required.

· During the winter season: proof of vaccination, past infection, or negative test required.

· No capacity restrictions.

Christmas Markets

· Proof of vaccination, past infection, or negative test required.

Après-Ski

· Proof of vaccination, past infection, or negative PCR test required. Antigen tests are not sufficient.

Hotels and Restaurants

· Proof of vaccination, past infection, or negative test required.

Mask wearing

·  FFP2 masks are required for everyone on public transport, in cable cars, and essential businesses such as supermarkets, chemists, petrol stations, banks. FFP2 masks are required in all shops and museums for those that are not vaccinated or have recovered from COVID.

Gatherings

·  For gatherings from 25 people, you will need to show proof of vaccination, past infection, or a negative test.

FFP2 mask on the ski slopes of Austria

FFP2 mask on the ski slopes of Austria

Should the Covid-19 situation deteriorate in the winter with further cases then the government has further restrictions under Stage Two and Stage Three measures.

Stage Two

If more than 15% of intensive care beds are occupied by Covid-19 patients, Stage 2 will come into force seven days later.

·       Proof of vaccination or past infection required for night clubs, après-ski, and events without assigned seating with more than 500 attendees

·       Antigen self-tests no longer accepted as proof (e.g. for restaurants, Christmas markets etc.)

Stage Three

If more than 20% of intensive care beds are occupied by Covid-19 patients, Stage 3 will come into force seven days later.

·       Proof of vaccination, past infection, or negative PCR test required. Antigen tests are no longer sufficient anywhere.

·       Après-Ski: Proof of vaccination or past infection required. A negative tests is no longer sufficient.

Skiing in Austria. Image © PlanetSKI

Skiing in Austria. Image © PlanetSKI

In Austria many hotels and accommodation providers are currently offering very flexible cancellation policies.

Many UK tour operators that feature holidays in Austria such as Crystal Ski Holidays and Ski Solutions have also developed programmes to make sure you can book your ski holiday with confidence.

On Monday 4th of October 2021 the UK government is ending its traffic light system.  Austria has been classified as ‘green’.

Later in October the testing system in the UK will change, but no exact date has been given as details are worked through.

The government has announced that the pre-departure tests for international travel will be dropped, and it will end the required PCR tests on day two when people arrive back from abroad.

People will have to buy and use a lateral flow test instead.

Klagenfurt airport, Austria

Klagenfurt airport, Austria. Image © PlanetSKI

Entry requirements to Austria from the UK

This information is supplied by the UK government web site.

Entry to Austria
When entering Austria you must provide either proof of COVID-19 vaccination, evidence of a current negative COVID-19 test, or proof of recovery from COVID-19.

If you cannot provide proof of vaccination, you also need to complete a pre-travel clearance form not more than 72 hours before entry to Austria and self-isolate for 10 days.

If you are vaccinated.
If you provide proof of vaccination, or a medical certificate of full immunisation, you do not have to self-isolate or register upon entry.

For single-shot vaccines (e.g. Johnson & Johnson), you must show that you received the vaccine more than 21 but no more than 360 days before arrival.

For double-shot vaccines (e.g. AstraZeneca, Moderna), you must show that you received the second injection no more than 360 days before arrival.

If you received a booster more than 120 days after being fully immunised, this must not have been more than 360 days before arrival.

Demonstrating your COVID-19 status

Although we understand that the UK’s proof of COVID recovery and vaccination status is being accepted in practice, Austria has not yet officially confirmed this.

We therefore recommend that you contact your nearest Austrian embassy for advice on entry requirements.

Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination.

If you are not vaccinated

If you cannot provide proof of vaccination, you must present a negative test or proof of recovery from COVID-19, and self-isolate for 10 days. You can leave self-isolation after 5 days with a new negative PCR test result. The day of entry counts as “day zero”.

For proof of a negative COVID-19 test, molecular biological test (e.g. PCR) results must be no older than 72 hours, antigen test (e.g. lateral flow) results must be no older than 48 hours, and antigen self-test results (which must be recorded in an official data processing system) must be no older than 24 hours.

For proof of recovery, you must show evidence of recovery during the past 180 days or evidence of neutralising antibodies that is no more than 90 days old.

There are other exceptions from the obligation to register and self-isolate, which you can find here.

Minors up to their twelfth birthday must also self-isolate and register on arrival, unless the adult travelling with them is exempt from self-isolation.

Transit Austria
If you are transiting through Austria without a stopover, you do not need a medical certificate or pre-travel clearance form if you can prove you are transiting.

Neighbouring countries may be restricting movement across borders, including for transit, and conducting health checks.

Check the travel advice for any country you need to travel through.

Innsbruck airport

Innsbruck airport, Austria. Image © PlanetSKI

The official Austria Info web site also has answers to some FAQs which may be of interest.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Which tests are valid for entry and for how long?

·       PCR test (from a lab): 72 h (Vienna: 48 h)

·       Antigen test at the chemist, in a testing facility.: 24 h (except Vienna from 1 Oct)

·       Monitored self-test: 24 h (except Vienna)

·       Antigen test under supervision in the respective company: only applies to the specific occasion (except Vienna)

Do I need an entry test if I am vaccinated or have had COVID before?

No, if you are vaccinated, you do not need to show a test for 360 days after your second dose (you will need to show proof of full vaccination, meaning you are only considered vaccinated if you had both doses of the vaccine OR have a past infection + one vaccination dose).

For vaccines that only require one dose, you are considered fully vaccinated starting on the 22nd day after vaccination, for 270 days.

If you have had COVID-19 before, you will not need to show a negative test for 180 days after your recovery. Proof of neutralising antibodies is valid for 90 days.

For night clubs, proof of vaccination/recovery or a negative PCR test are required.

Do I need to wear a mask if I have been tested, vaccinated, or had COVID before?

FFP2 masks are required on public transport, in cable cars, and in essential businesses (supermarkets, chemists etc.) for everyone. Individuals who are not vaccinated or recovered also need to wear FFP2 masks in all other shops and museums. In Vienna only, a face mask (from 1 October: FFP2 mask) is required in all shops, theatres, and cinemas.

Do children need an entry test?

Yes, children from the age of 12 need an entry test. In Vienna, children from the age of 6 need an entry test.

Do children need to wear masks?

Wherever masks are required, children from the age of 6 need a regular face mask. From the age of 14, FFP2 masks are required.

Does Austria recognise the EU digital COVID certificate?

Yes, Austria accepts the EU digital COVID certificate (a.k.a. “green passport”), either in digital form (QR code on smartphone) or as a hard copy. The certificate can be used as proof when entering the country and within Austria wherever it is required (hotels, restaurants etc.).

Is the EU digital COVID certificate compulsory?

No. Wherever proof of vaccination, past infection or a negative test is required, this can also be provided via other recognised documents (vaccination certificate or test certificate in German or English, etc.).

Will there be après-ski this season?

Après-ski will be possible under strict security measures. Analogous to the night gastronomy, the following applies: Admission only with vaccination, past infection or PCR test or in stage 2 and 3 only with vaccination or past infection.

The Tirol, Austria

The Tirol, Austria. Image © PlanetSKI

Covid-19 Cases in Main Ski Nations of Europe

Across the coming weeks we will be reporting on the current situation in the other main skiing nations as winter approaches and full details are released by the authorities.

Some countries do not yet have a complete overall picture and we have been following developments.

For comparison purposes here are the current rates of confirmed cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period in some of the main European ski nations. The figures were taken on September 28th.

The UK has one of the highest rates in Europe at 355.

Austria, 132.

Switzerland, 108.

Norway, 87.

Andorra, 63.

France, 57.

Sweden, 42,

Italy, 39.

Spain, 34.

Please Note:

All the information in this article is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting, but the situation can change rapidly. 

You should double check all the information with the authorities before making any travel choices and decisions.

Number One for Ski News Image © PlanetSKI

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