Covid-19 Rules Unveiled as Austria Lockdown Ends on Sunday

The end of the national lockdown is welcome news for skiers, snowboarders and the ski industry.  However cases remain high & some restrictions will be in place, with the nine provinces deciding some of their own rules in what will be a complex situation. UPDATED

The Federal government will allow a wide range of businesses, from non-essential shops to theatres, restaurants and hairdressers to reopen after the national lockdown ends on Sunday December 12th.

However each region can impose their own rules – some will be stricter than others.

The easing of lockdown will only apply to those double vaccinated.

Some ski provinces are likely to follow the more lenient national rules rather than impose their own tougher regulations, but things will vary from province to province.

Some provinces “will act gradually over time…….Burgenland, Vorarlberg and Tirol will immediately adopt the federal arrangement,” said the governor of the Tirol, Guenther Platter.

He was speaking at a joint news conference including the new Chancellor, Karl Nehammer, and the Health Minister, Wolfgang Mueckstein.

One thing we do know is that apres ski bars and nightclubs will remain closed under the national rules.

A health pass will remain a requirement to use ski lifts and people will need to wear an FFP2 mask in many settings.

They are needed on lifts and in queues, but not out on the slopes while skiing.

FFP2 mask on the ski slopes of Austria

FFP2 mask on the ski slopes of Austria.

Upper Austria says it is planning to stay in lockdown until December 17th.

It has the highest infection rate in the country.

Some other provinces are likely to keep hotels and restaurants closed until December 17th.

Vienna is to keep some of the lockdown measures in place including bars and restaurants remaining shut until December 20th.

In Salzburg, Lower Austria and Styria bars will remain shut until December 17th.

Carinthia has yet to make an announcement or an indication of its rules.

The Tirol, Vorarlberg and Burgenland will comply with the national measures and not put in place further measures.

The Tirol has sent us a summary of its rules:

– Sunday, 12 December marks the end of the lockdown for vaccinated and recovered people.

– This applies to all trade, culture, sport, gastronomy and the hotel industry. Night catering (incl. aprés ski, bars, standing catering) is excluded.

– A closing time of 11 p.m. applies to the gastronomy.

– Events with allocated seating are permitted for up to 2000 people indoors and 4000 outdoors.

– Events without allocated seats are possible for up to 25 people indoors and 300 outdoors.

– Indoor use of FFP2 masks is compulsory (gastronomy except at own seat, events, sports except during exercise, museums, public transport, etc.).

– Service providers close to the body can also open (hairdresser, cosmetician, etc.).

– In all these areas, a 2G verification requirement applies.

– The lockdown for the unvaccinated remains in place. 

Austria. Image © PlanetSKI

Austria. Image © PlanetSKI

Austria has seen a sharp fall in cases despite the arrival on the scene of the omicron variant and cases rising across the rest of Europe.

When the country announced a nationwide lockdown on November 18th it was seeing 956 cases per 100,000 people over a 7-day period.

That rose to 1,094 just over a week later on 26th November and peaked at 1,110.

It has now dropped to 571.

We reported on the lockdown as it was introduced.

Some ski resorts have remained open as skiing and snowboarding is defined as ‘outdoor recreation’ and allowed under the rules.

Those who are unvaccinated will continue to have limitations.

Austria is to introduce compulsory vaccinations by the beginning of February.

Austria. Image © PlanetSKI

Austria. Image © PlanetSKI

The Austrian chancellor, Karl Nehammer, said he wanted to turn the “tendency of falling cases into a trend.”

“The lockdown for the unvaccinated is staying,” he said.

“For all the unvaccinated who are suffering from the fact they are staying in lockdown, there is a clear offer: you can come out of it if you seize the chance to get vaccinated.”

Related stories:

Elsewhere in the ski nations of Europe France is currently seeing 447 confirmed cases of covid-19 per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period.

The figure is 170 in Italy.

In Andorra it is 1,965 with the rate at 152 in neighbouring Spain.

In Scandinavia it remains at 459 in Norway, 163 in Finland and 129 in Sweden.

The UK is on 488 confirmed cases per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period.

We do our very best to ensure the information provided here is as complete and up-to-date as possible. However, please be aware that we assume no liability in this respect. Information provided by PlanetSKI should be checked with the official information provided by the authorities. The situation regarding travel warnings and local rules changes quickly.

Image © PlanetSKI