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Further Easing of Restrictions in Austria

Unlike many other countries in Europe covid-19 cases are falling in Austria with restrictions easing. It follows a national lockdown, but there are growing concerns about the omicron variant as ski resorts open for Xmas. UPDATED

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The main ski provinces of Salzburg, Carinthia and Styria are reopening hotels, restaurants, café and bars from today, Friday 17th December.

So too is Lower Austria, while Upper Austria is ending its extended lockdown.

Upper Austria chose to keep a full lockdown in place for almost a week longer than the rest of the country.

We reported on the easing of national lockdown earlier:

The provinces of Vienna and Burgenland are no longer classed as “very high risk” for Covid.

The Austrian government has also agreed temporarily to relax restrictions on unvaccinated people amid the numbers of cases.

The Health Minister, Wolfgang Mueckstein, said they will be granted an exception to join gatherings of up to 10 people from 24th to 26th December and on New Year’s Eve.

Under rules imposed last month, unvaccinated Austrians are generally not allowed to meet more than one person at a time from another household.

“Christmas should show us once again how important contact with our loved ones is and how precious time together is,” Mueckstein said.

“We have in recent weeks gained an advantage that we want to use.

“We want to use it to take a moment to pause over Christmas to remember what is really important.”

The Austrian government  has said vaccinations will be mandatory by the beginning of February.

Mountain restaurant, Austria

Mountain restaurant, Austria. Image c/o PlanetSKI

In ski resorts apres ski bars and nightclubs remain closed under the national rules until at least January 9th.

Restaurants and cafes need to close by 11pm.

A health pass is a requirement to use ski lifts and people 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.

The snow conditions in Austria are excellent for the time of year after a series of heavy falls in recent weeks.

The government is urging everyone to “continue to exercise caution”, particularly in light of the spread of the Omicron variant.

It said that the earlier that the earlier three-week national meant rules could be relaxed over the festive period, but it warned that the situation was still serious.

“We have to make Christmas possible within the family,” said the Health Minister, Wolfgang Mueckstein.

He urged people to “continue to exercise caution”.

There are currently 75 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in Austria.

On 16th December Austria had 296 confirmed cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people over a 7-day period.

Elsewhere in the Alps it was 549 in Switzerland, 516 in France and 215 in Italy.

In the Pyrenees mountain range it was 1,712 in Andorra and 190 in Spain.

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With France closed to UK skiers and snowboarders, some are heading to Austria over the festive season.

UK Government Advice for Entering 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 are not vaccinated or cannot provide proof of vaccination, you also will need to complete a pre-travel clearance form not more than 72 hours before entry to Austria and self-isolate for 10 days.

Entry from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini is currently prohibited. This also applies to people who have been in those countries in the last 10 days. There are some exceptions.

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 270 days before arrival.

For double-shot vaccines (e.g. AstraZeneca, Moderna), you must show that you received the second injection no more than 270 days before arrival.

If you received a booster more than 120 days after being fully immunised, this must not have been more than 270 days before arrival.

Demonstrating your COVID-19 status

Austria will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record and proof of COVID-19 vaccination issued in the Crown Dependencies. Your final vaccine dose must have been administered no more than 270 days before arrival in Austria. If you are travelling with a printed PDF proof of vaccination status, it must date from after 1 November 2021 to ensure that the certificate can be scanned successfully. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

If you are not vaccinated

If you cannot provide proof of vaccination, you must show either:

  • a negative molecular biological test (e.g. PCR, LAMP, TMA) not more than 72 hours old, or
  • proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 180 days

You must also complete a pre-travel clearance form not more than 72 hours before entry to Austria 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”.

There are exceptions from the obligation to register and self-isolate, and different rules for commuter traffic, entering Austria to study, for family purposes or to visit a partner, which you can find online.

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.

Children

Children up to the age of 12 do not have to provide a test result if travelling under supervision of an adult. If the accompanying adult has to self-isolate, the child must self-isolate too. The child can then leave self-isolation at the same time as the adult. If travelling unattended, the same requirements apply as for adults.

Children aged 12-18 must self-isolate and register on arrival, unless they or the adult travelling with them are exempt from self-isolation, for example through vaccination.

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.

We do our very best at PlanetSKI 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.

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