Travelling to Austria This Summer Amid COVID-19 – Quick & Efficient Guideline Before Booking a Trip

Whether taking lovely walks alongside the Danube, vacationing on Zell am See, the breathtaking alpine city, or visiting Salzburg and Vienna, Austria is an excellent destination for exploring nature and the country’s history.

With over 200 balls organised each year and the country being famous for its delicious pastries, there is enough reason for Austria to make it to the top of everyone’s bucket list even amid the pandemic. As SchengenVisaInfo.com previously reported, the country lifted the quarantine requirements for 39 countries on June 10.

As a result, travellers from the countries indicated on the following list are free from quarantine or self-isolation requirements:

  • Andorra
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • The Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Vatican City

If you are planning a trip to Austria, here’s an extended guideline of what you need to know.

Who Can Travel to Austria This Summer?

Citizens of the 27-nation-bloc, Norway, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, and Iceland, can travel to Austria without quarantine requirements. Third countries that can also benefit from this restriction relaxation are:

  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Kosovo
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • Serbia
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • Hong Kong
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Macau
  • New Zealand
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • United States of America

However, in order for these travellers to enter Austria, they have to present a negative COVID-19 test result, a vaccination certificate, or medical proof that indicates the holder has recovered from the virus.

A certificate, proof of negative test or recovery from COVID-19 issued by medical authorities, an official test result, a vaccination certificate, card, or the EU COVID-19 Vaccination Passport presented in the digital and paper format can grant travellers a quarantine free pass in Austria. The document has to be presented either in English or German.

If the traveller cannot provide such a document upon arrival, he or she is obliged to take a PCR or antigen test 24 hours before reaching Austria.

Entry Rules for Those Travelling With COVID-19 Test Results

Travellers who decide to present a negative test result have to provide a PCR test taken 72 hours before departure or an antigen test no later than 48 hours. For the tests to be valid, they have to be issued by a medical authority. The self-tests are valid only if the result has been registered into an official data processing system before the trip occurred. Children under 12 aren’t required to present a test upon arrival to Austria.

Requirements for Vaccinated Arrivals

The Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Moderna, Sinopharm, and the mix matches of these vaccines are recognised for entering Austria. Recently, Austria has approved CoviShield manufactured from the Serum Institute of India, expanding the list of vaccines allowed in the country. Still, Sinopharm is not valid for entering hotels, restaurants, and other places in Austria.

A traveller is considered vaccinated if 22 days have passed after getting vaccinated with the European Medicines Agency authorised vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Janssen). The first dose grants the traveller a 90-day validation for the vaccination date.

After the traveller receives the second dose, the validity gets extended for another 270 days. The one-shot vaccine is valid from the 22nd day after receiving the jab and for 270 days from the vaccination date. The same rules apply to people who recovered from COVID-19 and have been vaccinated with only one shot of the vaccine.

Rules for Travellers Who Have Recovered From COVID-19

On the other hand, travellers who have recovered from a COVID-19 past infection are allowed to enter the country for 180 days after the infection has passed. Proof of antibodies is valid for 90 days from the test date.

Who Is Unable to Visit Austria This Summer?

All travellers from virus variant zones such as the following list indicates are banned from non-essential travelling to Austria, and they can enter the country only for medical reasons, business travel, or other essential purposes:

  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Eswatini
  • India
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • the United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

In case essential travelling must occur, passengers arriving from these countries have to register in advance and are required to show proof of a PCR negative test taken not earlier than 72 hours before departure. They also must undergo the ten-day quarantine requirement, with a possibility to end it earlier if the test taken on the fifth day is negative.

Austria’s EU COVID-19 Vaccination Passport

In June, the country had successfully connected to the EUDCC gateway and was ready to start issuing the document by July, right in time to reach the EU’s goal of having all member states connected to the gateway in a bid to ease travelling across Europe this year.

The EU Digital COVID-19 Vaccination Passport is the document issued to anyone who has been fully vaccinated, tested negative for COVID-19 recently, and those who are immune to the virus due to the recent infection.

Anyone who has been vaccinated with the EMA authorised vaccines, has recovered from Coronavirus or is currently negative for the virus is eligible to obtain the COVID-19 Vaccination Passport.

Travel Insurance – a Must for Anyone Visiting Austria

People travelling to Austria are recommended to get extended travel insurance that covers any possible pandemic situation.

The insurance ensures the traveller that if their flight is declined due to the COVID-19 situation, an amount of the money will be refunded. It also covers health expenses in case of a sudden illness or even repatriation in case of death.

You can purchase medical travel insurance protection for travelling to Austria for a minimum cost from MondialCare, AXA Assistance or Europ Assistance.

What Can Travellers Visit in Austria During This Summer?

Hotels, restaurants, and nightclubs are open with no curfew, social distance, or mask requirements. However, a negative COVID test, proof of vaccination, or recovery is required at the check-in when visiting these places. The same rules apply to outdoor events such as football stadiums, concerts and theatres.

Shops, museums, and other leisure facilities are also open for visits, provided proof of vaccination, negative test result, or recovery certificate is presented.

Face masks are still mandatory when using public transport and partaking in other public spaces.

Current Positive Cases & Vaccination Rates Situation in Austria

According to the World Health Organisation, 10,513 people in Austria have passed away due to COVID-19 related complications, and there were 647,379 positive cases registered since the beginning of the pandemic.

In the recent 24 hours, the country has reported one death caused by Coronavirus and 87 positive cases with the COVID-19 infection.

Our World in Data reveals that 3.72 million Austrian nationals have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, accounting for 42.1 per cent of the population.

About 56.8 per cent of the population has received the first shot of the vaccine out of the 8.61 million total doses given to Austrian nationals.

How Did Austria Manage COVID-19? Here’s a Timeline

Following the World Health Organisation (WHO) classifying COVID-19 as a global pandemic on March 11, 2021, Health Minister Anschober and the Federal Chancellor Kurz on March 13 ordered for the Ischgl, Kappl, See, Galtür and Sankt Anton am Arlberg municipalities to be quarantined for 14 days.

On March 16, a strict lockdown began, and all non-essential shops, national parks, and public baths were closed until further notice. Air traffic was also halted, whereas other strict contact regulations and curfews based on the COVID-19 law became effective. Restaurants, cafés, and bars were closed the following day.

By the end of 2020, 6,222 people had died due to Coronavirus implications, whereas 360,815 positive cases were currently reported, as the World Health Organisation information reveals.

November and December were the most difficult months for Austrians as, during these months, the deadliest day was marked on December 17, when 218 people died throughout the day. On November 21, the country hit the highest number of total active cases recorded for 2020. November 5 was when most COVID-19 positive cases were reported, with 9586 cases being registered on the day.

Although figures for new COVID-19 infections were on the rise, Austria has suffered fewer deaths than November and December 2020, and the recovery rate has increased to 98.35 per cent.

A significant role in easing these restrictions has played in the vaccination rollout, which is still being thoroughly implemented.

However, in February, the Austrian authorities imposed stricter quarantine and entry rules to halt the further spread of the new Coronavirus mutations. As a result, people entering Austrian were subjected to a ten-day quarantine, which could be reduced by providing a negative test result for COVID-19 on the fifth day of quarantine.

Persons reaching Austria were required to present a negative result of the PCR test or antigen and also fill out an online form.

At the same time, the country imposed stricter border controls with Czechia and Slovakia due to a surge in COVID-19 infection cases from these countries.

However, these measures were supposed to end on May 19 as Austria announced it would permit travel from several European countries and third countries categorised as epidemiologically safe.

Linda W. Davis

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