Travel rules update: Unvaccinated people can now enter Austria

Austria has relaxed its entry rules, meaning that all foreign travellers who meet the 3G criteria (vaccinated, recently recovered, or tested negative) can cross the border without needing to quarantine.

Travel rules update: Unvaccinated people can now enter Austria
A car drives along a deserted highway next to the border crossing between Austria and Germany, near the southern German village of Kiefersfelden, amid the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, on February 14, 2021. - Germany implemented more measures to keep coronavirus variants at bay, banning travel from Czech border regions and Austria's Tyrol after a troubling surge in contagious mutations. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

The rules came into effect from February 22nd.

The 3G rules replace the previous 2G+ rule which meant travellers need to show either proof of vaccination or recovery as well as either proof of a booster or a negative test in order to avoid an automatic ten-day quarantine.

Unvaccinated people were previously only able to enter if they fell into specific categories, including Austrian citizens and residents, and they then often needed to quarantine.

Commuters and children under 12 have been exempt from the rules.

Under the new regime, travellers can show a negative PCR test that has been taken in the past 72 hours or an antigen test that is no more than 24 hours old as an alternative to vaccination or recovery.

Stricter rules will remain in place for people arriving from countries classified as being ‘areas of variant concern.’ People arriving from such countries will still have to go into quarantine.

No country is currently classified as an area with a variant of concern.

SEE ALSO: When will the Novavax vaccine be available in Austria?

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Austria to relax international travel rules from March

Austria's government on Wednesday announced a further relaxation to rules on entering the country, in addition to a plan for removing most remaining domestic Covid-19 measures.

Austria to relax international travel rules from March

At the moment, the basic rule for entry to Austria is 2G+, which means that regardless of which country you travel on, you need proof of either full vaccination against Covid-19 or a recent recovery, as well as either a booster dose or a negative PCR test.

But Austria has now announced the lifting of almost all its Covid restrictions on March 5th, and this will also affect international travel. 

READ ALSO: Austria to remove most Covid restrictions from March 5th

The 2G+ rule will be replaced with a general 3G rule as of February 22nd, according to the government, meaning that travellers need one of the following: proof of full vaccination, proof of recovery, or a negative test.

That opens up travel for unvaccinated travellers and means that people yet to receive a booster no longer need to take a test if they have proof of 2G. This affects children from countries which have only offered one or two doses to children, for example.

The government has said that ‘virus variant’ countries will be subject to stricter rules. At the moment, there are no countries on the virus variant risk list but this could change as new variants of the virus emerge.

In the past, measures for virus variant countries have varied: for example, when Omicron first spread, Austria issued a landing ban for ten African countries and banned travel for those not in an exempt category, but travel from the UK and three other European countries was still permitted for any purpose if travellers could meet the 2G+ requirement, although all countries were on the same list. The virus variant list was scrapped in late January.