Austria to lift 3G requirement for workplaces

Workplaces in Austria will soon lift the requirement for employees to show proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test as the country relaxes its Covid measures.

Austria to lift 3G requirement for workplaces
The change comes as Austria moves towards a re-opening of society with most Covid restrictions lifted. Photo: Arlington Research/Unsplash

The 3G requirement at work has been in place since November 1st and applies to all workplaces where you can’t rule out coming into close contact with others, whether that’s at your desk, at reception or in a kitchen or common area.

Penalties of up to €500 can be issued to employees, and up to €3600 for employers that violate the law.

Labour Minister Martin Kocher confirmed on Wednesday morning that the rule would be lifted in line with what the Chancellor has called Austria’s “spring awakening”.

At the moment, there aren’t many details on whether it will be replaced by any new rules for workplaces. Kocher said that the Ministry of Health would prepare an ordinance specifying the exact rules for workplaces.

It is likely that the change will come into effect from March 5th, when most other rules will be lifted, with nightclubs being re-opened and mask and 2G rules relaxed in most parts of society.

Individual workplaces will still have the right to set their own rules, and several employers in Austria have already made vaccination a requirement for new employees.

The removal of the nationwide 3G workplace rule also raises further questions about whether Austria’s vaccine mandate will be implemented in practice.

Vaccination against Covid-19 became mandatory by law at the start of February, but no fines have been issued and no checks carried out. This was initially scheduled to happen from mid-March, but the planned removal of most societal Covid measures, as well as the more stable situation in the Austrian healthcare sector as compared to early winter when the law was first planned, mean that pressure is increasing on the Health Ministry to reassess the necessity of the mandate.

READ MORE: Will Austria’s vaccine mandate go ahead?

From March 5th, nationwide 2G and 3G requirements (proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test) to enter venues will be removed, as well as the removal of the current midnight curfew for restaurants and a reopening for night clubs.

Proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test will then only be required in what the government called “particularly vulnerable settings” such as hospitals and nursing homes. 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Rule changes: School attendance in Austria to become obligatory again

From next week, it will be compulsory for children in Austria to attend in-school lessons again as more Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

Rule changes: School attendance in Austria to become obligatory again

Distance learning will come to an end from Monday when it will once again be obligatory for children in Austria to attend school.

This means that parents will need to provide a doctor’s note or ask for permission if they want to keep children home from school, after this requirement was lifted during the peak of the Omicron wave.

However, the obligation to test three times a week and wear a mask when not seated at a desk will remain in force.

FOR MEMBERS: Reader question: Is home schooling legal in Austria?

The news about the end to distance learning was announced on Monday by Minister of Education Martin Polaschek from the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) following recommendations by the Committee of the National Covid Crisis Coordination (GECKO).

The requirement for a class to close if Covid-19 cases are discovered will also come to an end from February 28th. Currently, a class is placed on distance learning after two cases are detected within three days of each other.

This rule had already been modified in Vienna where schoolchildren who are vaccinated or recovered can still go to school even if two cases in a class are detected.

In the future, decisions on school closures as a result of Covid-19 outbreaks will be taken by the health authorities in federal states.

Additionally, from February 28th, external people such as sports trainers will be allowed to enter schools and, from March 5th, vaccinated and recovered teachers will be able to teach without wearing a mask.