The new restrictions came into effect on Monday 22 November and will be in place for at least 10 days, with the option to extend them for a further 10 days. The lockdown will end on 12 December at the latest.
There was previously a lockdown in place in the country specifically for the two million people who had yet to be fully vaccinated. Since 15 November, unvaccinated residents and visitors have only permitted to leave home for a slim number of reasons, such as food shopping or work.
The latest lockdown applies to vaccinated citizens too, following record case numbers of coronavirus and Austria suffering from having one of the lowest vaccination levels in Western Europe.
“We don’t want a fifth wave,” said Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg, adding that vaccination would become a legal requirement from 1 February 2022.
But what do the new rules mean for travellers? Here’s what we know so far.
Can vaccinated Brits travel to Austria?
“Travel to Austria for touristic purposes will only be possible again after that date.”
The Social Ministry in Vienna says: “Entry into Austria from individual countries is … only permitted for specific reasons.”
Many flights from the UK to Austria have been cancelled as a result – though not all.
What about after lockdown ends?
British travellers should be allowed back in once the nationwide lockdown ends, with different restrictions depending on whether or not they are fully vaccinated.
For vaccinated travellers:
If you provide proof of vaccination, you do not have to self-isolate or register upon entry to Austria. Austria will accept the UK’s proof of Covid recovery and vaccination record. If you are travelling with a printed PDF proof of vaccination status, it must date from after 1 November to ensure that the certificate can be scanned successfully.
Austria is one of a handful of countries that has introduced an expiration date for vaccine passports. “For double-shot vaccines (eg AstraZeneca, Moderna), you must show that you received the second injection no more than 360 days before arrival,” says the Foreign Office (FCDO). “If you received a booster more than 120 days after being fully immunised, this must not have been more than 360 days before arrival.”
This timeframe is reducing next month – from 6 December 2021, you are only considered vaccinated for 270 days after receiving a second or third dose of a recognised vaccine.
For unvaccinated travellers:
Travellers who aren’t fully vaccinated must present a negative test or proof of recovery from Covid, plus self-isolate for 10 days on arrival.
For proof of a negative Covid test, PCR results must be no older than 72 hours, antigen test (eg lateral flow) results must be no older than 48 hours, and antigen self-test…