Koronavirus informace

Current questions and answers on coronavirus in Austria and Lower Austria (as of 23 November 2020)

Up-to-date information (as of 23 November 2020, 8 a.m.)

Update 14 November: At a press conference the details of the second lockdown (from Tuesday, November 17th up to and including Sunday, December 6th) were announced. The following tightenings will be implemented:

  • Trade will be closed (apart from grocery stores, drugstores, post office, banks, pharmacies, car repair shops, tobacconists, gas stations, pet food stores)
  • services such as hairdressers, beauticians etc. lock up
  • Schools will be converted to distance learning (supervision is guaranteed)
  • Home office, wherever possible
  • House may only be left for certain reasons: To cover the basic needs of daily life, for professional purposes and for training (if necessary), to provide care and assistance to persons in need of support, to stay outdoors for physical and mental recreation (e.g. sports or walks)

Update 12 November: All stores close at 7 pm at the latest.

Update 31 October: In today's press conference, the following measures for the second lockdown (from 3rd November to the end of November) were presented:

  • The hotel and restaurant industry must close during this period. However, the businesses are to receive 80% of the sales of the comparable period of the previous year back as compensation. This applies equally to event organizers, excursion destinations such as museums and clubs. One of the prerequisites for this is that employees are not dismissed.
  • Service providers such as hairdressers and retailers may remain open.
  • Events may no longer take place. Also mass sports are affected.
  • Only members of two households may meet. Physical contacts are to be restricted as far as possible.
  • There is a night curfew between 20 pm. and 6 am.

Update October 23: As of Sunday October 25, additional nationwide protection measures will apply.
When entering public places in closed rooms (e.g. an underground passage), a mouth and nose protector must be worn. Also at events, both indoor and outdoor, with assigned seats a MNS must be worn - also at the seat. A mouth-and-nose protector must be tight-fitting from now on. Face shields or chin visors are no longer considered mouth-and-nose protection after the transitional period until November 7.

When entering public places outdoors, a distance of at least one meter must be kept from persons not living in the same household.

If a catering establishment has more than 50 seats, a prevention concept will be mandatory as of November 1. A COVID-19 representative or agent must be appointed. With the exception of snack stands, markets and occasional markets, food and beverages may only be consumed while seated.

After curfew, alcoholic beverages may not be consumed within a radius of 50 meters around a catering establishment.

All details can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection.

Update October 22: Germany and the Netherlands extend the travel warning for Austria. As of Saturday 24 October in Germany, a travel warning for the whole of Austria will apply - except for the federal state of Kärnten.

Update 19 October: As of Friday, October 23, the following rules apply: Indoor private meetings are only allowed for a maximum of 6 persons indoors - outdoor 12 persons. This is valid for restaurants, clubs, weddings and celebrations. Exceptions are funerals and your own living space.
For (professional) events the following applies: Indoors max. 1,000 persons with fixed allocated seats - Outdoors max. 1,500 with fixed allocated seats. Mouth and nose protection is obligatory during the entire event. Event catering is not permitted.

Update 25 September: Governor Johanna Mikl Leitner announces new corona measures for Lower Austria. Depending on the color of the traffic lights, different corona measures will apply in the respective districts from October.

For traffic light color yellow the federal measures apply.

Orange traffic lights mean that all sports events in the affected districts may only take place without spectators. Excluded from this: Family members at sports events with minors and outdoor games of Bundesliga clubs.

Orange limits the number of visitors allowed at events to 250 people indoors (with allocated seating) and 1000 people outdoors.

For events without assigned seating, the following applies: maximum of 10 people indoors and 100 outdoors.

In the gastronomy sector, the following applies for traffic light color Orange: Guest lists must be maintained to enable contact tracing.

For red traffic lights, the closing time in the gastronomy sector is brought forward to 10 p.m.

Update September 24: In today's press conference, first details on "Safe Winter Tourism" were announced. Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz stressed that winter vacations in Austria will be possible, but without après ski. The obligation to consume while being seated also applies to outdoor activities in ski areas.

  • Cable cars: A minimum distance of one meter must be maintained when queuing. A mouth and nose protector must be worn when queuing and during the ride (in gondolas).
  • Ski schools: The number of students is limited to 10. There must be no mixing of groups.
  • Advent markets: Advent and Christmas markets are possible. A safety concept and a safety representative must be provided by the organizer. The necessary spacing must be possible.

Update 18 September: From Monday, September 21, a limitation (indoor) to 10 persons outside of your own four walls will apply, except for the following funerals. In the gastronomy only seated consumption is allowed. As long as you are not sitting at the table, you must wear a mouth and nose protector. The number of people who may sit at a table is limited to 10.
At markets and fairs the mouth and nose protector is also obligatory outdoors.

Update 11 September: From Monday, September 14th onwards, it will again be compulsory to wear masks in the retail trade, in the service sector, for all forms of customer contact and in public authorities throughout Austria.

For events the following applies: Without assigned seats indoor 50 persons, outdoor 100 persons. For large events with assigned seats, the number of persons indoors is limited to 1,500 and outdoors to 3,000.

In the catering trade waiters* inside must wear the mouth nose protection again and a catering may take place only on seats.

Update 7 September: Since Friday 4th September, the Corona traffic light is valid. You can find all information about it here: https://corona-ampel.gv.at/

Update 22 July: From Friday, July 24th, mouth and nose protectors must be worn again in food retail stores, supermarkets, banks and the post office.

Update 24 June: From 1 July, further relaxation will be implemented: The mouth and nose protection mask in the gastronomy is only recommended for waiters* inside - but is no longer obligatory. For closed events with up to 100 persons, the closing hour (1 am) can be waived.

The opening hours will be extended: opening possible from 5 a.m.
In the sports area, the following applies from 1 July: contact and team sports (indoor and outdoor) may take place again.

For events, 200 people may participate from 1 August, 5,000 people indoors and 10,000 outdoors from 1 September. Prerequisite: Prevention concept and fixed seating at the event.

Update 15 June: Today the mask obligation in the trade, in hotels and with customers in the catering trade falls.

Update 9 June: The closing time in the gastronomy will be changed to 1am on Monday 15 June. The four-person rule and the regulation regarding the compulsory wearing of masks for guests in the gastronomy sector will also fall.

Update 3 June: As of 4 June, entry into Austria is once again possible from all neighbouring countries (except Italy) without controls. However, please note the entry regulations of the neighbouring countries.

Update May 29: As of today, May 29, baths, spas (under certain conditions), fitness centers and yoga studios, amusement parks and casinos, theaters, cabarets, concert halls and cinemas may reopen. Up to 100 people are allowed at weddings and funerals.

From 15 June, the obligation to wear a mask will be largely abolished. From 15 June, it will only be valid on public transport, in the medical sector (hospitals, doctors, pharmacies) and for services such as hairdressers and restaurants.

The closing time for gastronomy will be extended to 1 o'clock. The previous limit of a maximum of four adults per table will also fall on 15 June.

Freedom of movement in public spaces is restricted. Sports fields, playgrounds and other public places will be closed from now on. People are asked to stay at home. Social contacts should only be made with the people with whom they live.

The state of Lower Austria will close ski areas on 15 March 2020. Annaberger Lifte, Gemeindealpe Mitterbach, Hochkar Bergbahnen, Rax-Seilbahn and Semmering-Hirschenkogel have ceased operations for this winter season.
The spa centers and rehabilitation centers were closed on 19  March.

These measures are carried out in close coordination between the public authorities and the Lower Austrian Tourism. The health and safety of the Lower Austrian population, the employees of tourist companies and the guests are of utmost importance.

For more information, please contact our FAQs.

FAQs on corona virus (as of 23 November 2020, 8 a.m.)

Are there any restrictions on entry and exit?

Entry restrictions, the Austrian National Tourist Office has clearly presented the Austria Tourist Board on its website: https://www.austriatourism.com/presse/reisewarnungen/
Current information on entry and exit can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs: https://www.bmeia.gv.at/
The Austrian Airlines announced on 16 March that it was cancelling all regular flights.

Update August 31: On September 1, Hungary closes its borders to foreign tourists.

Update 22 July: As of Friday 24 July, entry from risk areas is only permitted with a negative PCR test.

Update 13 May: The Federal Chancellery confirmed that the borders with Germany will be reopened on 15 June.

Update 30 March: From Wednesday April 1, protective masks (mouth and nose protection) are to be used as a further measure. These are not intended to protect the wearer, but to limit the spread through the air. The masks will be distributed via supermarket chains from Wednesday. From this point on, it is mandatory to wear the masks in the supermarket. In the medium term, these should be mandatory wherever you meet other people.

Update: Due to the corona virus crisis, the Czech Republic is closing its borders for travellers from 15 "risk" countries, including Austria. There are also changes in entry in Hungary and Slovenia, such as border controls. Slovakia has imposed a general entry ban.

Flights from Spain, France or Switzerland will be cancelled.

Austria will implement border control with Switzerland.

Update 15 March: Entry regulations will be further tightened: In future, travellers from the UK, the Netherlands, Russia and Ukraine will also be unable to enter Austria.

Update 16 March: Austrian Airlines (AUA) cancels all regular flights.

Update 17 March, 8 a.m.: Hungary closed its borders at midnight. Only people with Hungarian citizenship may enter the country. Freight traffic may continue to enter and pass through.

Update 19 March: As of Monday 23 March, ÖBB will switch to the Sunday timetable. Rail freight traffic will remain in full operation. According to VOR, there will be no changes in the timetable of the regional buses in Lower Austria for the time being.

Update 23 March: VOR also reports reduced timetable. For details see the link above.

Update 30 March: From Wednesday April 1, protective masks (mouth and nose protection) are to be used as a further measure. These are not intended to protect the wearer, but to limit the spread through the air. The masks will be distributed via supermarket chains from Wednesday. From this point on, it is mandatory to wear the masks in the supermarket. In the medium term, these should be mandatory wherever you meet other people.
The federal government has ordered hotels to be closed for tourist overnight stays.

Update 3 April: Entry into tourist accommodation establishments for the purpose of recreation and leisure is prohibited from 4 April 2020 - this provision currently remains in force until 24 April 2020 inclusive. Exceptions are made for accommodation for the purpose of care and assistance to persons in need of support, for professional reasons or to meet an urgent housing need.

Update 6 April: According to today's press conference of the Federal Government, a gradual relaxation of the measures is planned after Easter. Thus, from 14 April shops with an area of less than 400m2, DIY stores and garden centres will be allowed to open, from 1 May all shops, including hairdressers, will be allowed to open.
Restaurants and hotels are to be allowed to open in stages by mid-May at the earliest, with a final decision on this issue to be made at the end of April.
The initial restrictions will remain unchanged until the end of April.

Update 8 April: At today's press conference Minister Köstinger and Minister Schallenberg announced a gradual "ramp-up" of the tourism industry from mid-May onwards and pleaded for holidays in Austria. In principle, freedom of travel will only be restored once the coronavirus has been globally defeated, said Schallenberg.

Update 17 April: The government announced a gradual relaxation of measures for cultural industries. As a first step, places of artistic presentation, for example museums, could open from mid-May onwards. Major events, for example in the music and theatre sector, will not be allowed before the end of August.

Update 21 April: At a press conference on Tuesday, Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz specifies that catering establishments may also be open in the evening (closing time 11 pm.) from mid-May. All employees must wear masks.

Update 28th April: In today's press conference, Minister Elisabeth Köstinger announced that gastronomy businesses may open from 15th May, leisure facilities/excursion destinations from 29th May, outdoor animal parks already on 15th May. Accommodation providers may open again from 29 May. Certain regulations apply in each case and must be observed.

Update 4 May: As of today, ÖBB will again operate according to the regular timetable. The Niederösterreich Bahnen will start the regular timetable again on 11th (Mariazellerbahn & Citybahn Waidhofen). From 29 May, the Gemeindealpe Mitterbach, the Schneebergbahn and the Wunderalm will start into the summer season. Tourist railway products (Reblausexpress, Wachaubahn, Schneebergbahn, Waldviertelbahn and the tourist offer of the Mariazellerbahn) start into the season from 4 July.

Update 13 May: The Federal Chancellery confirmed that the borders with Germany will be reopened on 15 June.

In catering establishments, four adults and their children are allowed to sit on a table. A distance of one metre must be kept from other guests. Tables should be reserved so that there are no queues or gatherings of people. Employees who have contact with guests must wear a mouth and nose protector.

Exit restrictions in their current form expire on 30 April. From 1 May, the general rule will be that people with whom you do not live in the same household must be kept at a distance of one metre. These regulations will apply until the end of June and will be continuously evaluated until then.

A maximum of 10 people can meet in public space, provided that the minimum distance of one metre is guaranteed. For funerals the maximum number of participants is 30.

What are the limitations in public life?

Update 18 September: From Monday, September 21, a limitation (indoor) to 10 persons outside of your own four walls will apply, except for the following funerals. In the gastronomy only seated consumption is allowed. As long as you are not sitting at the table, you must wear a mouth and nose protector. The number of people who may sit at a table is limited to 10.
At markets and fairs the mouth and nose protector is also obligatory outdoors

Update 11 September: From Monday, September 14th onwards, it will again be compulsory to wear masks in the retail trade, in the service sector, for all forms of customer contact and in public authorities throughout Austria.

Update 22 July: From Friday, July 24th, mouth and nose protectors must be worn again in food retail stores, supermarkets, banks and the post office.

Measures to contain the spread of the virus and affect public life: Until the beginning of April, all events with more than 500 participants in outdoor areas or more than 100 participants indoors have been cancelled. This is valid for the time being until the 3rd of April. The roman. kath. church limits the number of worshippers in enclosed spaces to 100 people.

Shops, apart from those that provide basic services, such as grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, etc., will be closed.

Restaurants, bars and cafes will reduce their opening hours from Monday 16 March and will only be open until 3pm. From Tuesday the 17th of March 2020, all restaurants will be closed. Food supply is provided through supermarkets and delivery services. There are currently no nationwide government closures for accommodation establishments.

Accommodation must be provided for international guests in Austria, some of who are unable to leave.

  • Necessary accommodation must also be provided for service providers such as key workers and aid workers.
  • In addition, an orderly departure of all guests requires a certain lead time.
  • Voluntary closures are possible, in any case.

Update: The freedom of movement in public spaces is restricted. Sports fields, playgrounds and other public places will be closed from now on. People are being asked to stay at home. Social contacts should only be made with the people with whom they live. Gatherings of five people in one place are prohibited.

The house or apartment should only be left for the following reasons:

  • Professional work that cannot be postponed
  • Urgently needed errands such as food
  • Help for other people. And here, too, keep a distance from each other!

What are the restrictions on public transport?

Currently, all means of transport in the Eastern Region Transport Association (VOR) operate according to plan. Information on public transport concerning coronavirus can be found on the website of the Eastern Region Transport Association (VOR):
https://www.vor.at/service/aktuelles/detail/news/informationen-betreffend-corona-virus/

Update 19 March: As of Monday 23 March, ÖBB will switch to the Sunday timetable. Rail freight traffic will remain in full operation. According to VOR, there will be no changes in the timetable of the regional buses in Lower Austria for the time being.

Update 14 April: ÖBB and VOR announced that from today, after a reduced timetable, the offer will be extended again.

Are excursion destinations, cultural establishments etc. closed?

Update 11 September: For events the following applies: Without assigned seats indoor 50 persons, outdoor 100 persons. For large events with assigned seats, the number of persons indoor is limited to 1,500 and outdoor to 3,000.

Update 28 April: The initial restrictions in their current form expire on 30 April. From 1 May, the general rule will be that people with whom you do not live in the same household must be kept at a distance of one metre. These regulations will apply until the end of June and will be continuously evaluated until then. A maximum of 10 people can meet in public space, provided that the minimum distance of one metre is guaranteed. For funerals the maximum number of participants is 30.

Update 17 April: The government announced a gradual relaxation of measures for cultural industries. As a first step, places of artistic presentation, for example museums, could open from mid-May onwards.

Apart from already cancelled events (due to too restrictions on number of participants), many excursion destinations have already temporarily ceased operations, e.g. the Museum Lower Austria and the venues of the Lower Austrian cultural economy, until and including the 3rd of April. The Kunsthalle Krems, the Krems Caricature Museum, the Landesgalerie Niederösterreich and the Artothek Niederösterreich will also be closed until the 3rd of April. The establishments of Schönbrunn Palace are also closed until the 3rd of April, both Schloss Hof and Schloss Niederweiden in Lower Austria. Further companies are expected to follow – please check the companies' websites directly to find out if they are open or closed!

Can I cancel a holiday I have already booked?

As a rule, the standard cancellation conditions of the accommodation operation apply. Please contact the booked accommodation and, if applicable, your travel insurance.

The Austrian Chamber of Commerce answers further legal questions relating to the corona virus under: https://www.wko.at/branchen/tourismus-freizeitwirtschaft/reisebueros/rechtsfragen-coronovirus.html

An appeal from the Austrian Federal Government:

In a press conference at the 10th of March, the Austrian Federal Government appealed to each individual: the aim is to curb the further spread of the corona virus. Social contacts should be reduced to a minimum. In particular, protective measures should be observed for older citizens and other risk groups.