Austria-Wide Lockdown Starting Midnight, Vaccine Boosters in Vienna After 4 Months

A country-wide lockdown for unvaccinated people will go into effect at midnight - and other updates.

A country-wide lockdown for unvaccinated people will go into effect at midnight from Sunday to Monday, November 15. The new regulations will apply to all of Austria, federal states will be permitted to add additional restrictions.

On Monday, the 3-G rule for workplaces goes into full effect and in Vienna, a free vaccination station for children aged 5-11 will open at the Austria Center. Furthermore, the City of Vienna has started to offer booster shots after four months to everyone aged 16 or older. Germany also issued a travel warning for Austria, effective Sunday.

Country-Wide Lockdown for the Unvaccinated

All across Austria, a lockdown for unvaccinated people is set to go into effect on Monday, November 15. The new rules will apply to everyone who does not have a valid vaccination certificate or who hasn’t recovered from COVID-19 within the last 180 days.

  • Those without 2-G proof (vaccinated, recovered) cannot leave their homes except to shop for food, go to work or to take walks for their physical and mental health, ORF reported. People may also leave their homes to seek medical treatment or go to school, and may be exempted for religious reasons.
  • Children under 12 years old and pregnant women do not need to show 2-G documentation.
  • Those who have had one of two vaccination jabs – and who therefore don’t yet have a vaccination certificate – can PCR-test themselves out of the lockdown.

Booster Shoots Already After 4 Months in Vienna

The City of Vienna has started to offer booster shots to everyone aged 16+ already four months after full vaccination (i.e. after receiving the second vaccine shot).

  • Every resident of Vienna can register online for their booster shot or go to one of the many pop-up vaccination sites across the city.
  • Those who got the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine can get their booster shot already after 28 days.
  • Booster shots are given only with mRNA vaccines (Pfizer/Biontech & Moderna), people can choose which one they want.
  • Booster shots have shown to be highly effective at restoring full immunity in Israel, which broke its fourth wave with a booster rollout, and in numerous studies.

Pilot “vaccination street” for children in Vienna

Starting Monday, November 15, children aged 5–11 will be vaccinated for free at the Austria Center Vienna as part of a pilot program.

  • Children will exclusively receive Biontech/Pfizer vaccines.
  • During the pilot phase, up to 200 children per day will be vaccinated. The “Impfstrasse” (vaccination street) will be open seven days a week from 7:00 – 10:00 AM and from 3:00 – 7:45 PM, reports said.
  • Parents or guardians should register children at impfservice.wien. Because the children are not old enough to set up their own accounts, they should be registered as an “Angehörige” (dependent) on their guardian’s account.

3-G Rule for Workplaces Enters Into Force

The transition period for the 3-G rule at workplaces across Austria ends today and rules will be in full effect as of Monday, November 15.

  • Workers must provide evidence that they are vaccinated, recovered or tested in order to enter their workplaces. Employers are responsible for reviewing documentation and the authorities will conduct checks.
  • Most employees can show an antigen test. Only employees working in “night gastronomy” or health and care workers are required to take PCR tests.
  • The only workers exempted from the new 3G rule are those that work almost entirely alone: They cannot meet any other people for more than 15 minutes twice a day, and those meetings must be  outdoors. As ORF reported, that means foresters or perhaps truck drivers will be exempted, but not many other groups.
  • Health authorities expect that one million PCR and antigen tests will need to be carried out every day in order for these requirements to be met.   

Germany Issues Travel Warning for Austria

As of Sunday, Germany issued a travel warning for Austria. This comes as a blow to the tourism industry, which has warned that this winter season is critical to the survival of businesses, ORF reported.

  • The only excepted districts were Mittelberg, Jungholz and the Rißtal,.
  • Travellers coming from Austria who are not vaccinated or recovered must enter a ten-day quarantine in Germany. They can test out after five days.
  • All children under twelve must enter a five-day quarantine in Germany.
  • All people travelling or returning to Germany must register online in advance. Registrations will be checked at the border.
  • Exceptions to the registration rule are in place for the many people who commute across the border to work or shop, and who intend to be in the neighboring country for less than 24 hours, ORF Salzburg said.
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Naomi Hunt
Naomi Hunt is a managing editor at Metropole, with roots in the U.S. and Malaysia that have long been buried under Austrian soil. She previously served as a program manager at the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) and was a Senior Press Freedom Adviser at the International Press Institute (IPI).

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