This page is updated on a daily basis.

 

The Austrian government took drastic measures to contain the Coronavirus in mid-March. After having flattened the curve, the country is now tentatively reopening its economy two and a half months later.  

 

The numbers for Austria

(Sources: Health Ministry)

Tested: 870,602
Infected: 20,837
Recoveries: 18,528

Deaths: 716

Latest Developments

  • As of Tuesday, July 28, there are 1,599 people in Austria with an active coronavirus infection. This is an increase of 50 cases from the day before. 95 patients are being treated for COVID-19 in Austrian hospitals, 16 of which are in intensive care.
  • As of Friday, July 24, wearing a mask is again mandatory in supermarkets, banks and post offices, as well as in hospitals and care homes.
  • As of Monday, July 20, almost 800,000 SARS-CoV-2 tests have been carried out in Austria. That means almost every tenth citizen of Austria has been tested since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • On Tuesday, July 14, Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens) announced that starting on Thursday, July 16, planes coming from 10 countries will no longer be permitted to land in Austria due to rising coronavirus infection rates there. Including these new restrictions, Austria bans direct flight traffic with 18 countries in total. These countries are: Belarus, China, United Kingdom, Iran, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldava, Egypt, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro. 
  • As of Monday, July 6, 2020, there are more than 1,000 active coronavirus cases in Austria.
  • On Wednesday, July 1, Austria registered 114 new coronavirus cases  – the highest number since the mid of April, i.e. more than 10 weeks ago.
  • On Tuesday, June 30, the European Union formally agreed on opening the external borders of the EU to several countries outside the European economic area and travel zone.
    • Travelers from the following countries are free to travel to Europe: Japan, South Korea, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Rwanda, Serbia, Montenegro, Georgia, Uruguay, Thailand, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia.
    • Travelers from Russia, Brazil and the US are banned from entering the EU due to high numbers of active coronavirus cases and new infections.
  • As of Saturday, June 20, the number of active coronavirus cases in Austria has again been on the rise, reaching 460 active cases. Thirty new cases were confirmed in Vienna alone. The number of people hospitalized with the virus (currently 74) and in intensive care (currently 8) meanwhile stayed stable.
  • As of June 15, the wearing of face masks is no longer mandatory in supermarkets, stores, schools, restaurants, bars or hotels.
    • Masks will still be mandatory in public transport, at doctor’s offices, hospitals or when using a service that can only be delivered in close proximity (e.g. hairdressers, barbers, taxis etc.).
  • On June 15, Austrian Airlines (AUA) will resume scheduled flights on Monday. The AUA will start to fly to 20 destinations in Europe, flights to long-distance destinations will resume on July 1.
  • On June 9, Austria surpassed 500,000 coronavirus tests. Currently, 84 people are hospitalised for coronavirus in Austria. 
  • As of June 6, only 17 people are in an intensive care (ICU) for the coronavirus in all of Austria.
  • On June 3, the government announced that Austria will open the borders to all neighboring countries except Italy on Thursday, June 4, 2020. There will no longer be any quarantine or testing requirements when entering Austria.
  • On Friday, May 29, the government announced further relaxation of Corona-related measures:
    • From June 15, the wearing of masks in restaurants and stores is no longer mandatory.
    • From June 15, restaurants, cafes and bars may stay open until 01:00.
  • On Wednesday, May 27, the government announced that cinemas may reopen as early as May 29. 
  • On Monday, May 25, the regulations concerning cultural events were amended:
    • From May 29, events up to 100 people are allowed 
    • From July 1, events up to 250 people are allowed
    • From August 1, events up to 500 people are allowed and up to 1000, when specific criteria are met
  • On Monday, May 25, graduating high school students are taking their final Matura examinations. 

See past developments.

What’s open?

  • As of Friday, May 29, hotels and swimming pools are open, arts and culture events may take place.  
  • As of Friday, May 15, restaurants, bars and cafes are open. 
  • As of Saturday, May 2, all stores as well as beauty salons and hairdressers can re-open. 

Travel, Transportation & Border News

  • On Tuesday, July 14, Health Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens) announced that starting on Thursday, July 16, planes coming from 10 countries will no longer be permitted to land in Austria due to rising coronavirus infection rates there. Including these new restrictions, Austria bans direct flight traffic with 18 countries in total. These countries are: Belarus, China, United Kingdom, Iran, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldava, Egypt, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro. 
  • As of June 4, the government announced that Austria will open the borders to all neighboring countries except Italy. There will no longer be any quarantine or testing requirements when entering Austria.
  • On Wednesday, May 13, the federal government announced that the border to Germany will open June 15. 
  • In a press conference on Wednesday, April 8, Minister of Tourism Elisabeth Köstinger (ÖVP) warned that international travel restrictions will remain in place, despite first first steps back to normality in Austria and urged Austrian residents to spend their summer holidays at home.
  • For up-to-date information on flights, trains and travel restrictions, visit the page of the Austria’s Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs

Healthcare & Hospitals

  • As of Thursday, July 30, at 9:30, 20,837 people have been diagnosed as having COVID-19, altogether 870,602 have been tested, 18,528 people have recovered and 716 people have died from the virus in Austria. (Source: Social Ministry)
  • Austria’s first coronavirus death was on March 12th in Vienna. The victim was a 69-year-old man who had recently traveled to Italy. He died at Kaiser-Franz-Josephs Spital. (Source: orf.at
  • If you are sick and think it’s NOT coronavirus, contact your doctor (Hausarzt) and they can send a prescription to a pharmacy near you. Do NOT go to the doctor’s office unless they ask you to.

Aid for Businesses

  • On Monday, May 11, the government announced a €500 million support package for restaurants and bars in Austria, acknowledging that the sector was hit particularly hard by the crisis. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz called the Gasthäuserkultur (the tradition of meeting up and eating out at restaurants and bars) “a part of the Austrian soul.”
  • On Thursday, April 16, Finance Minister Margarete Schramböck (ÖVP) announced that the federal government has created an aid package  for startups. The package consists of two funds, a COVID-19 Hilfsfonds (€100 million) and a Venture-Capital-Fonds (€50 million). 
  • As of Monday, April 6, the government has allocated a total of €3 billion to fund short-time working schemes (Kurzarbeit).
  • On Sunday, April 5, the City of Vienna set up an investment fund of €50 million called “Stolz auf Wien” (“Proud of Vienna”) for Viennese businesses to provide investment of up 20% of a company’s equity for up to seven years if the business is deemed essential for the city’s life. The fund will launch mid-May.
  • As of Friday, March 27, the government’s economic security package for independent workers, creatives and small companies – the Härtefallfonds, administered by the WKÖ – is open for applications.
    • If granted, a first payment of €1,000 should be released quickly.
    • For the next three months (April, May, June), an additional maximum payment of €2,000 per month can be disbursed.
  • In a press conference on Wednesday, March 18 at 13:00, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced the emergency package will be increased to €38 billion. Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler underlined that saying, “Whatever’s necessary, no matter the cost.” (Source: orf.at)
  • On Monday March 16, Finance Minister Gernot Blümel stated that the government has made an aid package to the amount of €4 Billion not only to take care of healthcare needs but to make sure people can sustain their livelihoods. 
    • Relief on loans, with guarantees on deferred payment
    • Unnecessary bureaucracy will be avoided at all cost to ensure for flexibility during this crisis.
    • It was also stressed that the public coverage of liability when it comes to these loans is an important instrument.
    • When it comes to delaying tax payments, Blüml said it was important to make applying for this very easy. Applications for delaying tax payments can be made in minutes in 2 lines. Initial filtering will be done by computer.
  • The Austrian Government has various measures to support businesses:
    • Tourism companies can claim support from the “Maßnahmenpaket.” The Austrian government guarantees bridge financing up to €100 million for the domestic tourism industry. The aid package (Maßnahmenpaket) starts taking effect on March 11th. (More information (in German): wko.at)
    • There are also bridge loans available for companies outside the tourism industry, made possible through the AWS (Austria Wirtschaftservice). The program is called “Überbrückungsfinanzierungen für EPU/KMU” (More information (in German): wko.at)
    • Self-employed people and entrepreneurs have the possibility to postpone payment of SVA insurance contributions. The forms are in German and you get both get your rate lowered (less income) and/or apply to delay payment or pay in smaller instalments. 
    • Owners of bars and restaurants of people in the event industry can check industry-specific support and recommendations by the WKO Austrian Chamber of Commerce. 
    • You can apply for tax relief in form of a suspension or paying in instalments at the Ministry of Finance.

Metropole – Corona Aid for Businesses Overview

Information for non-Austrians

  • Mayor of Vienna Michael Ludwig (SPÖ) announced on Thursday, April 23, that starting on May 15, Vienna’s administrative offices (Magistrate) will again resume regular work and be available during regular opening times. Protection for mouth and nose (e.g. masks) and 1 meter distance will be mandatory.
  • For further assistance and questions you can also contact the Expat Center by phone or email

Note sure you know enough about coronavirus?

Here’s a great explanation video from our friends at Kurzgesagt

 

The Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF) now offers an information sheet in 11 languages. Visit the ÖIF website or scroll down to download from this page. 

General information regarding transmission, symptoms and prevention of coronavirus is provided around the clock by the AGES information hotline +43 800 555 621.

Information in 11 languages on reducing risks from the Chamber of Pharmacists (ÖAK), made available by the Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF)

Information in 11 languages about hygiene and protective measures from the Interior and Social Ministries made available by the Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF).  

If you suspect that you might be infected, please call the health hotline 1450.

The City of Vienna has established a 24-hour hotline for vulnerable groups. Elderly people and people with existing conditions can call +43 1 4000 4001 for assistance with grocery shopping or accessing medication.

The City of Vienna offers updates in English

The Austrian Ministry of Social Affairs has an FAQ page in English.

Coronavirus, COVID-19 Flatten the curve. (c)Thomas Splettstößer
Avoiding social contact for a few days/weeks makes all the difference when it comes to how fast the virus spreads.

If you’re in Vienna and want to help out, connect, ask questions, request help or volunteer your assistance within your Grätzl or Bezirk, join the Metropole coronavirus support board. 

Stay safe, Metropolitans.

❤️