Coronavirus | Which Stores Are Open, Which Are Closed in Austria

Since Monday, March 16, Ausgangsbeschränkungen (movement restrictions) have been in force in Austria. How does that affect public transportation, can you go to the doctor, take a walk or buy hygiene products? Can the police penalize you? This list should answer all your questions.

Keeping a safe distance, not meeting up with friends, working from home – this is – for now – the reality we live in. Some may be unsure of what is still allowed and what should be postponed.

In general, only essential work, urgent errands (e.g. for food) and helping others are considered reasons to leave home. In addition, walks are also permitted, provided they are taken alone or with your co-habitants – the government asks you to do this only in urgent cases.

Public spaces are patrolled by the police and administrative penalties may be imposed on the noncompliant – up to €3,600. However, the authorities have stressed that they are working in cooperation with the public, not against them – they do not foresee problems with resisting residents in the near future. In most cities like Vienna, Kurzparkzonen (short-term parking zones) have been abolished.

The daily newspaper Kurier has summarized which shops are still open and which ones are not:

Trade and Commerce

Supermarkets: Supermarkets remain open throughout Austria. The usual hours apply, however authorities are requesting the 8:00-9:00 be reserved for the elderly and high-risk groups.

Drugstores: Toiletries can be bought as usual. Normal opening hours.

Markets: Food markets remain open for business. Flea markets are closed.

Bakers and butchers: Open under the same rules as supermarkets.

Pet supplies: Pet owners can breathe a sigh of relief – there are no restrictions on pet stores and the like.

Mobile phone shops: Open to ensure communication.

Tobacconists: Open! Newspapers, cigarettes and parking tickets can be purchased as usual.

Dry Cleaning: Still available as usual.

Gas stations: Open; no shortage of fuel.

Shopping centres: Open to a limited extent: Only shops that are exempt from current regulations can do business – like supermarkets.

Tradesmen and Professionals: Different regulations for different sectors. Troubleshooting by electricians is guaranteed. Chimney sweeps have established an emergency service. Mechanics and Car repair shops are likely to remain closed for the most part. Construction work is also likely to be restricted.

Hairdressers and Cosmetics: Closed; Temporary restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus.

DIY stores: Closed; do-it-yourselfers will have to take a break.

Fashion and Garments: Closed for the time being, shopping is only possible via the Internet.

Book Stores: Closed until further notice. However, some offer a delivery service for bookworms.

books coronavirus

Health

Hospitals: Remain open obviously but visits are largely prohibited. Exceptions: palliative care, intensive care, children’s wards and maternity wards. But even here, admission is restricted. There are health checks before entering.

Doctors: Open; however, the surgeon general’s office recommends you only go in emergencies. Contact your doctor in advance by telephone to determine if your condition can wait.

Rehab and spa facilities: (Still) open: Rehab facilities are not accepting new patients. Whenever possible, patients are discharged for the time being. A decision has yet to be made on health resorts and spas.

Remedial shops: Open; No shortage of walkers, support stockings, etc.

Pharmacies: Open as usual.

Nursing homes: Open, but visitors are currently not allowed to protect the elderly.

Ämter and Government Services

Municipal offices and magistrates: Restricted operation, but mostly open. The authorities ask that you either postpone official business or handle it via telephone or online. Government services generally remain open. Authorities in Vorarlberg, however, are closed.

Finance and Employment Authorities: Open to a limited extent – customers are requested to voice concerns by telephone or electronically. Filing for unemployment is possible online. AMS clients who were asked to appear for an appointment should not come but call – they should have gotten an automated text message over the weekend.

Courts: open to a limited extent: Most court dates have been cancelled, except liability cases. For the time being, the shutdown is scheduled to last until April 13.

Police: Open, but administrative services will be kept to a minimum – Driver’s license duplicates will not be issued, for example.

Leisure

Restaurants, cafés and bars: All restaurants, cafés, bars and eateries will be closed from Tuesday (March 17) until further notice.

Delivery services: Still operating; you can still have food delivered to your home as an alternative to eating out.

Playgrounds and sports facilities: Closed to prevent infection. Sports clubs risk withdrawal of subsidies and fines if they violate regulations.

Museums, Cinemas and Concert Venues: All closed; concerts are cancelled until further notice.

Swimming pools and thermal baths: Closed: Bathing is suspended.

Libraries: Closed for now.

Parks: Some closed: Innsbruck, for example, has shuttered all public parks. Further closures – including playgrounds – are likely to follow.

Gyms, Fitness centers and Solariums: Are closing; the risk of contagion is too great.

Hotels: Not generally closed, except In Tyrol: the authorities there have shut down all accommodations. Currently, the Austrian hotel industry wants to close and is pushing for the legal framework.

Chin-chin!

Gepostet von ze.tt am Mittwoch, 18. März 2020

Education

Schools and universities: Closed for the next few weeks to discourage the virus from spreading.

Kindergartens: Open to provide childcare, but parents should only use it in emergencies.

Adult Education Centers: Courses are suspended until mid-April.

Traffic

Public transport: Limited – the ÖBB’s train service is reduced and reduced to weekend timetables, and many Personenkassen (Ticket selling booths) are closing. In Tyrol, this also applies to regional bus services. The Wiener Linien will operate with restrictions from Wednesday onward. The Westbahn is also fielding fewer trains.

Long distance Trains: Suspended: There are no more trains to Italy, Slovakia, Czechia, Switzerland, Spain and France. All train and bus service between Tyrol and Germany is cancelled.

Flights: Severely limited. From Monday (March 16) onwards, there are no more flights to Spain and France. Also no landing permits for flights from Great Britain, the Netherlands, Russia and Ukraine. Austrian Airlines announced that they would cancel all flights starting Thursday, March 19.

Borders Mostly closed: Germany closed its border with Austria, Czechia, Slovakia and Italy have done the same. There are strict controls on the Hungarian and Slovenian frontier.

Other

Cemeteries: (Still) open: However, closures should be announced soon. Funerals are already postponed whenever possible.

Churches & Mosques: Partly open,  but no services are currently being held. Baptisms are on hold too.

Banks: Open; Money can still be withdrawn without any problems.

Post offices: Open; mail delivery is also unaffected.

Prisons: Visitation is severely restricted: contact is now behind glass only. New inmates must first spend 14 days in so-called access wards until it is certain they are not infected.

Garbage collection: Unaffected, with no restrictions planned. Different regulations apply for waste collection centers. Lower Austria and Upper Austria have closed them, Vienna is keeping them open.

Veterinary Practices: Remain open; some have restricted operations, and advance notice is usually requested by phone.

Julia Seidl
Julia started out at "Die Presse." She went on to study "Journalism & Media Management" in Vienna and worked for several local news outlets such as ORF, Kurier and Falter before joining Metropole as online content and social media manager.

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