Since January 15, strict entry and travel restrictions will again be in place in Austria. We compiled for you an overview of the rules, based on the currently valid decree (Verordnung) and the government’s official FAQs as of January 15, 2020.
As many of our readers may be affected by very specific exceptions and regulations, we aimed at giving as comprehensive an overview as possible.
Travelers have to register online before coming to Austria and provide personal information (name, contact details, place of stay, date of entry and departure etc.). Here you can find the official online form, available in English and German.
As of Friday, January 15, electronic registration online before entering Austria will become mandatory.
The pre-travel clearance online form serves this purpose. The following information is collected:
- Last and given name
- Date of birth
- Email Address
- Residential or residence address in Austria, or address of quarantine
- Date of entry and date of departure
- Means of transport / vehicle used for entry (optional)
- Countries visited in the last 10 days
If the quarantine address differs from your normal residence address in Austria, this must be indicated. The data will be stored for 28 days from the date of entry. After that, the data will be deleted.
Quarantine exceptions (mentioned in § 4 and § 5 (5)) apply for:
- humanitarian personnel,
- people entering the country for professional purposes,
- an accompanying person for medical reasons in accordance with § 6,
- persons entering for the purpose of performing a mandatory duty imposed by a court or by other authorities, such as the performance of summonses to court hearings,
- aliens, if they have a photo identification according to § 95 of the Aliens Police Act 2005, Federal Law Gazette I No. 100/2005.
The registration obligation applies in principle to all persons entering Austria. There are several exceptions – see above and further down below – for regular commuters, for transit travelers, for persons who enter the country for family reasons that are particularly worthy of consideration, and for those regularly commuting for family reasons (e.g. a couple or parents and children visiting it each other once a month or more often).
The data of the online registration are automatically forwarded to the district administrative authority (Bezirksverwaltungsbehörde) responsible for the place of stay in Austria. The electronic registration requirement is intended to help improve quarantine control and facilitate contact tracing.
It remains the case that entrants must enter a ten-day quarantine, which they can end at the earliest after five days with a negative test, except if an exception applies.
1. Unrestricted entry from safe countries (low COVID-19 risk)
People are allowed to enter Austria without restrictions if
- they are entering from one of the following countries (according to Annex A of the Covid-19 Entry Regulation): Australia, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea and the Vatican.
- and they have stayed exclusively in Austria or one of these states for the past ten days.
2. Restricted entry from countries not listed as safe
Persons who do not enter Austria from any of the states mentioned above must immediately enter a ten-day (home) quarantine at their own expense if they
- Enter from an EU/EEA state, Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican or the United Kingdom.
- and they have not stayed exclusively in Austria or in one of these states (Annex A) during the past ten days.
These individuals may terminate quarantine early, but no earlier than day five, by testing negative with a PCR or antigen test.
Exceptions apply to the following groups of people:
- humanitarian task forces,
- Persons entering the country for work purposes (this includes, for example, 24-hour caregivers, but does not include regular commuters),
- An accompanying person within the framework of entry for medical reasons.
- Persons entering for the purpose of performing a mandatory duty imposed by a court or governmental authority, such as serving summonses to court hearings,
- Foreigners, if they have a photo ID according to § 95 of the Aliens Police Act 2005 (diplomats accredited in Austria).
These individuals may enter with a medical certificate confirming a negative PCR or antigen test (not older than 72 hours).
If they cannot present a health certificate upon entry, they must immediately enter a ten-day (home) quarantine at their own expense. After entry, however, it is possible to end this prematurely at any time by a negative PCR or antigen test.
3. Unrestricted entry for certain groups of people
The following groups of people are allowed to enter (or re-enter) the country without restrictions:
- Persons entering for the purpose of maintaining the movement of goods and persons.
- Persons entering for compelling reasons of animal care or for measures necessary for agriculture and forestry in individual cases.
- Persons entering in the framework of a professional rendition journey/flight.
- Persons entering in the compelling interest of the republic.
- Transit passengers or persons passing through Austria without a stopover.
- Persons entering or re-entering the country for work purposes as part of regular (at least monthly) commuting, provided they are not personal care attendants.
- Persons entering or re-entering as part of regular (at least monthly) commuting to attend regular school or college.
- Persons entering or re-entering the country as part of regular (at least monthly) commuting for family purposes or to visit their life partner.
- Persons entering to perform a repatriation trip/flight.
- Persons crossing foreign territory coming from Austria without a stopover in order to reach their destination in Austria
- Persons in emergency vehicles within the meaning of § 26 StVO or vehicles in public service within the meaning of § 26a StVO.
- Persons entering the municipalities of Vomp-Hinterriss, Mittelberg (Kleinwalsertal) and Jungholz
4. Entry ban from other states – with exceptions
Entry from other countries not mentioned above is generally prohibited.
However, there are exceptions to this entry ban. The following groups of people are allowed to enter with a mandatory ten-day home quarantine, which can be terminated by a PCR or antigen test on the fifth day at the earliest:
- Austrian citizens, other EU citizens, EEA citizens and persons living with them in the same household.
- Swiss nationals, citizens of the United Kingdom and people living with them in the same household.
- Persons domiciled or habitually resident in EU/EEA states or Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican, Switzerland or the United Kingdom and persons living with them in the same household.
- Persons who are entitled to reside in Austria on the basis of a residence permit, a residence title or documentation of the right of residence pursuant to the Settlement and Residence Act.
- Members of the staff of diplomatic missions or consular posts and persons living with them in the same household.
- Employees of international organizations and persons living with them in the same household.
- Persons who are in an employment relationship with a domestic regional authority or a domestic corporation under public law and whose place of employment is abroad, or whose employment is performed abroad, insofar as the activities of this corporation abroad are in the interest of the Republic of Austria.
- Persons entering for the purpose of commencing or continuing studies or research at an Austrian university or higher education institution.
- Persons entering to participate in school operations.
5. Other exceptions to the entry restrictions
The following persons are subject to broad exemptions when entering the country from other countries than listed above (no quarantine if negative PCR or negative antigen test not older than 72 hours is presented):
- humanitarian workers
- Persons entering the country for work purposes (this includes, e.g., 24-caregivers but not regular commuters)
- an accompanying person within the framework of entry for medical reasons
- Persons entering the country for the purpose of performing a mandatory duty imposed by a court or governmental authority, such as serving summonses to appear at court hearings.
- Foreigners, if they have a photo ID according to § 95 FPG 2005 (diplomats accredited in Austria).
If no health certificate (negative PCR or negative antigen test) can be presented, a ten-day (home) quarantine must be started immediately at own expense. The early termination of the quarantine by a negative PCR or negative antigen test is possible in this case at any time after entry.
Testing costs of 24-hour caregivers are covered by the federal government, and billing is handled by the states.
For the purpose of leaving Austria, a quarantine can be terminated prematurely. Care must be taken to minimize the risk of infection as much as possible when leaving the country.
Children up to the age of ten traveling with adults are exempt from mandatory testing upon entry. Children traveling alone are subject to the same entry regulations as adults.
6. Entry for medical reasons
Entry is permitted without restriction (no quarantine, no test) if absolutely necessary medical services are received in Austria. This regulation applies to
- Austrian nationals
- Persons who are subject to compulsory health insurance in Austria
- Persons who have been granted a treatment commitment by an Austrian hospital
To prove this, a confirmation of the unconditional need for the use of a medical service is required.
If someone has residence or habitual abode in Austria, the re-entry of these persons is possible without restriction after claiming absolutely necessary medical services abroad.
When re-entering the country, a confirmation of the unconditional need for medical services must be carried. More on that can be found at FAQ: Travel and Tourism on the website of the Austrian Ministry for Health.
7. Family reasons particularly worthy of consideration
The entry for unforeseeable family reasons that cannot be postponed and are particularly worthy of consideration, such as
- serious cases of illness,
- births as well as
- the care of persons in need of support in emergencies
is also possible without restrictions (without quarantine and testing).
The special family reason worthy of consideration must be proven, e.g. by the following documents: copy of death certificate, funeral invitation, hospital confirmation, copy of birth certificate, confirmation of date of birth, medical certificates.
Entry on the occasion of plannable other important events in the family circle such as weddings, baptisms, birthday celebrations or the non-regular visit of the life partner is possible. The general rules of the Covid-19 entry regulation apply,
Other legally applicable entry requirements (e.g. visa and residence requirements) must still be complied with.
Detailed information on entering Austria can be found on the website of the Ministry of the Interior, under FAQ: Travel and Tourism (including the forms for a medical certificate, quarantine obligation form, confirmation of the absolute necessity to seek medical services) on the website of the Ministry for Health and further in the COVID-19_Einreiseverordnung of the BMSGPK.
You should have the forms ready on your electronic device or in print when entering Austria.