Coronavirus: the latest questions and answers

(as of  January 24 2022: 12 a.m.)

Welcome to your vacation in Steiermark/Styria 

Styrian hosts have prepared for your vacation in the best possible way. With hygiene concepts, tests and attentiveness, your safety is emphasized on site, so that you as a guest can spend pleasant days in the mountains and thermal spas, in the gastronomy and cultural institutions as well as in the city and of course in the hotel industry. Many of the guests are vaccinated or recovered (2G) - this is also the prerequisite for a vacation in Styria. The lockdown for the unvaccinated remains in place. The FFP2 mask obligation remains.

Let's continue to hold everyone together and stick to the measures so that we can say from the bottom of our hearts: Have a great winter vacation in Styria. 

 

Winter vacation in Steiermark/Styria with clear rules: an overview.

- The 2G rule applies when skiing, in hotels, in restaurants, etc., an FFP2 mask must be worn in all indoor areas accessible to the public as well as outdoor if the minimum distance of 2 metres can not be guaranteed.
- There are exceptions to the 2G rule for children under 12 years of age and for children and adolescents born after August 31, 2006.

 

Entry to Austria 

As of Monday, 24th of January, the 2G-plus entry rules will also apply to the previous virus variant countries. This means that Austria will allow vaccinated or recovered persons into the country who can also present a negative PCR test. For those who have already had their third vaccination, the test requirement does not apply. 

Not fully vaccinated as well as not recovered children and adolescents between 12 and 15 years should enter with a negative PCR test. This will facilitate obtaining the Holiday Ninja Passport. See below for details.
Children under the age of 12 do not require any proof.

Germany considers Austria as high risk country (valid since 16 Jan 22) - Details see below 

 

2G rule and FFP2 mask in Austria

The 2G rule ("vaccinated or recovered") applies in lodging establishments, restaurants, recreational and sports facilities, cultural institutions, cable cars and in retail stores (except supermarkets, pharmacies, bakeries, bank and post offices).

The FFP2 mask requirement applies to all publicly accessible areas in enclosed spaces, including cable cars. The 2G proof is already recorded when the ticket is purchased and the ski pass is activated for the respective validity period of the proof. In the catering industry, the FFP2 mask must be worn on the way to and from the seats, in the accommodation industry when entering generally accessible indoor areas.

As from 11th of January 2022 an FFP2 mask is also required outdoor if the minimum distance to other people is less than 2 metres.

 

Exceptions for children

Children under the age of 12 do not need 2G proof or testing in Styria,
Children between 12 and 15 do. One recommendation: children of this age should arrive with a negative PCR test.

For children and adolescents of school age who have not been fully vaccinated and have not recovered, there is the possibility of equating to 2G status with regular testing. For this purpose, the "Ninja Pass" system has proven successful in Austrian schools. During the vacation season and for guests from abroad, there is now the "Holiday Ninja Pass": with two PCR and one antigen test per week, all facilities can be used for which 2G detection is required. PCR tests are valid for 72 hours, antigen tests for 48 hours.

Test results will be recorded in the "Holiday Ninja Passport", and the respective test certificates must also be carried. The "Holiday Ninja Passport" is only valid if there is a consistently valid negative test result. The "Holiday Ninja Pass" can be used by all school-age children and adolescents born after August 31, 2006. The document can be downloaded and printed out prior to travel. We recommend to enter a negative PCR test result already before arrival, because this is needed at the check-in in the accommodation (and not fully vaccinated as well as not recovered children and adolescents need a negative PCR test result already at the entry).
The download of the Ninja Passport in English.

 

More Details:

Vacation and gastronomy

Admission: Every guest (twelve years and older) needs a 2G proof. Up to 9th grade (age 15), a completed Ninja Pass is considered 2G proof.
FFP2 masks: Must be worn in public areas (except dining area).
Food Pickup: Food pickup is permitted without 2G status with FFP2 mask. But: food may not be consumed within 50 meters. The same rules apply to snack stands.
Opening hours: For food service between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Groups: There are no upper limits here other than the general event rule, which allows a maximum of 25 people indoors.
Registration: Mandatory for all guests staying 15 minutes or more.

 

Closing time in gastronomy at 22:00.
- 2G rule as well as FFP2 mask obligation still apply
- Events - 2G as well as FFP2 mask requirement: 
o Indoor, without assigned seating (birthday parties, wedding parties, etc.): the 25-person limit remains in effect.
o Outdoor, without assigned seating (birthday parties, wedding parties, etc.): max. 25 people.

Après-ski is not possible due to current regulations.

 

Furthermore, the following applies to vaccinated or recovered persons in Styria:

  • Trade and stores open (2-G-proof is necessary and will be controlled). This also includes body-related service providers such as hairdressers, masseurs, the foot and hand care.
  • Young people. Children under twelve are exempt from all curfew restrictions and agreed regulations. For youth over twelve, the Ninja Pass will be equivalent to a 2G certificate until the end of compulsory education. A special provision is made for the period when school is not in session, i.e. the Christmas vacations: If school-age children also have valid test evidence (a PCR test at least twice a week) during the school-free period from Monday to Friday (as in school), it will be valid for the entire week. Antigen tests are valid for 48 hours and PCR tests are valid for 72 hours.
  • Culture. For opera and theater performances, concerts and movie shows, a limit of 2000 people applies for fixed seating. Without seating, a maximum of 25 people is allowed in a room. Including FFP2 mask requirement.
  • Sports. For outdoor events, if fixed seating is available, a maximum of 4000 people may be present, otherwise a limit of 300 people applies.
  • For birthday or wedding parties, if there is no fixed seating, the limit is 25 people.
  • Occasional markets. These can be held in compliance with the 2G rule and the FFP2 mask requirement. When serving food and beverages, the upper limit is 300 people.
  • Gyms are open for convalescents and vaccinated.

 

CHILDREN AND 2G

General regulation - Ninja Pass 
- The requirement to show valid 2G proof does not apply to children up to the age of 12. Therefore, children do not need their own G proof to go to the restaurant with their parents.
- The Corona Test Pass, also known as the "Ninja Pass," provides students who are subject to general compulsory education (9th grade) with valid proof of their respective negative test result at school, a vaccination they have already received (ages 12 and up), and/or a certificate issued outside of school.
- In the week in which the test intervals are observed (at least 2 times per week a PCR test), the Ninja- Pass is also valid as 2G proof on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this week.
- After the end of compulsory schooling (all persons born before the cut-off date 01.09.2006), young people, like adults, require a 2G proof.

Holiday Ninja Pass 
- The Ninja Pass is extended as a "Holiday-Ninja-Pass" also as a proof for school-free time - for Austrian pupils as well as for school-obligated vacation guests from abroad.
- Within 5 days, at least 3 tests must be performed, at least 2 of which must be PCR tests. Provided that within these 5 days a consistently valid test proof with PCR and/or antigen test is available and also carried along, this means an equalization with the 2G status, also for the days 6 and 7 without further test proofs.
- This allows the stay in Austrian accommodation facilities, restaurants, leisure facilities and the use of cable cars.
- The validity period is 48 hours for antigen tests and 72 hours for PCR tests. The start of the Holiday Ninja Pass does not have to coincide with the vacation week. Two 7-day cycles may be required for a vacation week. 
o Exception: if, in an individual case, PCR test evidence cannot be provided due to untimely evaluation (longer than 24 hours) or lack of availability, evidence of an antigen test is permitted instead as an exception (if this can be credibly demonstrated).

All further details can be found at https://www.austria.info/en.

 

Skiing (2G) 

Skiers must be vaccinated or recovered if they want to make their first turns on the Styrian slopes. FFP2 masks are compulsory on the cable cars, and attention must be paid to distances ("baby elephant"). In return, many ski resorts have a comprehensive and technically sophisticated safety concept that links 2G certificates directly to the ski pass. 

Ski resort information can be found at https://www.steiermark.com/en/Styria/Active-holidays-in-nature/Skiing (Important Information or Services section).

 

Cross-country skiing

No 2G or 3G proof is required for the use of cross-country ski trails in public areas that are freely accessible without access controls and access fees.
 
However, cross-country ski trails for which a fee is charged or which are not freely accessible (e.g. access control, in the ski area only accessible by cable car) may only be used if a valid 2G proof can be presented.

 

Thermal spas

Guests are allowed to enter the wellness area if they show proof of 2G (vaccinated/healed). FFP2 masks must be worn in all accessible areas. Children do not have to wear a mask until they are 6 years old. From the 6th birthday until the completed 12th year of age, they need a tight-fitting mouth-nose protection and from the 12th birthday an FFP2 mask.

 

Coaches

Every seat in the bus may be used (full occupancy 100%).
Passengers are subject to the 2G rule (vaccinated or recovered - exception: students 12 to15 years - here the "Ninja Pass" is still valid). Passengers with only one test may not be admitted. Passengers must also wear an FFP2 mask on the bus. 

Exceptions 2G proof: The obligation to present a 2G proof does not apply to persons who cannot be vaccinated without risk to life or health or to pregnant women. In this case a PCR test (max. 72 hours old) is required. The exceptional reason must be proven by a medical confirmation.
The obligation to present a 2-G certificate does not apply to children up to the age of 12.

Coach companies require a Covid representative and a Covid prevention concept

 

Lockdown for the unvaccinated persons remains. 

People in lockdown would be allowed to leave their own homes if they need to go to work, go to the supermarket, go to the bank, go to the post office, go to the doctor, go to the pharmacy, go to the testing or vaccination line. They would also be allowed to meet their significant others and immediate family members, stretch their feet, and go to demos.

 

What does 3G / 2.5G / 2G / 2G+ mean?

3G means: fully vaccinated or recovered or tested (PCR or antigen tests apply)

2.5G means: fully vaccinated or recovered or tested (only PCR tests apply)

2G means: fully vaccinated or recovered, tests are not accepted.

2G+ means: fully vaccinated or recovered and additionally PCR tested. If there is evidence that a PCR test is not available, an antigen test will suffice. Individuals who have demonstrably had a Corona infection within the last 90 days do not need a PCR test.

 

Vaccination

Vaccination status

Persons with one vaccination
They do not have a valid vaccination certificate in terms of either the 1G, 2G, or 3G rule. Even for persons vaccinated with Johnson&Johnson, a booster vaccination is required as of January 3. However, for it to be recognized as a booster, there must be a 14-day interval between the booster and the first vaccination. The booster is valid for 270 days.

Persons with two vaccinations
With all vaccines currently in use, affected individuals with two vaccinations are considered immunized but not boosted. Those who have received AstraZeneca, Biontech/Pfizer or Moderna can get another sting after four months - this will be the booster. The certificate for two shots is currently valid for 270 days for the purposes of the 1G, 2G and 3G rule, and the third shot is valid for another 270 days - as long as at least 120 days have passed between the second and third shots.

Attention: as from 1st of February the vaccation certificate (Green Pass) is only valid for 180 days with only 2 vaccinations (booster is necessary).

Individuals with three vaccinations.
They are generally considered boostered - as long as the 120 days mentioned have passed between the second and third vaccination.

 

The current rule in the EU is that fully vaccinated persons in possession of the EU Covid 19 digital certificate should be exempt from testing and quarantine measures when traveling as soon as the second vaccination with a vaccine approved for the entire EU is 14 days old. 

However, entry into countries that require a third prick for full immunization will still be possible, but national rules will apply in the country itself. 

Proof of vaccination is valid for 270 days in Austria
Nine months after the second vaccination, a third dose is required, meaning proof of vaccination is valid for 270 days (attention: From 1st of February the third dose is necessary after 180 days to keep the validity). For those who have recovered and have been vaccinated at least once the certificate remains valid for 270 days.

For all those vaccinated the first time with the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine, a second dose will be required for the "green passport" since Jan. 3, 2022.

The third vaccination is now available to all after four months.

 

The vaccines Sputnik V, Sinovac and Sinopharm are not approved in Austria.

 

For guests vaccinated with vaccines not approved by the EMA (e.g. Sputnik, Sinovac,...).

To obtain the 2G proof required in Austria the following measures are necessary:
 
- Proof of 2 x vaccination with sputnik or Siopharm.
- Proof of antibody test BEFORE booster vaccination
- Proof of booster vaccination (AFTER antibody test) with mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer)
 
What applies to persons who received their Corona vaccination with a COVID-19 vaccine not approved by the EMA?
In order for vaccination records to be accepted in Austria under the 2-G rule, COVID-19 vaccines must be approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). If, on the other hand, the Corona vaccination was administered with a COVID-19 vaccine that has not been approved by the EMA (e.g., Sputnik V), the National Vaccination Panel recommends that affected individuals test for neutralizing antibodies and receive one dose of an EMA-approved mRNA vaccine (BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna). The minimum interval from the previous vaccination series should be one month. At the European level, neutralizing antibodies are not included in Green Passport certificates. Therefore, although a vaccination certificate is issued for the 1st dose with the information "Dose 1 of 2", this alone does not confirm active vaccination protection. Therefore, in Austria and when traveling to Austria, proof of neutralizing antibodies must be presented together with the vaccination certificate in any case. The validity of this combination as a 2-G proof is defined here as 270 days from the day of vaccination.
If desired, administration of the mRNA vaccines according to the usual vaccination schedule consisting of 2 doses is also possible, but an increased side effect rate cannot be excluded in this case. After receiving the second vaccination, the validity period of the vaccination certificate as a 2-G certificate is 270 days, whereby at least 14 days must have elapsed between the two vaccinations.

Here you will find the extract from the Ministry of Social Affairs:  

 

As of February 1, vaccination will be compulsory for Austrian citizens. 

 

Omicron: Quarantine rules
People infected and after contact with someone infected usually have to spend ten days in quarantine. After 5 days of quarantine free testing with PCR-Test is possible. Fully vaccinated (3 shots) and recovered persons are no longer considered as contact persons, therefore no quarantine is required.

 

Testing

4 test options:

  • the PCR test, which is performed in testing stations or in the pharmacy. It is valid for 72 hours from test collection. 
  • the PCR gargle test, which is performed by the patient. This is also valid for 72 hours.
  • the antigen rapid test, which is performed in testing stations. This is valid for 24 hours.
  • Ninja passport testing (school testing) is considered 2G detection. If the intervals are observed, also over the weekend. The equality of the "Ninja Passport" is limited to school-age persons (i.e. usually persons up to the age of 14 or 15) in accordance with the compulsory school attendance act 1985. For vacations, the Holiday Ninja Pass applies.


Since 21 January 22: Living room tests apply again.
Antigen rapid tests will be accepted again to proof 3G: The tests will be available in styrian pharmacies, further information will follow end of January.

 

Styrian test locations 

Registration is not required for testing, but it is recommended. Anyone can come to the test locations, you do not need a main or secondary residence in Styria, just a residence address, e.g. a hotel. The tests in the test streets are free of charge for guests.

All detailed information about the Styrian test locations and the registration for the tests in Styria can be found here. 


The  PCR gargle test

The third possibility to get tested is the PCR gargle test for home use. For this you also only need a residence address in Styria, e.g. an accommodation. The tests can be obtained from pharmacies after registration at test.zmdx.at. After gargling at home, one can deposit one's sample in collection boxes in the pharmacies or in the Spar branches. Attention: On Sundays and holidays you can only drop your sample into the boxes of 60 Styrian Spar branches. They will be collected there once in the morning (instead of twice as on any other day). If you want to be on the safe side, drop off your sample before nine o'clock on the holiday. 

The PCR gargle test: the application

PCR tests and PCR gargle tests for home use are available at pharmacies. 
Free PCR gargle tests are available at pharmacies for home/accommodation testing. You can hand in your test samples at pharmacies and at Spar stores.

To take advantage of the new offer, a one-time registration including photo upload of an official photo ID is required on the test.zmdx.at website. Once this is done, every citizen is entitled to eight gargle tests per month. The e-card is not required for this, nor is there a minimum age.

All test persons must gargle with the enclosed saline solution for at least one minute in front of a running cell phone camera. The solution is then spit into the test tube via the straw. The sealed tube is placed in a plastic bag and returned to the packaging. The sample is then delivered, and the result is sent by text message.

Those who film their gargling process and upload it properly will also find a test certificate in their Green Passport. As this is a PCR test, the result entitles the holder to access the country for 72 hours from the time the sample is taken, and it is also sometimes required for travel abroad. Those who do not upload a gargle video will receive a result, but no certificate.

The test results should be available within 24 hours.

PCR gargel information

 

Green Passport

"Green Passport" valid throughout the EU and available as an app.

The "Green Passport" includes evidence of having received a Corona vaccination (vaccination certificate), having a current negative Corona test (test certificate), or having recovered from Covid-19 (recovery certificate for an infection survived in the last 180 days).
Each "3G" certificate has a unique QR code - this can be used to easily and securely check the certificates when entering, for example, catering establishments, cinemas, theaters, events, spas, etc.

The "Green Passport" EU-wide is in force, but country-specific rules must be observed. In Austria applies in particular:
- Validity for nine months after 2nd vaccination, after which a 3rd dose is needed for a valid certificate. Validity shortened to 6 months without a third sting (effective Feb. 1, 2022). The third vaccination is possible after four months.
In case of two necessary partial vaccinations (BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca) the vaccination certificate is valid from the 2nd vaccination date. For Janssen vaccinated persons, as of 3/1/2022: a 2nd dose is needed for a valid green passport.

  • For convalescents with one partial vaccination, the vaccination certificate is valid from the vaccination date.
  • The digital "Green Passport" is available on the website Gesundheit.gv.at. Here one can also find important info on the individual steps as well as the corresponding log-in.
  • The official app for the "Green Passport" is available under the name "Green Passport" (3 G Verification Austria by BRZ GmbH) for the iOS operating system in the iOS App Store and for Android in the Google Play Store. The app enables storage and secure handling of the EU-compliant certificates with QR code on the smartphone. It facilitates the presentation during a check of 3-G proofs of access and travel. The certificates are not stored in a cloud, as is often the case with app solutions. You can find more information here.
  • In addition, proof of vaccination is still possible in paper form or with a vaccination card.

 

 

Where can I get information for my vacation in Steiermark/Styria?

On www.steiermark.com/en you find inspiration, information and holiday packages within just a few clicks. If you need advice just get in touch with us: +43 316 4003.

for guests from Hungary: www.steiermark.com/udules

for guests from the Czech Republic: www.steiermark.com/dovolena

Let us inspire you: I am Steiermark, or rather, we are happy to answer the questions about what we mean when we think of Styria/Steiermark.

The Styrian hosts are looking forward for your visit in May. For your personal and individual support please contact your booked accomodation or your travel agency. Legal advice is also given by your travel insurance provider.

For further questions to the situation regarding the coronavirus in Austria: Austrian National Tourist Office

 

Travelling to Steiermark/Styria

Please note that travel rules can change quickly. 

Entry to Austria

On Monday, 24 January, Austria removed its list of virus variant countries. This means for everyone arriving from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway the same entry rules apply now as for travellers from all other countries.

For entry into Austria, travellers have to provide:

  • Proof of full vaccination (2 jabs) OR proof of past infection (the medical document needs to show the date of recovery – (for guests from the UK: an NHS email/text of a positive test is not sufficient) 
  • AND a negative PCR test (valid for 72 hours) OR proof of a booster jab (booster is valid from the first day) 

need a vaccination or recovery certificate and additionally a negative PCR test result (2G+).
 
If no negative PCR test result is available, registration must be carried out and a ten-day quarantine must be started immediately. Quarantine is considered to be terminated as soon as a negative PCR test result is available (free testing at any time). 
 
If a vaccination or recovery certificate is not available, registration must be made and a ten-day quarantine must be entered immediately. The quarantine is considered to be terminated if a negative PCR test result is available at the earliest on the 5th day after entry (free testing from the 5th day).
 
The obligation to carry an additional negative test result does not apply to persons who have a "booster vaccination" (3rd vaccination).

Children and adolescents between 12 and 15 years should enter the country with a negative PCR test. This will facilitate obtaining the Holiday Ninja Pass
Children under 12 years of age do not require proof. Children of 15 years and older (born before 1st September 2006) the 2-G+ rule (proof of full vaccination/recovery AND PCR test OR booster) applies.

Exception: Pregnant women and those who cannot receive the vaccine for medical reasons can enter by showing a medical certificate AND a PCR test. 

Further information about Entry regulations.

 

Current travel conditions for your journey.

For more information: https://www.sozialministerium.at/en.html and https://www.sozialministerium.at/en/Coronavirus/Information-in-English.html

 

Online registration: Digital Pre-Travel-Clearance-Form when entering Austria

Please also check if you need an online registration before traveling. 

The COVID-19 entry regulation basically provides for three categories.

All details about the three categories and the pre-travel-clearance.

 

Up-to-date traffic information can be found on:

Oesterreichische Bundesbahnen/National Train System

Airport Graz

 

Germany considers Austria as high risk country (valid since 16 Jan 22)
Due to the Omikron variant causing an increased incidence of infection throughout Europe, Germany has again tightened its entry requirements for some EU countries. The Robert Koch Institute has listed Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy and Spain as high-risk areas.

For vaccinated (almost) nothing changes
For vaccinated guests the travel warning means no restriction.  Those who are vaccinated can spend a safe and relaxing vacation in Austria at any time. Those entering the country as well as those returning from a high-risk area must register in advance via www.einreisemeldung.de and upload their valid 3G proof via this portal.

- Vaccinated and recovered guests from Germany can continue to spend their vacations in Austria without having to enter quarantine upon return.

- Tested persons, on the other hand, must enter a mandatory 10-day quarantine - this can be terminated after the fifth day by "free testing".

- Unvaccinated children under 6 years of age are exempt from this testing requirement. For them, quarantine ends automatically after five days (without free testing), regardless of what measures apply to parents.

- Families with children under 12: all children who are not yet fully immunized must undergo a minimum five-day quarantine, even if their parents are fully immunized (an exemption from the proof requirement for under-12s traveling under adult supervision is being sought).

All info at the Federal Foreign Office.

 

Guest registration 

Important for e.g. a visit to an inn or excursion destination: A guest registration must be carried out. As a guest, you can already get a digital registration on myVisitPass Styria so that it is easier to register on site.

Here all information about myVisitPass Styria and the digital registration: https://www.steiermark.com/de/B2B/Service-fuer-Tourismuspartner/Corona-B2B-Information/Registrierung

 

7 additional proposals to prevent infections generally

Protect yourself and others with a few simple hygiene measures: wash or disinfect your hands often | keep your distance | wear an FFP2 mask | do not touch your face with your hands | sneeze into the crook of your arm | do not shake your hands | ventilate rooms regularly.

 

Procedure in case of symptoms

At the first appearance of Covid19 symptoms, as a guest, please contact the Health Hotline 1450 and your receptionist in the hotel immediately. You must remain in your room until the results of a PCR test are available.

The appropriate health authority will immediately initiate testing (free of charge) and investigations.

You will be asked to record your contacts using a form.

Stay in your room until the test result is available and follow the instructions of the authorities.

If the test for COVID-19 is negative, the measures will be terminated.

If the test is positive:

The quarantine period required by authorities is 10 days. During this time, you may not leave your room or receive private visits. 
Please also keep your distance from the people with whom you share a room. Authorities may monitor compliance with the quarantine.
All recorded contacts will be contacted and alerted.
Hospitalization is only necessary if the illness is severe. 
Whether you are allowed to go home is decided on a case-by-case basis by the authorities or the public health officer.

Who bears the costs of the extended stay, if necessary?    

Provided that the authorities can ensure that the disease is not spread further, quarantine can also take place at the accommodation facility. In such a case, the hotelier is generally entitled to an appropriate fee. 
In such a case, however, the locally competent authority primarily provides suitable accommodation. 

 

Where do I get current and official information on the virus in Austria?

Information to the spreading of the virus in Austria and all over the world is given on the website of the Austrian Ministry of Health

We wish a beautiful, stimulating, relaxing, heart-refreshing vacation in Steiermark/Styria.

Please stay healthy.

hotel room | © Steiermark Tourismus | Punkt & Komma
© Harry Schiffer Photodesign | HARRY SCHIFFER PHOTODESIGN
the table is set, during summer vacation | © Steiermark Tourismus | Bernhard Bergmann