Updated April 12th, 2021: Austria is currently in partial lockdown with an undefined end date. The associated measures are obviously designed to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19 in the country as the vaccination programme rolls out. These measures do mean, however, that much of the tourism infrastructure is currently closed or unavailable.
Special rules for Vienna
*Additional* rules apply in Vienna above and beyond those that already apply through the wider partial lockdown. These additional rules last until at least May 2nd. For example:
- The curfew (see below) applies all day, i.e. 24 hours
- Shops, zoos, museums, etc. must close (with the usual exceptions, such as grocery stores)
- FFP2 face masks must be worn in certain additional public areas, including Stephansplatz, Karlsplatz, Schwedenplatz, parts of the Donaukanal, Maria-Theresien-Platz, and Museumsplatz
After this harder lockdown period, these additional local measures may continue and/or others may come into force. We await developments.
Rules also applying (as part of the wider partial lockdown) mean hotels etc. (unless you’re on undelayable business) cannot accept new guests, while restaurants, bars, coffee houses, concert venues, theatres, opera houses, cinemas, and similar are all closed for on-site “consumption”.
Almost no events can take place.
Another significant partial lockdown measure is social distancing and a curfew from 8pm to 6am (with some exceptions, for example buying groceries, outdoor exercise, and medical needs).
(When Vienna’s subject to just the wider ongoing partial lockdown, museums, zoos, and all stores may open, albeit with strict social distancing and hygiene measures in place.)
At a press conference on March 22nd, the government gave no indication of when it expected to relax most restrictions. Everything depends on how things develop in terms of infection and vaccination rates, of course. There is some indication, however, that Austria may begin wider opening measures in May.
Other restrictions on public life apply during partial lockdown. For example, FFP2 face masks are required in a number of indoor and outdoor spaces; this includes inside stores and museums or when using public transport.
Dates and regulations will change in tandem with the COVID situation, and Austria is increasingly taking a region-by-region approach to COVID measures. So I emphasise the following once again:
As a private individual, I’m not qualified to offer you travel or medical advice, especially since the rules change and contain many ifs, buts, exemptions, and details. So…check the official tourism website, which has detailed info/updates in English for those planning (or on) a trip to Vienna, with various links to further official information of use to travellers and visitors.
Also be sure to check:
- Official event, service & location websites (particularly for info on cancellations, postponements, changed opening times, temporary closures and behavioural requirements)
- Your government’s travel advisory pages (there are, for example, strict restrictions and requirements concerning entry to Austria from many countries and vice versa)
Check official sources for accurate, up-to-date advice and information.