Updated July 28th, 2021: Vienna “reopened” in late May after long periods of partial/full lockdown in 2020 and early 2021. All the tourism infrastructure – hotels, bars, restaurants, coffee houses, museums, nightclubs, zoos, cinemas, concert venues, theatres, opera houses etc. – may now open in the city. Cultural and sporting events are also possible again.
Be aware, though, that some requirements remain to help prevent any upsurge of COVID-19 in the country as the vaccination programme continues to roll out. The two main requirements that concern visitors are:
1. The 3G/registration rule
Access to numerous locations and services (e.g. hotels, restaurants, and boat trips) in Vienna requires you to fulfill the so-called 3G requirement to show that you are either:
- Recovered (“Genesen”) from a COVID infection in the last six months
- Or have a timely and valid negative COVID test result (“Getestet”)
- Or have been vaccinated (“Geimpft”) with an approved vaccine long enough ago to have built immunity but not too long ago, either.
I carry around my local vaccination pass, for example, to show when required.
Some locations and services (e.g. gastronomy and large events) may also need a record of your contact details.
Tighter limits apply when entering the Nachtgastronomie (“night gastronomy”): a term which covers such locations as nightclubs, late-night bars and discos. The 3G rule for these locations becomes a 2G rule: only adequately vaccinated guests or those with a timely negative PCR test may enter.
See official sites for all the details and small print on these and other rules. For example (in Vienna), children under 6, stores and museums are excused from the 3G requirement. Incidentally, tourists can make free use of all the municipal testing facilities (and we have an awful lot of them).
It certainly seems that this safety-first 3G requirement for access to numerous locations will be with us for a while yet. I find it reassuring to be honest.
2. Face masks
These are required in Vienna, for example, when using public transport or taxis and inside retail outlets, concert halls, theatres, cinemas, and museums. Other locations may also require (or insist) on them.
NB: Vienna has stricter requirements for face masks than other parts of Austria.
Regardless, I emphasise the following:
As a private individual, I’m not qualified to offer you travel or medical advice, especially since the rules contain many ifs, buts, exemptions, and details. So…check the official tourism website, which has comprehensive info/updates in English for those planning (or on) a trip to Vienna.
Also be sure to check:
- Official event, service & location websites (particularly for info on changed opening times)
- Your government’s travel advisory pages (particularly regarding, for example, restrictions and requirements concerning entry to Austria and returning from Austria)
Check official sources for accurate, up-to-date advice and information.