Travelling to Austria during the pandemic

Travelling to Austria during the pandemic

Who is allowed to enter Austria and who must go into quarantine?

In many cases you are allowed to travel to and enter Austria in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. The specific points to keep in mind depend on the country from which you want to travel to Austria.

All people with a vaccination certificate (“Impfnachweis”), a certificate of recovery or negative test results are allowed to enter Austria from a country with a low epidemiological risk. If you have such proof, you also need not register online, and you need not go into quarantine. The only restriction is that you were only in one such country during the last ten days.

Countries with a low epidemiological risk are: Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegowina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Jordan, Canada, Quatar, Cosovo, Latvia, Lithuania,  Luxembourg, Macau, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Principality of Liechtenstein, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Uruguay, Vatican and Vietnam.

Attention

If you are arriving by plane from Cyprus, you are must have a negative PCR test - an antigen test is not sufficient - or proof of vaccination (via the second vaccination, if this is intended for the vaccine; only one accination is just sufficient if there was a COVID-19 infection at least 21 days before the vaccination or if you have an evidence of antibodies). However, you do not need to show a negative PCR test or proof of vaccination if you have a medical certificate stating that you have been infected with COVID-19 in the last 90 days and are no longer infected 14 days after the initial detection or the onset of symptoms , You are symptom-free at least 48 hours before the certificate is issued and it is confirmed that, despite a positive PCR test, you are no longer at risk of infection.

You are only permitted to enter Austria from a virus variant area or country under certain conditions, for example for professional reasons or if you have an appointment with public authorities to pick up your residence permit (“Aufenthaltstitel”). If you travel from one of these countries, it is not sufficient if you are vaccinated (“geimpft”) or have recovered (“genesen”) from the coronavirus. In any case you must present negative PCR test results (“negative PCR Testergebnis”) or a medical certificate (“ärztliches Zeugnis”). However, you do not need to show a negative PCR test if you have a medical certificate stating that you have been infected with COVID-19 in the last 90 days and are no longer infected, this was issued 14 days after the initial detection or the onset of symptoms, You are symptom-free at least 48 hours before the certificate is issued and it is confirmed that you are no longer at risk of infection despite a positive PCR test. Online registration (“pre-travel clearance”) is necessary before travelling to Austria. If there are no exemptions which are valid for you, you must go into quarantine. The quarantine can first be ended starting on the fifth day on the basis of a negative PCR test. The day in which you entered the country is considered to be day zero, not day one. Entering the country for professional reasons does not comprise an exception to the quarantine obligation when travelling from these countries. However, entering the country with an invitation from public authorities to pick up a residence permit is, in fact, considered to be an exemption from the quarantine requirement.

The following comprise virus variant areas and countries:  Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Suriname and South Africa.

If you are travelling from a country which is not mentioned above, you must register online  with a vaccination certificate, certificate of recovery or negative rest results and go into quarantine. The quarantine can first be ended starting on the fifth day on the basis of a negative PCR test. The day in which you entered the country is considered to be day zero, not day one. However, if you enter Austria for professional reasons or with proof of vaccination or recovery, this is considered to be an exception and you need not go into quarantine and you also need not register.

Austrians, EU nationals and Swiss nationals (and people who live in the same household) are allowed to enter Austria from all countries in the world. Whether or not they have to go into quarantine depends on the country from which they travel and for which purpose, for example if they travel from a country with a low epidemiological risk or from a virus variant zone.

Who must register online?

You need not register online if you travel from a country with a low epidemiological risk and can show negative test results, a vaccination certificate or a recovery certificate (“Genesungszertifikat”). If you do not have this proof with you, you must register and then undergo a PCR text within 24 hours.

However, you must register online if you enter Austria from a virus variant country (“pre-travel clearance”.

You must also register online if you enter Austria from another country which is not listed above (“pre-travel clearance”. However, you need not register online if you enter Austria from one of these countries for professional reasons, or if you show proof of being vaccinated or recovered.

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Which certificate must I have with me when entering the country? When is your vaccination valid as "proof of vaccination" for entry?

In most cases (e.g., when you travel from a country with a low epidemiological risk), you need one of the following certificates when entering Austria (so-called proof of a low epidemiological threat (“Nachweis über eine geringe epidemiologische Gefahr”):

  • Medical certificates  which confirm either negative test results or a vaccination or recovery from the coronavirus.  
  • In the case of PCR tests, test results are considered to be valid for 72 days hours after the sample is taken, whereas the antigen tests are valid for a period of 48 hours after the sample is taken. Rapid antigen self-tests which are officially recorded are valid for 24 hours after the sample is taken.
  • When entering the country with a vaccination certificate, the following prerequisites must be fulfilled:  
    • A certified vaccine must have been administered (i.e., BioNtech/Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sinopharm or Sinovac).
    • You were already vaccinated for the second time. Between first and second vaccination passed at least 14 days. In the case of vaccines which require only one vaccine dose (only Johnson & Johnson at present), the vaccination must go back at least 21 days.  One vaccination is also considered to be sufficient in the case of a COVID-19 infection (at least 21 days before the vaccination) or if there is proof of neutralising antibodies.
    • The vaccination must not be older than nine months (270 days).
    • If a third vaccination (for vaccines for which two vaccine doses are provided) or a second vaccination (for vaccines for which only one vaccine dose is required) was received, then this must also be only 360 days ago and between the last vaccination dose at least 120 days must have passed.
  • A medical certificate or recovery certificate confirms that you survived an infection with the coronavirus over the last six months. A certificate that you have neutralising antibodies (no more than three months old) is also accepted as a recovery certificate.  

If you enter Austria from a virus variant area or country, you do not have any choice. You are required to show negative PCR test results when you arrive.

Special rules apply if you come from another country which is not listed above, and you can also show a proof of vaccinaton or recovery. In this case you need not go into quarantine, and you also need not register.

If you travel to Austria on the basis of a legally stipulated exemption, for example entering the country for professional reasons, you also have to show credible proof of this, for example a business letter from a company, bills of delivery, order confirmations, appointment confirmations for a personal interview and so on. If you come to Austria for an appointment with public authorities, you must be able to show the relevant invitation of the authority concerned.

 

How long do these regulations apply?

The regulations described on this page apply from August 18 and currently until September 30, 2021, but changes can be made on an ongoing basis. We try to keep the site up-to-date, but we cannot guarantee that it is up-to-date and correct. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the ABA Immigration and Residence Service.

Entering Austria for professional purposes

What is meant by “professional purposes”?

There are exceptions to the rules relating to entry bans or quarantine regulations for individuals who enter Austria for business/professional purposes (depending upon which country the person enters Austria from).

For example, entry for professional purposes include caregivers or nurses providing 24-hour care and trips to take part in professional training and development measures. Entering Austria for the purpose of a personal job interview may be considered as being for professional purposes if the physical presence of the person is considered to be absolutely necessary. However, everything considered to fall under the category of "professional purposes" is not explicitly regulated.

Entering Austria for professional purposes exists if this is directly related to the person’s professional activity. Even if the person left Austria for professional reasons, entry for professional reasons must exist when returning to the country. However, there must be a time connection with the business appointment (for example, if the business appointment is scheduled for three days, then there is no stay allowed for several weeks on the basis of trips made for professional reasons).

You will always have to show in a “credible” manner that your entering Austria is for professional purposes, for example on the basis of a business letter from a company, bills of delivery, order confirmations, appointment confirmations for a personal interview and so on.

Which rules apply when entering Austria from a country considered to pose a low epidemiological threat?

 If you come to Austria from one of these countries (regardless of whether or not it is for professional purposes), you must present either a medical certificate, negative test results, a vaccination certificate or recovery certificate when you enter the country. If you are unable to show any of this, you must promptly present a negative antigen or PCR test after entering the country (in any case within 24 hours). In this case you will have to pay for the costs of the test yourself.

Which rules apply when entering Austria for professional reasons from a virus variant area or country?

In principle, it is not permitted to travel to Austria from these countries. It is only allowed in exceptional cases. However, entering the country for professional purposes is considered to be a valid exception. When entering the country, you must present a  negative test results and go into quarantine for at least five days.The only exception is if you have a medical certificate stating that you have been infected with COVID-19 in the last 90 days and are no longer infected, this was issued 14 days after the initial detection or the onset of symptoms, you at least 48 hours before the issue of the certificate are symptom-free and it is confirmed that, despite a positive PCR test, there is no longer any risk of infection from you. The quarantine can first be ended on the basis of a negative PCR or test starting on the fifth day after arrival. The day in which the person entered the country is considered to be day zero, not day one.    

Which rules apply when entering Austria for professional reasons from another country?

You are permitted to enter Austria from these countries for professional reasons/business purposes, and you need not go into quarantine when you present a medical certificate or negative test results upon arrival or can show a vaccine certificate or recovery certificate. In principle, if you cannot present any such certificates, you must generally go into quarantine for ten days directly after arriving. However, you are permitted to end the quarantine as soon as you can show negative PCR test results during this period.

When entering the country with a vaccination certificate, the following prerequisites must be fulfilled:  either the first vaccination took place more than 21 days ago (but should not go back more than three months) or you were already vaccinated for the second time, in which case the first vaccination should not go back more than nine months. Only one vaccination is necessary in the case of vaccines which only require one vaccine dose (only Johnson & Johnson at present), or in the case of a past COVID-19 infection (at least 21 days before the vaccination) or if there is proof of neutralising antibodies before the vaccination In this case the vaccination must not be older than nine months. 

A medical certificate or recovery certificate confirms that you survived an infection with the coronavirus over the last six months. A certificate that you have neutralising antibodies (no more than three months old) is also accepted as a recovery certificate.  

Are you allowed to take your family with you on business trips?

You are permitted to take your family with you if you enter Austria from a country with a low epidemiological threat. Entering Austria from these countries is possible. However, the members of your family must show a medical certificate, negative test results, a vaccination certificate or recovery certificate when they enter the country, or else they have to have a PCR test or antigen test within 24 hours after arrival.

In principle, your family is not allowed to travel with you to Austria from a virus variant area or country, because your entering Austria for professional reasons is only allowed in exceptional cases.

If your family travels to Austria from another country, the prevailing rules depend on whether or not they are already vaccinated, and when:

  • If your family members have a vaccination certificate, they need not go into quarantine, and they also do not have to register. Children under the age of 18 who are not vaccinated and who travel with you are exempt from the quarantine and registration requirements.
  • Otherwise, your family members must show negative test results, a vaccination certificate or recovery certificate and go into quarantine for at least five days.  The quarantine can first be ended on the basis of a negative PCR-Test starting on the fifth day after arrival. The day in which the person entered the country is considered to be day zero, not day one.    

Immigration of skilled workers (“Fachkräfte”)

You are an EU or Swiss national but do not live in Austria yet. You have got a job in Austria. Are you allowed to enter the country at all? If yes, what must you take into consideration?

Yes, you are allowed to enter Austria and it does not matter which country you are living in at the present time. Whether or not you must go into quarantine depends on where you are coming from and whether you are vaccinated or have recovered (see details above). Entering the country to begin work in Austria is considered to be your professional purpose.

Your family members who live with you in the same household are also permitted to enter Austria with you, regardless of which nationality your family members have. Here, the situation also depends on the country from which your family members are travelling from.

  • If your family comes from a country with a low epidemiological risk, your family members must show a medical certificate, negative test results, a vaccine certificate or a recovery certificate or else they must take a PCR or antigen test within 24 hours after arrival.
  • When your family members enter the country from a virus variant area or country, they must show negative test results and go into quarantine for at least five days. The quarantine can first be ended on the basis of a negative PCR or antigen test starting on the fifth day after arrival. The day in which the person entered the country is considered to be day zero, not day one.    
  • If your family travels to Austria from another country, the prevailing rules depend on whether or not they are already vaccinated, and when:
    • If your family members have a vaccination certificate showing that they received the necessary vaccine dose fourteen days ago or even longer as the basis for full immunity, they need not go into quarantine, and they also do not have to register. Children under the age of 18 who are not vaccinated and who travel with you are exempt from the quarantine and registration requirements.
    • Otherwise, your family members must show negative test results, a vaccination certificate or recovery certificate and go into quarantine for at least five days.  The quarantine can first be ended on the basis of a negative PCR or antigen test starting on the fifth day after arrival. The day in which the person entered the country is considered to be day zero, not day one.    

Example 1

The German national Max Mustermann lives in Germany. He got a job in Austria. He travels from Germany to Austria to begin his work and does not have to go into quarantine. When entering the country, he must show negative PCR or antigen test results or present them within 24 hours.

Example 2

The German national Max Mustermann lives with his wife (who is also a German national) in Columbia.  He has got a job in Austria. The married couple can enter Austria together. They must present negative PCR or antigen test results when entering the country or present a vaccination certificate or a recovery certificate. He does not have to go into quarantine because he travels to Austria for professional reasons (beginning his work). If his wife has a proof of vaccination she also does not have to go into quarantine. Otherwise, his wife has to go into quarantine for at least five days because she does not travel to Austria from Columbia for professional purposes.

You are a third-country national, live in a third country and would like to be physically present in Austria to search for a job. Is this possible?

If you come to Austria from a virus variant area or country, you are not allowed to simply enter Austria and spend time in Austria on the basis of your visa-free days, unlike during the times before the outbreak of the pandemic. However, you can enter the country for a job interview if this is not a virtual interview carried out online.  You must credibly demonstrate the reason for this exemption when you arrive, for example with the invitation of the company. Furthermore, you need negative test results and have to go into quarantine for five days. The quarantine can first be ended on the basis of a negative PCR-Test starting on the fifth day after arrival. The day in which you entered the country is considered to be day zero, not day one.  If you travel from a country which is considered to pose a low epidemiological threat or from another country not previously mentioned, you need not go into quarantine.

If you come to Austria to simply look for a job, without a special reason like an arranged job interview, you are allowed to enter the country - assuming you can come without a visa - as long as you fulfil the prerequisites. In any case you need negative test results, a medical certificate, a vaccination certificate or a recovery certificate. Depending on the country from which you travel, your entry into Austria may also require you to register and/or go into quarantine.   

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the ABA Immigration and Residence Services (“ABA Servicestelle für Einwanderung und Aufenthalt”).

You are a third-country national, live in a third country and can actually travel to Austria and the Schengen Area without a visa. You applied for an Austrian residence permit (“Aufenthaltstitel”) and the process has now been concluded.

You have received an invitation from the Immigration and Residence Authority (“Aufenthaltsbehörde”) to pick up your residence permit. What must you keep in mind when entering the country?

You may enter Austria with a valid medical certificate, negative test results, a vaccination certificate or a recovery certificate. If you present the invitation letter requesting that you pick up your residence permit, you need not go into quarantine.

However, special rules exist for entering Austria from an area or country with a low epidemiological risk and from a virus variant area or country.

You are permitted to enter Austria from a country with a low epidemiological risk without proving that you are covered by regulations entitling you to an exemption - if you can show a valid medical certificate, negative test results, a vaccination certificate or a recovery certificate. If you are unable to show any of this, you must promptly present a negative antigen or PCR test after entering the country (in any case within 24 hours). In this case you will have to pay for the costs of the test yourself.

If you come from a virus variant area or country, you must show the invitation letter and a medical certificate or negative PCR test results. A recovery certificate or vaccination certificate is not sufficient in this case! The only exception is if you have a medical certificate stating that you have been infected with COVID-19 in the last 90 days and are no longer infected, this was issued 14 days after the initial detection or the onset of symptoms, you at least 48 hours before the issue of the certificate are symptom-free and it is confirmed that, despite a positive PCR test, there is no longer any risk of infection from you.If you do not have what is needed, you are required to go into quarantine and are first permitted to end the quarantine after five days.  

Example

The American citizen Philipp Jones lives in the USA and has applied for a Red-White-Red – Card (“Rot-Weiß-Rot – Karte”). He was notified by the Austrian Immigration and Residence Authority that the only thing he still needs to do is to enter Austria, have his fingerprints taken and present his original documents. As an American, he is generally permitted to travel to Austria without a visa. He does not have to go into quarantine when entering the country if he can show a medical certificate, negative test results or else show a vaccination certificate or recovery certificate.

You are a third-country national and live in an EU member state or in Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland or the Vatican.

Yes, you can travel to Austria without a special visa as long as you have a valid residence permit for the country in which you live. You only have to make sure that you were not more than 90 out of the last 180 days in the Schengen Area, of course with the exception of the country in which you live. It does not matter if you are generally allowed to travel to Austria without a visa or not due to your nationality. If you travel to Austria from your country of residence, you need not go into quarantine if you can show a medical certificate, negative test results, a vaccination certificate or recovery certificate.

The only exception is if you have a medical certificate stating that you have been infected with COVID-19 in the last 90 days and are no longer infected, this was issued 14 days after the initial detection or the onset of symptoms, you at least 48 hours before the issue of the certificate are symptom-free and it is confirmed that, despite a positive PCR test, there is no longer any risk of infection from you.

Example

The Russian national Irina Tolkova lives in Belgium and has applied for a Red-White-Red – Card. She was notified by Austria’s Immigration and Residence Authority that the only thing she still needs to do is to enter Austria, have her fingerprints taken and present her original documents. She is allowed to travel to Austria without a special visa because she has a valid residence permit for Belgium. She is not required to go into quarantine if she travels directly from Belgium to Austria and was only in Belgium in the previous ten days. When entering Austria, she has to show negative test results, a vaccination or recovery certificate or undergo the PCR or antigen test within 24 hours.

Beispiel

The Russian national Irina Tolkova lives in Russia and has applied for a Red-White-Red – Card. She was notified by the Austrian embassy in Moscow that her application was approved and that she must apply for a Visa D (“Visum D”).  Irina Tolkova can travel to Austria and enter the country as soon as she has the Visa D stamped into her passport and she has received the invitation letter to pick up her residence permit. She need not go into quarantine if she is already vaccinated or recovered and can show the relevant certificate.

If you have any questions about how you and/or your family can travel to Austria and enter the country at the present time, or about which authorities you have to contact etc., please feel free to contact ABA Immigration and Residence Services.

Commuters

Special rules exist for you if you regularly commute (“pendeln”) to Austria for professional or business purposes:  

  • Dieser Test darf maximal sieben Tage alt sein (ab Probenentnahme), wenn Sie aus einem Staat mit einem geringen epidemiologischen Risiko einreisen und Sie sich in den letzten zehn Tagen auch nicht in einem anderen Staat aufgehalten haben. 
  • Dieser Test darf maximal 72 Stunden alt sein (ab Probenentnahme), wenn Sie aus einem anderen Staat einreisen oder sich dort in den letzten zehn Tagen aufgehalten haben.  
  • Die Registrierung für die „Pre-Travel-Clearance“  ist alle 28 Tage durchzuführen. Außerdem muss man bei jeder Änderung von Wohn- oder Aufenthaltsadresse, etc. die „Pre-Travel-Clearance“ durchführen. Ausgenommen sind Personen, die aus einem Staat mit einem geringen epidemiologischen Risiko einreisen.
  • You are permitted to come to Austria with a medical certificate, negative test results (antigen or PCR test) or if you can show a vaccination or recovery certificate. The other option for you is to undergo an antigen or PCR test promptly when entering the country (in any case within 24 hours). 
  • This test may be a maximum of seven days old (starting at the time the sample was taken) when you come to Austria from a country with a low epidemiological risk and you were not in another country in the previous ten days.  
  • This test may be a maximum of 72 hours old (starting at the time the sample was taken) when you come to Austria from Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Netherlands, Sweden or another country and you were not in another country in the previous ten days.   
  • Registration for “pre-travel clearance“ must be done every 28 days. In addition, you also have to do the registration for “pre-travel clearance“ every time you change your place of residence (home address) or the place you are temporarily staying in.

Free services for skilled workers

The ABA Immigration and Residence Services offer free consulting with an official mandate by the Austrian Government.