Travel to Austria: latest Covid rules and holiday advice

Austria will on Monday January 24 scrap its “virus variant list”, which currently subjects UK arrivals to additional travel restrictions.

The UK has been on the list since Christmas Day, along with the Netherlands and Denmark, due to fears surrounding the omicron variant.

The rules meant that only travellers with two doses of the vaccine plus a booster could enter. However, from Monday January 24 British arrivals can enter with two doses of the vaccine (no more than 270 days ago) and a negative PCR result, taken 72 hours before entry.

While your second dose can be 270 days old to enter Austria along with a PCR result, for a valid 2G pass in the country (to enter bars, restaurants and access ski lifts) your second dose must have been given no more than 180 days ago.

Below, we outline everything you need to know about visiting Austria. For full information, see the Austria gov.uk page here or austria.info. 

Can I visit Austria?

Yes, arrivals from the UK can enter without quarantine and the rules will soon relax even further. From January 24, the UK will no longer be classified as a virus variant region. From this date, double-jabbed or recovered travellers can enter the country with a negative PCR test result (taken no more than 72 hours before travel) or proof of a booster jab (received at least 120 days after the second shot). Proof of recovery (within the past 180 days) also counts as a booster.

Austria will accept the UK Covid Pass as proof of vaccinations and boosters. 

Can children enter Austria?

Yes. Children aged 12 and under do not need to provide a test result if travelling with an adult. If the adult must self-isolate due to Covid-19, so should the child.

Children aged 12 to 15 who are not yet fully vaccinated can apply for a ‘Holiday Ninja Pass’ to access ski resorts.

What is the Ninja Pass Scheme?

The Ninja Pass scheme applies to children aged 12 to 15 (born on or after September 1 2006). They are required to take at least two PCR tests and one lateral test during a week-long period in order to access ski lifts and to enter restaurants and bars  – these tests are offered for free at your resort and according to reports most of the tests are ‘gargle’ PCR tests requiring no swabs. A PCR test must also be taken before entry and uploaded to their Ninja Pass. Under 12s are exempt from all restrictions. Teenagers aged 16 and 17 must be fully vaccinated and follow the same 2G rules as adults. More information can be found here.

Are flights operating?

Indeed they are. Carriers including Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Flybe, TUI, easyJet and Ryanair are running direct routes from the UK.

What is the lockdown in place?

Austria has enforced a lockdown for those who are not fully vaccinated. The only valid reasons to leave home include to avoid immediate danger or harm, to seek medical attention, for education or work purposes, to exercise, for education or work purposes, or to purchase essential items such as medicine and food.

Will I be insured if I go?

The FCDO does not warn against non-essential travel to Austria, meaning your insurance is likely to be valid if you visit. But check your insurance carefully for how Covid is (or is not) covered.

Do I need to take a test before travel to Austria? 

Right now, all travellers from the UK must show evidence of a negative PCR test taken no more than 48 hours before time of entry. However, from January 24 a booster (issued no more than 270 days ago) will be sufficient to enter the country.

Do I need to fill in any forms? 

You should check if you need to complete a pre-travel clearance form, no more than 72 hours before you enter Austria.

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