Starting from next Monday, December 20, the lockdown in Austria will come to an end, with the capital city of Vienna being the last part of the country to reopen hotels and restaurants. From the same date, the country is set to reopen for tourism.

“The infection situation in Austria has eased. With Vienna reopening hotels and restaurants/cafés/inns on December 20, the nationwide lockdown in Austria comes to an end. Travel to Austria for touristic purposes is possible again for vaccinated and recovered people!” Austria’s official travel website notes.

Yet, the same announces that entry restrictions have tightened up compared to those that were effective pre-lockdown.

“From December 20, you also need a PCR test unless you have already received the booster jab – if you can’t show a PCR test upon arrival, you immediately have to self-isolate until you can present a negative PCR test,” the website also points out.

The decision comes at a time when a large share of the European Union and Schengen Area countries have already imposed the obligation to test for COVID-19 for all incoming passengers, including those vaccinated and recovered from COVID-19.

The vaccines recognised for entry into Austria are BioNTech/Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Covishield, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sinovac, and Sinopharm. The travellers must have at least two doses of the vaccine, and the final dose must have been taken in the last 270 days. Those who have had a booster dose administered are exempt from the on-arrival PCR test.

At the same time, those with only one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and proof that they have fallen ill from the virus and recovered from it in the past, can also enter the country.

As per those attempting to enter Austria on the basis of a recovery certificate, they must be aware that their certificates are valid only for a period of 180 days from the moment they were detected as infected with COVID-19. Tests showing antibodies in the traveller’s blood are no longer valid for entry into Austria.

Once in the country, travellers are subject to the same rules as Austrian citizens. This means that the 2G rule applies to them as well.

According to the 2G rule, in order to be able to attend places like hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, leisure centres, gyms, cinemas, theatres, Christmas markets, ski lifts/cable cars, hairdressers, proof of vaccination or recovery is required. Access to these countries with only a COVID-19 test is not possible.

Travellers are reminded that the Covishield, Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines are only accepted to enter Austria and not for entering the places listed above.

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