Partial lockdown in Austria: night travel is prohibited! Sightseeing is not encouraged!

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European countries are preparing for the 3rd wave of the pandemic with the new coronavirus. Although we have good news from vaccine manufacturers, and some countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel have begun the vaccination process, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a global toll. It will be several months before we hope that the pandemic is nearing its end.

In this pandemic context, Austria has adopted new measures on entry and transit conditions, but also internally. These will be applied until January 10, 2021 inclusive.

Partial lockdown in Austria

When traveling in public, the following measures must be observed:

  • In outdoor public spaces and indoors, a distance of at least one meter from people who do not live in the same household must be maintained.
  • Wearing a protective mask will be mandatory in heavily frequented places (eg streets / shopping centers, etc.). The obligation to wear a protective mask will be imposed at work, wherever space conditions do not allow compliance with distance (offices).
  • The ban on leaving home between 20:00 and 06:00 extends until January 2021. Exceptions: to go to work (where "telework" is not possible), for urgent personal needs, in case of imminent danger, to provide assistance to others or for physical or mental recovery, to resolve administrative and legal issues which does not suffer postponement, participation in elections and the winter holidays. On 24, 25 December and 31 December 2020, respectively, the exit restriction will be lifted.
  • A maximum of ten people can meet on the occasion of the legal Christmas holidays, from December 24/25, without imposing restrictions on the number of households to which these people belong.
  • On December 31st / New Year's Eve, no night out bans apply, but private meetings will be allowed between max. 6 adults and 6 children from max. 2 households.
  • Restricting contacts to a single person outside the household, both in private and public spaces. In addition to housing, the police can control other private spaces: outbuildings, garages, yards, etc.
  • Catering industry, restaurants, hotels remain closed until January 7, 2021. Delivery services are possible, including overnight.

Skiing will be allowed from December 24, 2020

  • All contact sports are still banned, indoor sports facilities are closed to amateur athletes. Skiing will be allowed from December 24, 2020 (as a recreational / sports activity or in the context of a "one day" activity), but not in the form of a ski vacation. It will not be possible to organize parties on the slopes, both for Austrians and for foreigners who will be in Austria at the end of this year. The cable cars will operate in compliance with strict hygiene and restraint measures.
  • Leisure places remain closed, except for parks and churches.
  • Commercial units reopen. Failure to comply with the measures will be penalized by the competent authorities.

Unfortunately, most European countries discourage tourist travel, and Austria is no exception. This can be seen from the measures adopted for the winter holidays. Let's hope that 2021 will be better, calmer and with more freedom of movement.

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