Austrian authorities have decided to impose strict entry rules to help the country weather another wave of COVID-19 and prevent hospital overcrowding.
Austria currently has a “3-G rule” for incoming travelers, which means that all those with a valid vaccination or recovery certificate, as well as those who have recently submitted a negative test result, can enter the country.
However, due to the high incidence of infection, the rules will be tightened even more. According to the local newspaper, Austria will replace the “3-G Rule” with the “2.5-G-Rule”.
This means that from November 22, when the new rule comes into effect, rapid antigen tests will not be accepted for entry into Austria. Only the other two PCR and certification tests will be recognized, TheSchengen.com reports.
In addition, travelers will also be required to follow stricter entry rules upon arrival in Austria. Previously, passengers were able to use the seven-day PCR test, but in line with the new rules, the validity of the PCR tests will be shortened to 72 hours. Likewise, rapid antigen tests will only be valid for 24 hours instead of 72 hours.
Based on figures provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), Austria has reported only 10,472 new cases of infection in the past 24 hours. Moreover, during the same period, the country recorded 49 deaths bringing the total to 7,370.
Regarding the current situation of COVID-19, the President of Austria, Alexander van der Bellen, said it had been unanimously decided that the country needed to impose effective measures as soon as possible in order to prevent healthcare institutions from being overloaded.
Except for the changes mentioned above, Austria has already imposed a “2-G-Rule” for everyone within the country, including tourists. This means that all persons must provide proof of vaccination or recovery in order to be allowed access to different indoor areas and activities.
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In addition, changes were announced regarding the validity of vaccination certificates. From December 6, vaccination certificates proving that the holder has taken two doses of the vaccine will only be valid for nine months.
The authorities explained that “two-dose vaccinations are only valid for nine months after the second dose on December 6 (previously: 12 months)”.
For the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, it has been confirmed that a single vaccination with this dose will only be recognized until January 3, 2022. From January 4, those vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson will be required to show they have a booster dose in order to be considered fully immunized. upon entering Austria.
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