Corona virus Information

Current questions and answers on coronavirus in Austria and Lower Austria (as of 28 May 2020)

Up-to-date information (as of 28 May 2020, 8 a.m.)

Freedom of movement in public spaces is restricted. Sports fields, playgrounds and other public places will be closed from now on. People are asked to stay at home. Social contacts should only be made with the people with whom they live.

The state of Lower Austria will close ski areas on 15 March 2020. Annaberger Lifte, Gemeindealpe Mitterbach, Hochkar Bergbahnen, Rax-Seilbahn and Semmering-Hirschenkogel have ceased operations for this winter season.

These measures are carried out in close coordination between the public authorities and the Lower Austrian Tourism. The health and safety of the Lower Austrian population, the employees of tourist companies and the guests are of utmost importance.

For more information, please contact our FAQs.

FAQs on corona virus (as of 28 May 2020, 8 a.m.)

Are there any restrictions on entry and exit?

Entry restrictions, the Austrian National Tourist Office has clearly presented the Austria Tourist Board on its website: https://www.austriatourism.com/presse/reisewarnungen/
Current information on entry and exit can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs: https://www.bmeia.gv.at/
The Austrian Airlines announced on 16 March that it was cancelling all regular flights.

Update 30 March: From Wednesday April 1, protective masks (mouth and nose protection) are to be used as a further measure. These are not intended to protect the wearer, but to limit the spread through the air. The masks will be distributed via supermarket chains from Wednesday. From this point on, it is mandatory to wear the masks in the supermarket. In the medium term, these should be mandatory wherever you meet other people.

Update: Due to the corona virus crisis, the Czech Republic is closing its borders for travellers from 15 "risk" countries, including Austria. There are also changes in entry in Hungary and Slovenia, such as border controls. Slovakia has imposed a general entry ban.

Flights from Spain, France or Switzerland will be cancelled.

Austria will implement border control with Switzerland.

Update 15 March: Entry regulations will be further tightened: In future, travellers from the UK, the Netherlands, Russia and Ukraine will also be unable to enter Austria.

Update 16 March: Austrian Airlines (AUA) cancels all regular flights.

Update 17 March, 8 a.m.: Hungary closed its borders at midnight. Only people with Hungarian citizenship may enter the country. Freight traffic may continue to enter and pass through.

Update 19 March: As of Monday 23 March, ÖBB will switch to the Sunday timetable. Rail freight traffic will remain in full operation. According to VOR, there will be no changes in the timetable of the regional buses in Lower Austria for the time being.

Update 23 March: VOR also reports reduced timetable. For details see the link above.

Update 30 March: From Wednesday April 1, protective masks (mouth and nose protection) are to be used as a further measure. These are not intended to protect the wearer, but to limit the spread through the air. The masks will be distributed via supermarket chains from Wednesday. From this point on, it is mandatory to wear the masks in the supermarket. In the medium term, these should be mandatory wherever you meet other people.
The federal government has ordered hotels to be closed for tourist overnight stays.

Update 3 April: Entry into tourist accommodation establishments for the purpose of recreation and leisure is prohibited from 4 April 2020 - this provision currently remains in force until 24 April 2020 inclusive. Exceptions are made for accommodation for the purpose of care and assistance to persons in need of support, for professional reasons or to meet an urgent housing need.

Update 6 April: According to today's press conference of the Federal Government, a gradual relaxation of the measures is planned after Easter. Thus, from 14 April shops with an area of less than 400m2, DIY stores and garden centres will be allowed to open, from 1 May all shops, including hairdressers, will be allowed to open.
Restaurants and hotels are to be allowed to open in stages by mid-May at the earliest, with a final decision on this issue to be made at the end of April.
The initial restrictions will remain unchanged until the end of April.

Update 8 April: At today's press conference Minister Köstinger and Minister Schallenberg announced a gradual "ramp-up" of the tourism industry from mid-May onwards and pleaded for holidays in Austria. In principle, freedom of travel will only be restored once the coronavirus has been globally defeated, said Schallenberg.

Update 17 April: The government announced a gradual relaxation of measures for cultural industries. As a first step, places of artistic presentation, for example museums, could open from mid-May onwards. Major events, for example in the music and theatre sector, will not be allowed before the end of August.

Update 21 April: At a press conference on Tuesday, Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz specifies that catering establishments may also be open in the evening (closing time 11 pm.) from mid-May. All employees must wear masks.

Update 28th April: In today's press conference, Minister Elisabeth Köstinger announced that gastronomy businesses may open from 15th May, leisure facilities/excursion destinations from 29th May, outdoor animal parks already on 15th May. Accommodation providers may open again from 29 May. Certain regulations apply in each case and must be observed.

Update 4 May: As of today, ÖBB will again operate according to the regular timetable. The Niederösterreich Bahnen will start the regular timetable again on 11th (Mariazellerbahn & Citybahn Waidhofen). From 29 May, the Gemeindealpe Mitterbach, the Schneebergbahn and the Wunderalm will start into the summer season. Tourist railway products (Reblausexpress, Wachaubahn, Schneebergbahn, Waldviertelbahn and the tourist offer of the Mariazellerbahn) start into the season from 4 July.

Update 13 May: The Federal Chancellery confirmed that the borders with Germany will be reopened on 15 June.

In catering establishments, four adults and their children are allowed to sit on a table. A distance of one metre must be kept from other guests. Tables should be reserved so that there are no queues or gatherings of people. Employees who have contact with guests must wear a mouth and nose protector.

Exit restrictions in their current form expire on 30 April. From 1 May, the general rule will be that people with whom you do not live in the same household must be kept at a distance of one metre. These regulations will apply until the end of June and will be continuously evaluated until then.

A maximum of 10 people can meet in public space, provided that the minimum distance of one metre is guaranteed. For funerals the maximum number of participants is 30.

What are the limitations in public life?

Measures to contain the spread of the virus and affect public life: Until the beginning of April, all events with more than 500 participants in outdoor areas or more than 100 participants indoors have been cancelled. This is valid for the time being until the 3rd of April. The roman. kath. church limits the number of worshippers in enclosed spaces to 100 people.

Shops, apart from those that provide basic services, such as grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, etc., will be closed.

Restaurants, bars and cafes will reduce their opening hours from Monday 16 March and will only be open until 3pm. From Tuesday the 17th of March 2020, all restaurants will be closed. Food supply is provided through supermarkets and delivery services. There are currently no nationwide government closures for accommodation establishments.

Accommodation must be provided for international guests in Austria, some of who are unable to leave.

  • Necessary accommodation must also be provided for service providers such as key workers and aid workers.
  • In addition, an orderly departure of all guests requires a certain lead time.
  • Voluntary closures are possible, in any case.

Update: The freedom of movement in public spaces is restricted. Sports fields, playgrounds and other public places will be closed from now on. People are being asked to stay at home. Social contacts should only be made with the people with whom they live. Gatherings of five people in one place are prohibited.

The house or apartment should only be left for the following reasons:

  • Professional work that cannot be postponed
  • Urgently needed errands such as food
  • Help for other people. And here, too, keep a distance from each other!

What are the restrictions on public transport?

Currently, all means of transport in the Eastern Region Transport Association (VOR) operate according to plan. Information on public transport concerning coronavirus can be found on the website of the Eastern Region Transport Association (VOR):
https://www.vor.at/service/aktuelles/detail/news/informationen-betreffend-corona-virus/

Update 14 April: ÖBB and VOR announced that from today, after a reduced timetable, the offer will be extended again.

Are excursion destinations, cultural establishments etc. closed?

Update 28 April: The initial restrictions in their current form expire on 30 April. From 1 May, the general rule will be that people with whom you do not live in the same household must be kept at a distance of one metre. These regulations will apply until the end of June and will be continuously evaluated until then. A maximum of 10 people can meet in public space, provided that the minimum distance of one metre is guaranteed. For funerals the maximum number of participants is 30.

Update 17 April: The government announced a gradual relaxation of measures for cultural industries. As a first step, places of artistic presentation, for example museums, could open from mid-May onwards.

Apart from already cancelled events (due to too restrictions on number of participants), many excursion destinations have already temporarily ceased operations, e.g. the Museum Lower Austria and the venues of the Lower Austrian cultural economy, until and including the 3rd of April. The Kunsthalle Krems, the Krems Caricature Museum, the Landesgalerie Niederösterreich and the Artothek Niederösterreich will also be closed until the 3rd of April. The establishments of Schönbrunn Palace are also closed until the 3rd of April, both Schloss Hof and Schloss Niederweiden in Lower Austria. Further companies are expected to follow – please check the companies' websites directly to find out if they are open or closed!

Can I cancel a holiday I have already booked?

As a rule, the standard cancellation conditions of the accommodation operation apply. Please contact the booked accommodation and, if applicable, your travel insurance.

The Austrian Chamber of Commerce answers further legal questions relating to the corona virus under: https://www.wko.at/branchen/tourismus-freizeitwirtschaft/reisebueros/rechtsfragen-coronovirus.html

An appeal from the Austrian Federal Government:

In a press conference at the 10th of March, the Austrian Federal Government appealed to each individual: the aim is to curb the further spread of the corona virus. Social contacts should be reduced to a minimum. In particular, protective measures should be observed for older citizens and other risk groups.