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Austria bans unvaccinated (inc children 12+) and those vaccinated 9+ months ago from hotels

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If you have a ski holiday booked in Austria this Winter, you may have a problem.

The Austrian Government has announced sweeping new coronavirus restrictions which will come into force on 5th December. There is no let-off for children over 12 under the initial plans.

Austria is currently seeing a sharp rise in covid cases due to low levels of vaccination.

Hotel Aurelio Lech Austria

This is what will happen from 5th December, as I read it:

  • adults will not be allowed into Austria without quarantine if their second dose of coronavirus vaccine was received more than 9 months ago (the current rule is 12 months) – booster vaccinations will not count as these do not show in the scannable NHS covid app
  • anyone who cannot show full vaccination (two doses, the latter delivered less than 9 months ago) or proof of recovery will not be allowed into hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, leisure centres, gyms, cinemas, museums or theatres – children over 12 are not exempt

As the rules are written, children from the UK aged 12+ will be banned from entering hotels and restaurants in Austria because they will not have received two doses of coronavirus vaccination. They are still allowed to enter the country as long as they are travelling with a vaccinated adult.

The official Government tourist website says that ‘a solution is being worked on’ for children aged 12+ but there is no indication of what this may be. It would be difficult to give children of tourists a waiver to allow them to stay in a hotel when unvaccinated children of Austrian citizens would be banned.

The UK Government is also planning to update the NHS app so that booster jabs show, although there is no time line for this.

Note that gov.uk has not been updated to reflect these changes and still says that a covid vaccination within 360 days of arrival is accepted.

You can find out more on austria.info here.

Comments (154)

  • Cinimo says:

    I think you are missing “not” in the second point: “… will be allowed into hotels…”

  • RK1 says:

    I was thinking the same

  • NFH says:

    How is the Austrian legislation worded? With respect to 9 months, does it refer to the second dose or to most recent dose? If it’s the most recent dose, then boosters would count.

    • Rob says:

      Booster jabs don’t show in the NHS app.

      • Bill says:

        This will hopefully begin to focus the minds of NHSX

      • NFH says:

        My question is about what the Austrian legislation says, not whether the NHS app can show boosters yet. In any case, it’s only a matter of time before the NHS app and other EU-format apps show boosters.

        • Roy says:

          Other EU-format apps apparently do show boosters already. It’s just our very special British supposedly EU-compatible app that doesn’t.

      • Nick says:

        Rob – you are wrong. Booster jabs are clearly shown in the NHS app. I have just logged in to my mother’s NHS app and the booster jab is clearly showing there. It is not however showing in the separate and differently named “NHS Covid 19” app but the NHS / Government has stated that the “NHS Covid 19” app is being updated so that will also soon show the booster jabs

        • stevenhp1987 says:

          It’s not shown on the NHS covid pass. It only shows on “your gp health record”. This doesn’t contain enough information, e.g. Batch number and can easily be photoshopped so I wouldn’t imagine they would accept it.

        • Rob says:

          This is the one that is scanned, however.

        • Fiona says:

          Booster jabs are NOT being recorded in the Scottish app and appears they are not in a hurry to do so. I have emailed my MSP (not an SNP one!) to urge them to do something about it.

        • Roy says:

          The doses are shown, but there is no QR code generated yet for the third dose under the EU-compatible “Travel” COVID PASS.

  • Ian M says:

    “Austria is currently seeing a sharp rise in covid cases due to low levels of vaccination.”

    You write that like it’s an undeniable fact. Are you sure that’s the reason?

    Singapore has the 4th highest vaccination rate in the world, yet is experiencing a record number of cases..

    • TGLoyalty says:

      It’s as if the words “Vaccinated people still catch covid and still pass on covid” just get wiped from peoples memory as soon as they hear them.

      Not like Rob doesn’t have first hand experience of the above.

      • patrick C says:

        Incidence is 50% lower and death rate 90% lower.
        Or kind of what vaccines are supposed to do…

        • TGLoyalty says:

          “death rate 90% lower”

          That’s exactly what they are meant to do.

          So Austria is introducing this policy because it is worried about your ability to survive covid?

          • Max says:

            Is it 90% lower because of the vaccines or because the vulnerable, weak people have already died before and we are now facing a selection bias?

          • Roy says:

            No, it’s instituting this policy because it’s worried about the ability of its health system to cope with the increasing number of hospitalised patients.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        “Austria is currently seeing a sharp rise in covid cases due to low levels of vaccination.”
        You write that like it’s an undeniable fact. Are you sure that’s the reason?

        It is an undeniable fact that vaccination reduces transmission, hence low vaccination rates increase transmission if you look at the evidence available. “Vaccinated people still catch covid and still pass on covid” is true but many people (deliberately, or through stupidity or ignorance) interpret this as black and white … i.e they interpret it as vaccination has no effect on the risk of getting infected or passing it on.

        So let’s talk about RISK. Your RISK of catching Covid for each individual contact is vastly reduced if you are vaccinated. We can argue about numbers, but 80-90% lower is a reasonable estimate given the data we have.
        Your RISK of passing it on to others should you be infected and yet be in contact with others is substantially lower. 50-60% lower is a reasonable estimate here.

        Here’s an article that does a good job explaining all this with links to primary evidence.
        https://www.newscientist.com/article/2294250-how-much-less-likely-are-you-to-spread-covid-19-if-youre-vaccinated/?

        Now that’s obviously just one factor. If your risk of catching Covid is reduced by 90% due to vaccination but your number of close physical contacts now has increased x20 compared to lockdown (when you were unvaccinated), then your overall risk of catching Covid on any given day has increased x2 compared to during lockdown despite your risk per contact being 90% lower due to the protection offered by the vaccine. Even a highly effective vaccine cannot counteract the massive change in risk from living in an open society vs a locked down one (a fact that gives rise to various statistics that the antivax movement can misuse). It does mean transmission rates in a vaccinated population are massively lower than they would have been if everything else was the same but the population was not vaccinated. Hope that all makes sense.

        That said, I still think the Austrian restrictions are stupid and done badly. 😀

        • Anuj says:

          Wow finally an opinion that isn’t black and white

        • TGLoyalty says:

          He’s an undeniable fact vaccine passports are discriminatory.

          “It is an undeniable fact that vaccination reduces transmission”

          If you mean It reduce the chances of catching it and therefore passing it on I agree with you. Plenty of evidence in other studies suggest if you have covid it doesn’t matter if you’re vaccinated or not when it comes to passing it on.

          If testing isn’t good enough and only good anti body responses matter for these settings why aren’t people who have had covid in the past 6 months considered in the same manner. Neither are tested to check they’ve actually had a good response to the jab/virus anyway!

          If you really want these settings to be safer why shouldn’t everyone just have to take a test in the last 24/48 hrs rather than this vaccine coercion crap.

          • Daniel says:

            +10

          • Cat says:

            TGLoyalty – Savage Squirrel was helpful enough to link an article backing up what he was saying.

            If there is plenty of evidence in other studies suggesting that it doesn’t matter if you’re vaccinated or not when it comes to passing it on, could you link a few of those plentiful studies, please?

            Thanks Savage Squirrel. It’s nice to see someone who’s well informed, informing others on this topic.

          • Char Char says:

            +20

          • Economist_Nearby says:

            True – vaccine passports discriminate against the idiots who haven’t been vaccinated.

          • Bagoly says:

            “discrimination” is OK, indeed required in more-or-less meritocracies where exam results/qualifications/age are used for anything.
            What is not OK (gender, orientation, body colour, hair colour etc) is a shortening of “prejudicial discrimination”
            Most of the claims around health fall over if one adds back the missing “prejudicial” – they are based on relevant factors, not on irrelevant factors.

        • Lyn says:

          Thank for very much this article and your comments / risk estimates, Savage Squirrel.

    • Bagoly says:

      And to remove an ambiguity (at least I read it wrongly!):
      The level of vaccination in Austria is just above Switzerland and just below Germany, so not low relative to other countries, but, as Savage Squirrel points out, too low in absolute terms (to keep the serious case numbers below what the Austrian government views as acceptable).

  • Alfred says:

    Yawn. Bye bye Austria.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      +1

      • patrick C says:

        This is coming everywhere, whether we like it or not… austria is just ahead of the game for once

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Sounds like a crap game.

        • Ian M says:

          If this is the game, then it’s Lithuania who are the most ahead in Europe. The unvaccinated are not even allowed into supermarkets

          • Ryan says:

            Actually, yes they are (1st hand experience) all you need to do is show a proof of negative test within the last 48 hours (lat flow)

            Once you have the original PDF, it’s really not difficult to update the date is it…

          • Max says:

            Sweden is even more ahead.

            As they already had implemented most of the Agenda 2030 goals from Klaus $chwabs WEF (cashless society+biometrics for tracking, renting instead of owning, multicultural society without a national identity,…), Sweden did not need any lockdowns to enforce ‘The Great Reset’.

        • Heran says:

          Not likely in Sweden, Norway, or many red states in the US.

        • Char Char says:

          Eh, they are making a big deal of cases when it is clear the death/hospitalisation rates are not in line with the previous waves and similar to other countries so little chance of over running health care services as previous waves.

          So the question is what the purpose of all this is, well what they do gain is data and the ability to track people like never before and divert a lot of money to big corps.

          • Andrew says:

            I don’t believe in grand conspiracy theories. The purpose of this (as has been politicians’ motives all throughout the pandemic) is to be seen to be doing something so that they can deflect blame for any deaths. If there are 50k deaths and you’ve done nothing well then you’re to blame. If there are 50k deaths and you’ve done something well then it would have been far worse without your actions. Politicians only care about what they’ve always cared about: re-election.

            Comparisons between England, Wales, NI and Scotland over the last few months have shown that masks and vaccine passports make next to no difference. Much as I dislike them the English government seem to have accepted that there’ll continue to be small waves as we move towards the virus becoming endemic and as long as people are vaccinated there’s little point in further restrictions.

            Maybe we’re just fortunate in the UK that the majority of people got vaccinated willingly. I suspect this coercion towards vaccination happening elsewhere will turn out to be terribly counter productive.

  • Mr(s) Entitled says:

    I cancelled my ski holiday to Austria when the lack of Pret’s outside of London was brought to my attention yesterday. Bullet dodged!

  • Fiona says:

    I think I’ve just ended my love affair with Austria! Had ski hol cancelled 2 days before Austria locked down on 14 Mar 2020. Last time I skied was Jan 2019. My 2nd vax was 6 May and ski hol is 12 Mar. So no go for me but the other 3 in group can go. Fan-bloody-tastic! 😡

    • Andrew H says:

      I had to leave Ischgl on the Friday eve at the end of my holiday within the hour or be shut in the resort. Took 5 hours to drive out of the valley. Luckily I had a hire car so wasn’t sitting on a bus.

  • Gareth says:

    Boosters show in the NHS app in your medical records. But they don’t show on the covid vaccination certificate it generates However I doubt if the Austrians will take any notice of your medical records

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