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.
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.