End of 2G restrictions from Saturday – Coronavirus –

Even unvaccinated people are allowed to go back to restaurants, coffee houses and hotels
©Canva; APA

A week after the expiry of the 2G restrictions in retail, there is also a relaxation in gastronomy, tourism and many other areas.

Where the 2G rule previously applied, 3G will suffice from Saturday – even unvaccinated people with a current PCR or antigen test can then visit bars or stay in hotels. Vienna is different this time, too, where the unvaccinated are still denied access to restaurants.

The easing steps that will apply from February 19 – i.e. 3G everywhere where 2G was previously required – also affect a number of other areas, such as cable cars, bus trips, excursion boats, body-related services (especially hairdressers), sports facilities, events as well as trade and public fairs.

Shortened validity of PCR tests

The validity of PCR tests will be reduced from 72 to 48 hours for the catering industry – the tests will remain valid for 72 hours for all other areas. Here, too, Vienna is more cautious: PCR tests are only valid there for 48 hours.

However, it is questionable whether the change from 2G to 3G will have a major impact in the catering industry, because those who have not been vaccinated still have to put up with the additional effort of the PCR test and many will possibly wait for the general expiry of the access restrictions on March 5th.

Curfew easing only in March

The curfew at midnight and the ban on night gastronomy will remain in place for the time being, and the general obligation to wear masks in closed rooms will continue to apply. A corresponding regulation as a legal basis for the easing does not yet exist.

3G in the workplace remains

There are no relaxations in areas with particularly vulnerable people, such as in old people’s and nursing homes. The 3G rule in the workplace also still applies.

There has been no mask requirement in elementary schools since February 14th, and from next Monday (February 21st) it will fall in all schools.

The rules apply from February 19th to March 4th:

  • Conversion of all 2G settings to 3G:
    • 3G in cable cars, on bus trips and on excursion boats
    • 3G in close-to-the-body services
    • 3G in sports facilities (instead of 2G)
    • 3G at events (instead of 2G)
    • 3G as a general rule on entry (excluding virus variant areas) will be rolled out during the week of February 21st
    • 3G at trade and public fairs
  • In highly vulnerable settings (retirement and nursing homes/hospitals), 2G+ remains a requirement for visitors, whereby antigen or PCR tests are valid
  • 2.5G for employees in nursing homes and hospitals
  • Curfew remains at midnight
  • Continued ban on night catering, stand-up catering and bar operations; Ban on consumption from 51 people
  • 3G in the workplace will remain

New entry regulations from Tuesday

Only on Tuesday (February 22nd) will the entry requirements for Austria be adapted to the relaxed measures, and then the 3G rule will apply. However, entry from virus variant areas is exempt from the relaxation.

From March 5th almost no more measures

The next major relaxation step will follow on March 5th, when – except in Vienna – all 2G/3G access restrictions and the curfew should fall and night gastronomy will be allowed to open again. The FFP2 mask requirement continues to apply in public transport and in supermarkets, in pharmacies, banks and post offices.


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