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For information in English on how to contain the virus, the ÖIF employees are available from Monday to Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at +43 1/715 10 51 - 263! 

Coronavirus safety measures in 17 languages

The page is continuously revised and expanded to include information.

Lifting of the restrictions on movement since 1 May

The restrictions on movement introduced by the Federal Government to contain coronavirus (COVID-19) were lifted at midnight on 30 April and have therefore ceased to apply since 1 May. Nevertheless, protective measures must still be observed. These are being assessed on a continuous basis:

  • The safety distance in public areas of at least one metre between persons who do not, at least temporarily, live in the same household must continue to be kept.
  • The rules on the wearing of masks must be complied with.

You can find further information on the applicable measures and their gradual loosening below.

Relaxation of the COVID-19 Protective Measures

The Federal Government is gradually relaxing the protective measures to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19).

On www.integrationsfonds.at/coronainfo you will find an overview of these measures.

Further and more detailed information in German can be found at:

Last updated: 5 June 2020

 

WORK
  • A distance of at least 1 metre must be maintained in the workplace if the risk of infection cannot be minimised through suitable protective measures.

  • If the minimum distance cannot be maintained due to the specific nature of the occupational activity, other suitable protective measures must be taken to minimise the risk of infection.

  • The requirement to wear nose-mouth protection is only permitted by mutual agreement between the employer and employee.


Measures for Risk Groups:

Persons with previous illnesses receive special protection at their workplace:

  • Risk patients receive a letter from their social insurance agency which they can take to their doctor.
  • On the basis of a checklist, the doctor produces a certificate which the employee gives to his employer in order to receive protection.
  • The employee has three options:
    • He can himself arrange safety at work, for instance a larger room or a specific work environment to minimise the risk of infection.
    • If this is not possible, working from home should be considered.
    • If this is also not possible, the employee should be released from employment; the costs of the refinancing are borne at federal level.

A visit to the doctor is not obligatory, nevertheless persons with previous illnesses have a right to special protection.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Safe travel by public transport requires clear rules, therefore the following applies to passengers:

  • Travel by public transport only if you feel healthy
  • The minimum distance must also be kept inside public means of transport as well as in stations and waiting areas. This rule may be deviated from by way of exception if the number of passengers makes it impossible to maintain a distance of at least one metre, including when boarding and alighting
  • Buy tickets online or from ticket machines
  • Wearing nose-mouth protection for the entire journey as well as on station concourses or in underground (U-Bahn) stations
  • When alighting, leave your seat as late as possible and make sure you keep a safe distance
  • After the journey, dispose of your mask or wash it regularly
EDUCATION

Gradual resumption of schooling:

  • Three start dates
    • Matura pupils and pupils in final (apprentice) classes: 4 May
    • Elementary schools, secondary schools and AHS lower grades: 18 May
    • Remaining schools (AHS upper grades, vocational secondary and high schools): 3 June
  • “Shift operation“ in schools by dividing classes into two groups
    • Approx. 11 pupils per group
    • Example of shift operation: School tuition for Group 1: Monday to Wednesday, Group 2: Thursday and Friday – with a change-around each week
    • “Homework days” on days when there is no school – these can also be performed inside schools (e.g. in the gym).
  • Hygiene handbook with clear instructions for school operations
  • The following are suspended for the rest of the school year:
    • Physical education – the school can, however, offer a voluntary exercise and sports programme (in addition to the existing timetable)
    • Written school exams (oral examinations between two grades or to improve a grade, and re-examinations will be held).
    • Having to repeat the year in the event of a fail
    • The class or school board deciding how to proceed if a pupil fails several times
  • Matura and apprenticeship final exams can be held under strict conditions.
  • Events such as graduation parties, school leaving parties, etc. can be held.
  • Kindergarten or school care continues to be guaranteed for all children if no home care can be provided.
  • Tuition in universities continues by digital means until 30 June – Examinations requiring personal attendance can be held (in exceptional cases) if the relevant conditions are adhered to.
TRADE AND SERVICES
  • Since 1 May, all shops have been able to open for the sale of goods under the following conditions
    • A distance of at least 1 metre must be kept between people who do not, at least temporarily, live in the same household
    • Wearing a nose-mouth mask (not mandatory in outdoor markets)
  • Hairdressers and premises for other services, e.g. pedicures and manicures, can reopen from 1 May under the following conditions:
    • A distance of at least 1 metre must be kept between customer and service provider as well as between people who do not, at least temporarily, live in the same household
    • Nose-mouth protection must be worn
PUBLIC SECTOR
  • Since 18 May, public offices have been open again to the public during business hours.
GASTRONOMY AND HOTELS
  • Since 15 May, restaurants and other premises offering seating have been allowed to open again
  • For the time being, permitted opening times are fixed from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Groups of visitors may be admitted if these
    - comprise a maximum of four adults and their minor children (under 18 years of age)
    - comprise people who live in the same household
  • A minimum distance of one metre must be kept between the groups of visitors or other suitable protective measures must be put in place to ensure spatial separation. This does not apply to persons sitting at the same table.
  • When entering the restaurant, a minimum distance of 1 metre must be kept from other people (who do not belong to the group of visitors) and nose-mouth protection must be worn indoors.
  • When leaving the table, a minimum distance of 1 metre must be kept from other people (who do not belong to the group of visitors).
  • Staff with customer contact must wear mouth-nose protection.
  • Customers are recommended to reserve a table in advance, so as to enable the restaurant operators to plan properly.
  • Food and drink must not be consumed in the immediate vicinity of the serving point (i.e. no consumption at the counter).
  • Night-time catering establishments (discotheques, clubs and bars with business hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.) remain closed until further notice.
    • If bars have suitable seating and can adhere to the required rules on distance, they may also reopen provided that they close business at 11 p.m.
  • Accommodation establishments may be entered from 29 May under the following conditions:
    • A distance of at least 1 metre must be kept in generally accessibly areas between people who do not live in the same household or do not belong to the group of guests in the shared residential unit
    • Wear a nose-mouth mask in the entrance and reception areas
    • The same rules apply in the catering sector as to other food and drink establishments
    • Keep a minimum distance of 1.5 metres in shared bedrooms or use another form of technical protective measure for spatial separationNose-mouth mask requirement for hotel employees in contact with customers or use of another form of technical protective measure for spatial separation
    • Nose-mouth mask requirement for hotel employees in contact with customers or use of another form of technical protective measure for spatial separation
RELIGIOUS SERVICES AND PLACES OF WORSHIP
  • Admission to enclosed spaces in places of worship is permitted under the following conditions:
    • 10 square metres of space are available per person
    • A distance of at least 1 metre must be kept between people who do not, at least temporarily, live in the same household
    • Nose-mouth protection must be worn, apart from when you are in your allocated seat.
  • During services of worship outdoors, a minimum distance of 1 metre must be kept from people who do not live in the same household.
  • It has been possible to hold religious services again since 15 May, subject to certain conditions. The general hygiene rules and social distancing rules must be complied with (10 square metres per person, nose-mouth protection, safety distance of 2 metres, regular disinfection of surfaces or fixtures, e.g. door handles, introduction of stewarding)
  • The requirement to wear nose-mouth protection and to keep to the minimum distance does not apply if the performance of religious acts is required by recognised churches and religious communities.
  • Up to 30 people may attend a funeral.
ART, CULTURE AND EVENTS
  • Locations offering art and culture reopened on 18 May.
    • These include museums, exhibition halls, libraries and private and public archives
  • Events involving up to 100 persons are possible from 29 May.
  • Events involving up to 250 people in enclosed spaces and up to 500 people in the open air are possible from 1 July.
  • Events with allocated and identified seats in enclosed spaces involving up to 500 people and in the open air involving up to 750 people are permitted from 1 August.
  • Weddings and funerals may be held with up to 100 people in attendance.
  • The following applies to (public) events:
    • A distance of at least 1 metre must be kept between people who do not live in the same household
    • Nose-mouth masks must be worn when entering and inside event venues in enclosed spaces – this does not apply to the allocated seat as long as a distance of 1 metre can be kept
SPORT AND RECREATION
  • It has been possible to visit wildlife parks and zoos again since 15 May.
  • Admission to sports venues is permitted from 29 May under the following conditions:
    • When practising sport: A distance of at least 2 metres must be kept between people who do not live in the same household. A shorter distance is exceptionally permitted for short periods of time.
    • Otherwise: A distance of at least 1 metre must be kept between people who do not live in the same household.
    • Nose-mouth protection must be worn indoors
  • Extracurricular youth education and youth work programmes may be utilised.
  • Swimming pools, bathing ponds and sauna facilities may be entered from 29 May under the following conditions:
    • A distance of at least 1 metre must be kept between people who do not live in the same household
    • Wear a nose-mouth mask – this does not apply in wet areas such as showers and indoor swimming pools or outdoors
    • Nose-mouth mask requirement for employees in contact with customers or use of another form of technical protective measure for spatial separation
  • Recreational facilities may be visited from 29 May, provided that the following conditions are met:
    • A distance of at least 1 metre must be kept between people who do not live in the same household
    • A nose-mouth mask must be worn (not mandatory outdoors)
    • Nose-mouth mask requirement for employees in contact with customers
  • It will be possible to enter facilities for the practice of prostitution from 1 July.

Information about compulsory masks

  • Wearing a mask is obligatory in all open premises (supermarket, construction markets, as well as further business premises for contractors)
  • Wearing a mask is obligatory in all public trainsports
  • Wearing a mask inside a car is mandatory if the occupants include people who do not live in the same household (e.g. taxi)
  • Wearing a mask is mandatory when entering public areas inside enclosed spaces, e.g. station concourses, underground (U-Bahn) stations
  • Wearing a mask at events is mandatory, apart from when you are in your allocated seat.
  • It's also possible to wear a scarf as a mouth-nose-protection for coverage instead of a mask
  • Employers and employees have to decide together about the usage of masks at work
  • Children aged 0-5 years and persons who cannot reasonably be expected to wear a mask for health reasons are not required to wear a mask
  • In spite of wearing a mask, the minimum distance of one metre has to be maintained to persons not living in the same houshold.

Frequently asked Questions. You will find the right answers here.

How is the disease treated?

There is no vaccine. Treatment is symptomatic, i.e. by alleviating the symptoms of the disease, for example by giving antipyretic agents.

How does the illness manifest itself?

Common coronavirus infections affecting humans are mostly mild and symptom-free. Frequent indicators of an infection with the novel coronavirus are, among others, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, or even death. Mild illness courses (symptoms of a cold) as well as infections without any symptoms can occur. Some cases can progress mildly (symptoms of a cold) and some cases do not show any symptoms.

Currently, experts assume that the course of the illness for the novel coronavirus is less severe than for SARS and MERS.

Video "How does the illness manifest itself?" (AGES/Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety)

How dangerous is the coronavirus?

As of today, there is no definitive information about how dangerous the virus is. For the time being, the novel coronavirus seems to be considerably less dangerous than MERS (with a mortality rate of up to 30 percent) and SARS (approx. 10 percent mortality rate). For the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the assumed mortality rate is up to three percent. Just like for the seasonal flu caused by influenza viruses (mortality rate under 1 percent), especially elderly people and people with a weak immune system are affected.

Video "Wo dangerous is the novel coronavirus?" (AGES/Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety)

What can we do to protect high-risk groups in Austria, such as elderly people and people with a weak immune system?

Hygiene measures are to be followed, just like during the flu season. The most important and most effective measure to protect yourself and others from getting a respiratory infection are good hand hygiene, correct cough etiquette, and keeping a minimum distance (approx. 1 to 2 meters) to people who might be infected.

What is corona-related short-term working?
  • A new and easier option for short-term working
  • Available for up to six months for the time being

 

More answers to questions about “corona-related short-term working” is available in the latest publication of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labor, Family and Youth.