Like other sectors, the hospitality and tourism industries are seeing a relaxation a week after the end of 2G restrictions in retail and near-body service providers (e.g., hairdressers).
Relaxations from 5.3.
After 2G out in the trade
Where up to now, the 2G rule has applied, 3G will suffice from Saturday – even unvaccinated people will then be allowed to visit pubs or stay overnight in hotels with a current PCR or antigen test. Vienna is also different here; unvaccinated people are still denied access to restaurants.
3G replaces 2G
The relaxation steps effective from February 19 – i.e., 3G everywhere 2G was previously mandatory – also affect several other areas, such as cable cars, bus travel, excursion boats, sports venues, events, and trade and public fairs.
The validity of PCR tests will be reduced from 72 to 48 hours for the catering industry – for all other areas, the tests will remain valid for 72 hours. Vienna is also taking a more cautious approach: PCR tests are generally only valid for 48 hours.
A consequence of the 3G rule in gastronomy
Whether the change from 2G to 3G will have a significant impact in the catering industry is questionable, however, because the unvaccinated still have to take on the additional effort of the PCR test, and many will possibly wait for the available expiry of the access restrictions on March 5.
The 24-hour curfew and the ban on nighttime catering will remain in place for the time being, and the general requirement to wear a mask in enclosed areas will also continue to apply. A corresponding ordinance as a legal basis for the relaxations does not yet exist.
The 3G rule in force in the workplace
There will be no relaxation in areas where people are particularly at risk, such as nursing homes and homes for the elderly. The 3G rule in the workplace also continues to apply.
There have already been no mask requirements in elementary schools since February 14, and as of the following Monday (February 21), it will be dropped at all schools.
Adjustment of entry regulations
Only on Tuesday (February 22) the entry requirements to Austria will be adjusted to the simple measures; it is then basically the 3G rule. However, entry from virus variant areas is excluded from the relaxation.
The next major relaxation step will follow on March 5, when – except in Vienna – all 2G/3G access restrictions and the curfew will be lifted, and night restaurants will be allowed to open again. The FFP2 mask requirement will continue to apply in public transportation, supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, and post offices.
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