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Factsheet for measure AT-2021-45/2082 Updated – measures in Austria

3-G-Rule in the workplace

3-G-Regelung am Arbeitsort

Country Austria , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 01 November 2021 – 04 March 2022
Context COVID-19
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Protection of workers, adaptation of workplace
– Occupational health and safety
Author Bernadette Allinger (Forba) and Eurofound
Measure added 25 November 2021 (updated 19 June 2023)

Background information

Due to increasing COVID-19 infection rates, the Austrian federal government introduced the "3-G" rule for all employees and employers at the workplace. This rule requires that people who are in contact with clients or colleagues must either have been vaccinated, recently tested negative for COVID-19 or recovered from the virus. The regulation is included in the 5th COVID-19 Protective Measures Ordinance issued by the Federal Minister for Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection and has come into force on 1 November 2021. Until 15 November, wearing an FFP-2 face mask as an alternative to providing 3-G proof was accepted.

Content of measure

Employees and employers are allowed to enter places of work where physical contact with other people (e.g. clients, colleagues) takes place if they have a 3-G certificate. The three G's stand for the first letter of the German words "geimpft" (vaccinated), "getestet" (tested) and "genesen" (recovered).

"3-G" proof can be shown in the following ways: the Austrian "Green Pass" app, the EU's Digital COVID certificate or the vaccination booklet, or proof of a test certificate.

  • Vaccination ("geimpft"): The proof of vaccination may be demonstrated through evidence of the second COVID-19 vaccination (not more than 360 (270 from 6 December 2021) days ago) or in case of vaccines for which only one vaccination is planned initially, from the 22nd day after (and not more than 270 days ago) or vaccination after a proven infection (after a minimum of 21 days and the vaccination must not be more than 360 (from December 6, 2021: 270) days ago), or a further (third) vaccination (not more than 360 (270 from 6 December 2021) days ago) and at least 120 days have passed since the last vaccination (at least 14 days if only one shot was intended).

  • Recovery ("genesen"): Proof of recovery or medical confirmation that the person had COVID-19 within the last 180 days; or a legal separation notice issued within the past 180 days.

  • Negative COVID-19 test ("getestet): A negative result of an antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 by an authorised body may be presented (valid 24 hours), or a negative result of a molecular biological test for SARS-CoV-2 (valid for 72 hours).

Federal states are free to issue stricter regulations. For example, in Vienna a PCR-test is only valid for 48 hours.

In certain sectors, the so-called 2.5G-rule applies, which means that for proof of tested, only molecular biological tests are accepted and not antigen tests. Those sectors include night gastronomy or work at events with more than 250 persons, as well as hospitals and long-term care (institutions and mobile care). In addition, if only a test is shown as proof, an FFP2-mask is to be worn in direct customer contact.

It lies in the responsibility of the employer to monitor compliance with the 3-G rule. If employees do not present a current and valid 3-G proof, they are not allowed to enter the place of work. The employer can release the person from work unpaid. As an alternative, home office can be arranged. Ultimately, however, the employer has the option of terminating the employment relationship.

Employees who do not adhere to the 3-G rule face an administrative penalty of up to €500; employers face an administrative fine of up to €3,600 if they breach their obligations in connection with the 3-G rule.

Exempt from the 3-G rule are employers/employees with a maximum of two physical contacts per day that take place outdoors and each do not last longer than 15 minutes (e.g. foresters or professional drivers driving alone).


The following updates to this measure have been made after it came into effect.

04 March 2022

With the amendment of the relevant decree, the legal basis for controlling the 3-G rule in most business areas has been removed.

19 November 2021

Since 19 November, employees in the regional state and capital city of Vienna have to wear an FFP2 mask in retail and services with body contact (e.g. hairdressers).

In offices with more than one employee, an FFP2 mask is to be worn if there are no other protective devices (plexiglass partitions). If there is no contact with other people, there is no obligation to use a mask.

Use of measure

This regulation applies nation-wide and only few exemptions are in place. Thus, it applies to the vast majority of employees and employers.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Applies to all businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative Agreed (outcome) incl. social partner initiative
Form Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal Any other form of consultation, institutionalised (as stable working groups or committees) or informal

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Social partners jointly
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


The social partners negotiated the 3-G-rule together with the health and labour ministries.

Views and reactions

Both sides of the social partners are supportive of the measure.



Eurofound (2021), 3-G-Rule in the workplace, measure AT-2021-45/2082 (measures in Austria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.