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Factsheet for measure AT-2021-47/2084 Updated – measures in Austria

Rules for winter tourism season 2021/22

Corona Regeln für Wintersaison 2021/22

Country Austria , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 15 November 2021 – 30 April 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 29 November 2021 (updated 01 March 2023)

Background information

Austria's economy depends highly on tourism, and in winter especially on ski tourism for guests from Austria and neighbouring countries. In order to support winter tourism in the second pandemic winter, specific regulations have entered into force, ensuring to enable a safe and healthy winter season for domestic and foreign tourists.

Content of measure

In order to provide for a safe winter season, the Austrian federal ministries of tourism and health provided specific regulations on 20 October 2021 for the winter tourism industry. The legal framework of the existing step-by-step COVID-19 plan forms the background to the winter tourism measures, up to level three (which means an ICU occupancy rate of 20% or 400 occupied intensive care beds by COVID-19 patients).

Rules in the following areas were specified:

  • Gastronomy and accommodation:

In principle the 3-G rule (vaccinated, recovered, tested) applies; since 15 September, the period of validity of antigen tests have been reduced from 48 to 24 hours. When step two of the COVID-19 plan is reached, self-administered antigen test are no longer permitted for entry into restaurants and hotels. When step three of the plan is reached, antigen test are no longer permitted as evidence of entry, instead, only PCR tests are accepted. In order to protect employees and guests, the "Safe Hospitality" test programme is being extended (PCR tests once a week).

  • Night gastronomy and après-ski:

In general, the same rules apply to après-ski as to night gastronomy. At level one of the COVID-19 step plan, guests must show a valid negative PCR test result, proof of vaccination or proof of recovery, in order to be allowed entry (3-G, but only PCR tests accepted and not antigen tests). At level two, the 2-G rule applies (only vaccinated and recovered visitors are granted access). In addition (and depending on the local infection situation), municipalities can adopt more stringent measures such as early curfews.

  • Cableways:

At all steps of the COVID-19 plan, an FFP 2 mask is to be worn in closed or coverable vehicles (gondolas, cabins, coverable chairlifts) and in the closed rooms of the associated stations. From the start of the season on 15 November 2021, the 3-G rule is introduced:

  • 3-G proof is to be checked when tickets are sold.
  • Season ski tickets are only activated for the period of validity of the respective 3-G proof.
  • The operator's control obligations must be reasonable (e.g. a "turnstile control" or repeated check every time the cable car is used would be regarded as unreasonable).
  • The 3-G rule does not apply to users who use the cable car to cover basic needs of daily life (e.g. if the cable car is used as a means of public transport by residents).

  • Christmas markets:

For Christmas markets being defined as occasional markets (and not grocery markets), a 3-G proof is required for access.

In practice, these rules have been in place only for a very short period in time, as on 22 November, a nation-wide lockdown was imposed, with gastronomy (with the exception of takeaway), hotels and Christmas markets being closed.

An exception to the lockdown activities is skiing. Ski lifts (and cableways) may operate, imposing the 2-G rule (either vaccinated or recovered guests) plus the mandatory wearing of an FFP 2 mask during transport in cableways.


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

12 December 2021

Upon the end of the lockdown on 12 December, the 2-G rule (either vaccinated or recovered guests) and mandatory FFP-2 mask wearing have remained in place for ski lifts and cableways. Gastronomy and accomodation, as well as Christmas markets are only available upon 2-G proof and night gastronomy/après ski remains closed all together.

Use of measure

No information available.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Sector specific set of companies
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 No involvement Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


The social partners' involvement is unknown.

Views and reactions

The employer organisation WKO welcomes regulations that allow the tourism industry to open.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      H - Transportation And Storage H49 Land transport and transport via pipelines
      I - Accommodation And Food Service Activities I55 Accommodation
      I56 Food and beverage service activities

This case is not occupation-specific.



Eurofound (2021), Rules for winter tourism season 2021/22, measure AT-2021-47/2084 (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.