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EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure AT-2022-32/2856 – measures in Austria

COVID-19 traffic restrictions instead of isolation

COVID-19 Verkehrsbeschränkungen statt Isolation

Country Austria , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 August 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 13 September 2022 (updated 20 September 2022)

Background information

Like in virtually all countries of the industrialised world, specific quarantine rules applied for persons living in Austria when they contracted COVID-19 (ten days in quarantine with the possibility of reducing it to five days in case a negative PCR test could be provided).

With the changed properties of the Omicron variant, the federal government has argued that the quarantine could be abolished by 1 August 2022, being replaced by so-called traffic restrictions for those tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

Content of measure

Since 1 August 2022, in principle, a ten-day traffic restriction applies to those having tested positive for COVID-19, while the infection remains nonetheless subject to registration. The following applies to those having tested positive:

  • Obligation to wear an FFP2-mask at all times: outside of the private living area; in closed rooms if contact with other people cannot be ruled out; outdoors if it is not possible to keep a minimum distance of 2 metres to other people; in public transport; in private transport if contact with other people is not excluded; in private living areas when people from different households come together (in closed rooms and outdoors if it is not possible to keep a minimum distance of 2 metres to other people)
  • No visits to facilities with vulnerable people or in risky settings (e.g. retirement homes, health facilities), EXCEPT for employees or residents

Thus, in principle (and if one does not feel sick), it is possible and allowed to go to work, provided that the continuous wearing of an FFP2-mask or compliance with suitable protective measures can be guaranteed.

Traffic restrictions can be lifted from the fifth day of having tested positive, if a PCR-test shows a negative result or a CT value of 30 or above.

With the replacement of the quarantine by traffic restrictions, the possibility to be issued a sick leave notification by telephone was reinstated.

Use of measure

Not applicable.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Does not apply to businesses Applies to all 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 as case not in social partner domain No involvement as case not in social partner domain
Form Not applicable Not applicable

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

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


No involvement.

Views and reactions

Organised labour (the Austrian Trade Union Federation ÖGB and the Chamber of Labour AK) have not welcomed the abolishment of the quarantine regulations while infection numbers have remained quite high. They criticise that workers who have tested positive may be forced to go to work, thus putting the health of others at risk. The ÖGB has welcomed the government's decision to re-implement the special protection for COVID-19 risk groups at work with 1 August 2022, at the demand of organised labour.

No statement issued by organised business on the matter could be identified.


  • 01 August 2022: (
  • 01 August 2022: Corona quarantine is over: These rules now apply at the workplace (


Eurofound (2022), COVID-19 traffic restrictions instead of isolation, measure AT-2022-32/2856 (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.