Austria plans to allow foreign tourists to return as it decided to lift its nationwide lockdown on Sunday night, authorities have confirmed.
On Nov. 22, Austria imposed a temporary lockdown until -at least- Dec. 13.
However, a downward trend in infections seen in the last few days will allow the government to end the restriction without further extensions.
“A lockdown is in effect in Austria since Nov. 22 until probably Dec. 13. Travel to Austria for touristic purposes will only be possible again after that date,” a statement on the country’s official tourism website reads.
The unvaccinated, however, will stay in lockdown until further notice.
“The lockdown for the unvaccinated is staying,” confirmed the newly appointed Chancellor at a news conference.
Together with the lockdown lifting, the government intends to open as many businesses as possible as it had already been agreed upon with local governments.
For its part, Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig told reporters that non-essential businesses and Christmas markets would reopen on Monday. But restaurants, cafes, and bars may require an additional week to readapt.
For now, citizens can only leave home for approved purposes such as shopping for groceries, going to the hospital or for a short walk.
These harsh measures were put in place to try to curb the spread of Covid-19 cases across the country, which had reached a staggering 13,806 infections per day in the past weeks.
As of Dec. 7, the daily incidence has dropped to only 4,233 daily cases.
The country will reopen under the 2G rule, which requires visitors to present proof of vaccination or recovery to enter most public venues.
“During your stay in Austria, the 2-G-rule is in effect. This means that only proof of vaccination/past infection is accepted for entering any type of accommodation, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, leisure centers, gyms, cultural institutions, to use cable cars/ski lifts and for body-related services. A Covid-19 test is not sufficient,” the Austrian authorities explained.
PCR tests will no longer be accepted as a replacement, except for children or those with proven health exemptions.