Get travel and medical insurance
- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Climate and Skiing
- Embassy Contact
General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation
General advice to avoid non-essential travel and ‘Normal Precautions’ list of exemptions:
In accordance with Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all travel by cruise ship.
Travel to a very limited set of locations is exempted from this advice. Individuals arriving into Ireland from these locations will not be required to restrict their movements upon entry. These locations currently have a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) security status rating. As of 4 August 2020, these locations are:
Inclusion on the list is based on the current epidemiological situation and related public health information in each location. The list and related travel advice will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis, based on advice from officials, including public health experts. Any updates or changes will be based on Government decisions. The latest updates will always be uploaded first to this General COVID-19 Travel Advisory. Country-specific tabs will be updated subsequently, and as quickly as possible, but this advisory is the primary source of information for the latest version of the list. The above list was updated on 4 August following the latest review.
If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:
Irish citizens travelling to locations with a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) rating are advised to follow the public health guidelines of the local health authorities and to continue to practice physical distancing measures, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette etc. The security rating for all other locations remains unchanged at either to ‘avoid non-essential travel’ (“orange”) or to ‘do not travel’ (“red”).
The purpose of the Department’s Travel Advice is to provide information to the general public so that individuals can make informed decisions for themselves. The COVID19 pandemic continues to accelerate internationally, and there are significant risks associated with international travel. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad are advised to monitor closely our travel advice and we recommend that citizens download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. Citizens travelling abroad should also register with their local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.
Should you need to travel for essential reasons, you should inform yourself about any requirements in place in the destination to which you are travelling. Flight restrictions and route cancellations are happening on a daily basis worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will continue to operate as scheduled. Testing and restrictions may be imposed or may already be in place in other countries. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time.
What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:
The Irish Authorities advise anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland and individuals arriving in Ireland from locations with a security rating of ‘normal precautions’ (“green”), to restrict their movements for 14 days, and this includes citizens and residents returning to Ireland. Restricting your movements means staying indoors in one location and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. To ensure that this is being observed all passengers arriving to Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a mandatory Public Health Passenger Locator Form and to submit it to the relevant authority at their port of entry. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page. Exemptions are also in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff. Check the Irish Government Advice Page for full information on these requirements and further advice on returning from abroad.
Where to go for more information:
We continue to make updates to our online travel advice for over 200 countries and recommend that you download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. If abroad you should register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.
Avoid non-essential travel.
Security Status Last Updated: 17 March 2020
Latest Travel Alert
Due to a recent surge in new infections a number of more restrictive measures have been reintroduced by the Austrian government. In addition to existing measures/mandatory mask-wearing in public transport and taxis, pharmacies and other medical facilities, from 24 July mouth-nose protection (MNP) has also become mandatory once again:
- In the food retail sector (e.g. supermarkets, bakeries, butchers, pastry shops).
- In petrol stations with connected food outlets.
- In banks.
- In post offices and with postal counters within partner shops.
- In all health care facilities including nursing homes, hospitals and health resorts/spas as well as in places where health and nursing services are provided.
- For services when the 1 meter distance cannot be maintained or no other protective measures (e.g. Plexiglas pane) are available (personal services such as barbers, beauticians, hairdressers, etc.).
- At events in closed rooms (except at the assigned seat).
- In cable cars, coaches and in the interior of excursion boats.
- At demonstrations when the 1 meter distance cannot be maintained.
Moreover, there are separate local and regional regulations in place. For specifics, it is advised to contact the respective local authorities.
When entering public places, a distance of at least one meter must be maintained from people who do not live in the same household. This includes visits to restaurants/cafés, etc. A curfew is set at 1am.
A public health information sheet has been made available by the Austrian authorities.
As of 27 July 2020, entry from high-risk areas will be possible only with a negative COVID-19 test carried out by a laboratory recognised by the Austrian authorities.
Which rules apply when entering Austria for Austrian citizens, EU / EEA citizens and Swiss citizens, as well as for people residing or habitually residing in Austria and for people with a residence permit in Austria?
As of 27 July 2020 midnight, when entering from a country listed in Appendix A1 in which there is a stable COVID-19 situation, entry is possible without restrictions. These are currently: Andorra, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Vatican, United Kingdom and Cyprus.
The prerequisite for this is that within the last 10 days before entry to Austria that persons did not stay in any other country besides the exempt ones. One may have to present proof thereof. It has not been defined how travellers can prove this and which evidence to support this claim would be accepted by the border authorities. (Please see https://www.sozialministerium.at/Informationen-zum-Coronavirus/Coronavirus---Rechtliches.html for further info - in German only).
If the person has also been to other countries within the past 10 days prior to the requested entry, entry is only possible with a valid medical health certificate recognised by the Austrian authorities confirming a negative COVID test (not older than 72 hours/3 days), or a 10-day (home) quarantine must be observed after entry. A confirmation of accommodation must be submitted for this and any costs incurred must be borne by the traveller. The quarantine can be terminated if a PCR test performed during this time is showing negative.
When entering from a country listed in Appendix A2 in which there is no stable COVID-19 situation, entry is only possible a valid medical health certificate recognised by the Austrian authorities. These countries are currently: Egypt, Albania, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kosovo, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Sweden, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine, United States (USA) and the province of Hubei in China.
The prerequisite for this is that the medical health certificate confirms a negative COVID test which is not older than 72 hours/3 days. If testing abroad is not possible, entry may still be granted and the PCR test must be carried out in Austria within 48 hours. Until a negative test result is available, a self-monitored (home) quarantine must be observed, for which an accommodation confirmation must be presented. The costs of the test and any necessary accommodation must be borne by the traveller. If the test result is negative, the quarantine can be terminated.
For direct entry from all other countries (i.e. countries that are not mentioned in Appendix A1 or A2), entry is possible either with a valid medical health certificate recognised by the Austrian authorities or through observing to a 10-day (home) quarantine.
The prerequisite for this is that the medical health certificate confirms a negative COVID test which is not older than 72 hours/3 days. If the health certificate cannot be presented, a 10-day (home) quarantine must be observed. This can be terminated if a PCR test carried out during this time is negative.
What rules apply to third-country nationals when entering Austria?
At present, third country nationals are not allowed to enter the country.
As of 27 July 2020, the following exceptions apply to this entry ban:
When entering from EU and Schengen countries, third-country nationals may enter Austria with valid medical health certificate recognised by the Austrian authorities from the following countries: Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland , Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Vatican, United Kingdom and Cyprus.
The prerequisite for this is that the medical health certificate confirms a negative COVID test which is not older than 72 hours/3 days. A 10-day (home) quarantine must be observed after entry. A confirmation of accommodation must be presented for this and any costs incurred must be borne by the traveller. Early quarantine termination, e.g. through another PCR test is not possible in this case.
Personnel of international organisations, diplomatic missions, humanitarian workers, nursing and health workers, seasonal workers in agriculture, forestry and tourism may enter with a valid medical health certificate recognised by the Austrian authorities.
The prerequisite for this is that the medical health certificate confirms a negative COVID test which is not older than 72 hours/3 days. A 10-day (home) quarantine must be observed after entry. This can be terminated if a PCR test carried out during this time is negative.
Persons traveling in the course of commercial/freight traffic may enter with a valid medical health certificate recognised by the Austrian authorities.
The prerequisite for this is that the medical health certificate confirms a negative COVID test which is not older than 72 hours/3 days. A quarantine is not necessary in this case. Freight carriers have to be prepared for delays at the borders. They are also currently required to carry a form with them confirming that they are carrying out a shipment that cannot be delayed.
For which groups of people do exceptions exist on entry so that they can enter Austria without restrictions? As of 27 July, the following groups of people can enter (or re-enter) without restrictions:
- Persons entering in the imperative interest of the Republic of Austria.
- People who enter for specified family reasons (funerals, weddings, etc. proof necessary).
- People entering to maintain the movement of goods and people.
- People entering as part of a transfers/rendition flights.
- People entering to carry out a repatriations.
- People who leave Austria without a stopover (transit).
- People in emergency vehicles in the sense of §26 StVO or vehicles in public service in the sense of §26a StVO.
- Passengers and drivers of public transport if the means of transport crosses foreign territory on its scheduled route without a stopover or for individual travellers coming from Austria who cross foreign territory to reach their destination in Austria.
- People who are subject to compulsory social insurance in Austria and people who have a confirmation of treatment from an Austrian hospital (form in Annex E) and people who return to Austria after treatment has taken place abroad (form in Annex E).
Testing for children under the age of six is no longer required (as of 1 Aug. 2020).
Further information can be found here (German only).
Domestic travel within Austria is possible again, hotels have opened in compliance with security measures.
However, new local restrictions to curb virus spread have been introduced by some provinces as of 9 July. The decree of the Governor of Upper Austria (LGBl. OÖ No. 57/2020 of July 7, 2020) restricts the entry of certain public places. Local measures are also in place in individual municipalities in the federal province of Carinthia, such as the regulation of the Villach-Land district authority which applies to the market town of Velden. For the municipalities of Pörtschach and Krumpendorf, corresponding measures have been put in place by the district administration of Klagenfurt-Land.
The landing ban of aircraft (BGBl. II No. 262/2020 of June 10, 2020), expired on 31 July 2020 and has not been extended. This means that aircraft is again permitted land from all countries. However, the stricter entry requirements (mandatory testing and quarantine, please see details above) will apply.
The Austrian foreign ministry has imposed a travel warning for the West Balkan countries due to the high number of coronavirus infections in the region as of 2 July. The travel warning is effective immediately. It applies to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, and Serbia. The travel warning is at security level six, "urgently" recommending that citizens return home from the affected countries. This also means a mandatory quarantine will be necessary upon entry into Austria. Borders to Slovenia and Hungary have been tightened.
As of 4th May Covid-19 PCR tests can be carried out directly at Vienna airport at a cost of €190 and a required waiting time at the airport of approx. 3-6 hours. The cost will be reduced to €120 from August 8 to take into account the increased demand due to the new entry regime. The airport is operating at a minimum capacity and to the required extent (limited passenger as well as cargo flights). All airlines will check in and check baggage for all flights at Terminal 3, protective face masks must be worn throughout the terminal.
The Vienna Airport Health Centre is now open all week from 7am to 8pm and PCR tests at the airport can also be carried out on weekends and public holidays.
Flights from Austria to Ireland have resumed and carriers are operating at a reduced timetable. Current information on flights to and from Vienna can be found on the Vienna Airport website. Please check with your airline if in doubt.
The ÖBB (Austrian Federal Railways) have resumed their regular timetable. Nevertheless, all passengers are asked to inform themselves again about the current connections in their region immediately before departure.
These regulations can be accessed on the Federal Ministry’s website at https://www.sozialministerium.at/Informationen-zum-Coronavirus/Coronavirus---Rechtliches.html (German only).
The Austrian Ministry of Health monitors the current developments very closely and measures are currently being implemented by the responsible health authorities. You can follow updates by the Austrian ministries here:
Link to: Ministry of Heath / public health authorities
The Federal Ministry of Interior has created their own web link providing updated news about the crisis. The Ministry has established a crisis Task Force (available 24/7). Furthermore different documents and handouts regarding preventive hygiene and protective measures can be found. Information is mainly in German.
The Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection provides detailed information, recommendations and download material about COVID-19 in German and a FAQ section also available in English.
A Special Health Task Force has been established.
The Health Hotline 1450 has been created for people with symptoms or people suspecting to have been infected.
The Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) has established a 24/7 Corona-Information-Hotline 0800 555 621.
The Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs regularly updates travel warnings also related to COVID-19. Information is provided in German.
The Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research has set up a special crisis management system in order to provide all stakeholders with comprehensive and regularly updated information within its remit on the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak. Information and recommendations for schools, students, staff and researchers are available in German and English.
If you are in Austria, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities. Be alert to common signs of infection: respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms. The Health Hotline 1450 has been created for people with symptoms or people suspecting to have been infected.
HSE medical advice to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 is below.
• wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
• put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands
• touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:
While there are currently no reports of major delays on public transport, travellers are advised to check with Austrian Federal Railways for information regarding any disruptions to service.
Travellers must carry their passport when crossing all borders and are advised to carry photo identification at all times when travelling within Austria. The Embassy recommends carrying a copy of your passport.
Although Vienna is extremely secure and the risk of anything happening is still low we would like to advise Irish Citizens travelling to the Christmas Markets to be extra careful due to the large crowds gathering at them.
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
You can contact the emergency services in Austria by dialling 112. Specific emergency numbers are:
- Police: 133
- Fire brigade: 122
- Ambulance: 144
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
- Get a European Health Insurance Card
- Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
Crime remains relatively low in Austria but you should take sensible precautions.
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
Be particularly aware of petty theft at Vienna´s largest train stations, Westbahnhof, and Hauptbahnhof. There have also been several recent reports of thefts on the trains between Vienna and Prague/Budapest.
Reporting a crime
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Austria, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy if you need help.
If your passport is lost or stolen, you should contact the Embassy as soon as possible and report the loss or theft to the nearest police station or Magistrat. You will need to submit a copy of your police statement when you’re applying for a new passport or if you’re making a claim on your insurance.
In some cases, you may be able to use this statement instead of a passport, but you should check with the airline before going to the airport. If your airline won’t accept the statement, the Embassy may issue you with an Emergency Travel Certificate, valid for one journey from Austria to Ireland, or a Temporary Passport, valid for a restricted period of time.
Walking and Cycling
Please observe traffic lights when walking in Austrian towns and cities, particularly Vienna. On the spot fines are administered for crossing the road at a red light.
It is important to observe the rules of the road when cycling. On the spot fines are administered for cycling in pedestrian areas. It addition, cyclists in Vienna are subject to random breath testing. Failing a test may result in a fine, imprisonment, or both.
The rules of the road are more complex in Austria than those in Ireland, especially for caravan and motor home owners so if you’re planning on driving, remember:
- Bring your full Irish driving license and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
- Using your headlights is mandatory in poor visibility and recommended at all other times.
- Carry a high-visibility vest and a hazard warning triangle in the car.
- Motorists in Austria must form an emergency corridor as soon as traffic ceases to progress and congestion is imminent on motorways or dual carriageways and highways, regardless of whether emergency vehicles are already in the vicinity or not.
- Road conditions are generally good although roads in alpine areas can become hazardous during winter and some mountain roads may be closed for extended period.
Using the motorway
If you’re planning to use motorways and ‘S’ roads in Austria, you risk heavy, on-the-spot fines if you don’t display a Motorway Vignette on your vehicle. You can buy these Motorway Vignettes at all major border crossings into Austria and at larger petrol stations.
The legal drink driving limit in Austria is 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The limit is 10 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood for coach/HGV drivers and those who have had a licence for less than two years. Penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol are severe.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.
Under Austrian law, you must carry identification, such as a passport, at all times, or be able to produce identification within a short timeframe. We advise you to carry photocopies of the relevant pages of your passport, and keep the original in a safe place.
If you’re staying in private accommodation in Austria for more than three days, you must register your place of residence with the local authorities.
Climate and Skiing
Climate and Skiing
Climate and Skiing
If you’re travelling to Austria, make sure you know what to expect – then plan and pack so that you’re prepared. Get local advice on how to manage in the case of a serious incident or dangerous conditions and co-operate with local authorities.
Austria’s climate is moderate and generally pleasant, with warm summers and cold winters (temperatures largely depend on altitudes). From June to September, you can expect sunshine and low rainfall and from November to March the weather is much colder and usually ideal for winter sports.
If you are planning a skiing holiday contact the Austrian Tourist Agency which covers Ireland (1890 930 118 or email@example.com) for advice on weather and safety conditions before you travel. Off-piste skiing is highly dangerous. You should follow all safety instructions carefully, given the danger of avalanches in some areas, in particular in times of heavy snow.
Always check with the local tourist offices on current snow and weather conditions on arrival. Avalanche beepers (receivers) are the most common rescue devices and when properly used provide the fastest way of locating an avalanche victim. You can get avalanche information by telephoning +43 512 581839 or by visiting the following the websites of the Tirol Avalanche Warning Service or the European Avalanche Warning Service. Take extra care during the spring season, as this is when avalanches most commonly occur.
Please register with the Embassy if embarking on a ski holiday.
If you’re planning to travel in forested areas, you risk being exposed to tick-borne encephalitis. Ticks are very common in country areas and are active from spring to autumn. Vaccinations can be organised with your local medical practitioner.
We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.
Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.
Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.
Your policy should cover:
- All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
- Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.
- 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
- Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
- Lost and stolen possessions.
- Cancellation and curtailment.
- Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. skiing, water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).
Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
As an Irish resident you are entitled to get healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there. Ensure that you get or renew your EHIC (the new name for the E111) before you go, and remember, you need one for every person travelling in your group.
The EHIC is not a substitute for proper travel insurance provided by a reputable insurer. It doesn’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. Also, some private hospitals may not accept the EHIC, so you should check with the hospital administrator beforehand.
Make sure you bring enough medication for your entire trip and for any unexpected delays. Bring copies of your prescription in case you lose your medication, or in case you are asked to justify why you have certain medications at an entry point (airport, port, land border etc.).
Bear in mind that not all over-the-counter medications available in Ireland are legal in other countries and do your research before you go. Check with the nearest Embassy or Consulate of the country you’re planning to visit if you’re unsure which medications you may be able to bring with you.
If you are an Irish citizen and require urgent assistance while the Embassy is closed, please dial the Embassy: +43 1 715 4246.
A recorded message will provide the telephone number of the Duty Officer in Vienna, which can be called in case of a genuine consular emergency that cannot wait until office hours.
Embassy of Ireland to Austria &
Permanent Mission of Ireland to the International Organisations in Vienna.
Monday to Friday 09.30-12.30
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.