Coronavirus Prohibitions in Austria - Which Shops and Services are still Open?

More+More+ ♦ Published: March 17, 2020; 19:34 ♦ (Vindobona)

Many people are confused due to the short-term decision to prohibit access to the customer area of business premises of retail and service companies as well as leisure and sports businesses, and wonder which essential items and services of daily life are still available. Below is a current list in force since Monday, 16 March 2020.

Which shops and services for essential items and services of daily life are still open? / Picture: © Wikipedia / Christoph Leeb

The general rule is that nothing is allowed any more:

According to the Decree of the Ministry of Social Affairs on interim measures to prevent the dissemination of COVID-19 (Verordnung des Sozialministeriums betreffend vorläufige Maßnahmen zur Verhinderung der Verbreitung von COVID-19), entering the customer area of premises of retail and service companies and of leisure and sports facilities for the purpose of purchasing goods or services or using leisure and sports facilities is prohibited from Monday, 16 March 2020. 

However, the following establishments are exceptions to this rule:

  • Public pharmacies
  • Food retailers (including sales outlets of food producers) and farmers' direct marketers
  • Drugstores and drugstore
  • Sale of medical and sanitary products, remedies and aids
  • Health and care services
  • Services for people with disabilities provided by the provinces under the laws on disability assistance, social assistance, participation and equal opportunities veterinary services
  • Sale of animal feed
  • Sale and maintenance of safety and emergency products
  • Emergency services
  • Agricultural trade including auctions of animals for slaughter as well as horticultural business and trade in agricultural products such as seeds, fodder and fertilizers petrol stations
  • Banks
  • Postal services, including postal partners, insofar as their companies are covered by the exception under Article 2, and telecommunications services relating to the administration of justice
  • Delivery services
  • Public transport
  • Tobacco shops and newsagents
  • Hygiene and cleaning services
  • Waste management companies
  • Car workshops

It should also be noted that measures such as movement restrictions in no way intend or require plant closures, production stops or similar measures for industry or manufacturing.

Furthermore, there are a number of circumstances in which questions arise: In some cases, companies affected by the closure may continue to offer their services to customers, sell at least parts of their product range in the production facilities or keep parts of the business such as workshops open.

Basic rules for social distancing:

On-site services for private customers

  • Assembly (e.g. by service or production companies) is permitted, deliveries are permitted
  • Customer services are not permitted (massage, pedicure, cosmetics, hairdressing etc.)
  • - Exception: medical necessity (healing massage, foot care for diabetics etc.)
  • Consulting services at the customer's premises are not permitted (alternative: online, telephone etc.)
  • Acute damage repairs are permitted as emergency services (electricity, water, gas, heat, lockouts, etc.)

Minimum distance between customers

In public places (e.g. sales outlets with customer traffic that is still permitted) it must be ensured that between persons a minimum physical distance of at least one meter can be maintained.