Covid-19 in Austria: Austrian Green Passport Soon Reality

Lifestyle & TravelMore+ ♦ Published: May 27, 2021; 18:40 ♦ (Vindobona)

The long awaited "Green Passport" is coming closer and closer. Austria's parliament has passed the necessary legal basis for the future proof of whether someone has been vaccinated, tested or has recovered.

Austria's Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein has advocated for the Green Passport in the Austrian parliament. / Picture: © Parlamentsdirektion / Thomas Jantzen

The legal basis for a so-called "Green Passport" was passed by the Austrian National Council with a broad majority. This means that in future proof of whether someone has been vaccinated, tested or has recovered can be provided either by means of a QR code or a printed document.

According to a press release by the Austrian Parliament, the Austrian Green Passport is also to be compatible with that of the EU, which is announced for July 1.

In addition to the two coalition parties, the ÖVP and the Greens, the SPÖ and the NEOS also gave their approval in a specially scheduled special session of the National Council. The support of the Social Democrats is particularly important for the amendments to the law to pass the Bundesrat, which, without support of SPÖ, could have delayed the implementation significantly.

The passages that would have made it possible to create a comprehensive data register in pseudonymous form and the possibility of creating movement profiles of users of the Green Passport were particularly contentious until the very end. The governing parties had finally reached an agreement with the SPÖ on a legislative text that would address data protection concerns.

The FPÖ voiced strong criticism and spoke of the danger of a permanent restriction of fundamental rights and freedoms.

"Finally, we can travel freely again. With the Green Passport we get our basic freedoms back," said State Secretary Magnus Brunner in a press release on the decision in the National Council.

Already in the previous week, EU countries and the EU Parliament agreed on an Europe-wide corona certificate to prove whether one is tested, vaccinated or has recovered.

Austria is already implementing the digital Green Passport at the beginning of June, and it should be valid throughout Europe by the end of June.

"Gradually, the quarantine measures will be relaxed, this is crucial for a strong summer season," concludes Magnus Brunner.

Austrian Parliament

Austrian Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology