COVID-19: Overview of the Current Measures of the City of Vienna

More+More+ ♦ Published: May 14, 2020; 13:05 ♦ (Vindobona)

The coronavirus crisis has had Austria in its grip since mid-March. Now the measures are being gradually eased again. Current information on all measures and restrictions in Vienna. Restaurants, church services, outdoor animal parks, outdoor sports, etc. will be reopened from 15 May, hotels from 29 May.

Vienna City Hall at Rathausplatz. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Thomas Ledl / CC BY-SA (

The corona crisis affects Vienna´s economy heavily and as a result, short-time work and unemployment have risen dramatically.

The City has adopted support measures that amount to more than 140 million euros in order to save jobs and business and to mitigate the effects of the crisis.

Thousands of shops in retail and gastronomy were closed since mid-March, which has led to an extremely critical situation for local suppliers and small shops. Under special regulations, they can reopen from 15 June.

Employees have been put in short-time work or lost their job.

The national government allowed for a first relaxation of the imposed measures in commerce starting from April 14th, starting with shops under 400 square meters that can re-open under certain conditions.

However, schools are left out of the relaxation package, causing trouble for parents who need to go back to work and concerns as how children will be able to catch up. In order to organise this well and also to enable children to have social contacts with their peers again, Vienna has developed a step-by-step plan for the further opening of kindergardens by the beginning of May.

However, the city eagerly awaits the national government´s concrete plans for the gradual reopening of schools by the end of May.

The education sector is heavily burdened by the Corona crisis. The city government has ensured sufficient childcare facilities for children and young people, financial relief for parents and improved online learning facilities within a few weeks. The most important thing, however, was always to guarantee equal educational opportunities for all children - regardless of their social or economic background. Learning and doing tasks at home poses great social and technical challenges for children - especially for those who do not have access to a computer at home. "In order to provide the best possible support for Vienna's school children in this difficult situation, we are reacting quickly and are making 5,000 new laptops available for loan to those who need them," Mayor Michael Ludwig stated on April 15th at a press conference.

Current key figures from Vienna

As of May 14th there are 2,860 confirmed cases of the disease in Vienna. 144 people died due to Covid-19, 2,157 people have recovered.

Trade and services

• Since 01 May all shops are open again. Hairdressers and other services such as chiropodists and manicure are also open again under strict conditions.

Health and social care

• The City of Vienna provides 1 million euros for application-oriented research on the topic of coronavirus. Mayor Michael Ludwig announced at the beginning of March to provide this sum from the medical-scientific funds. Now the first seven research projects are being funded from this initiative (21.4).

• City of Vienna is taking a stand for prevention of domestic violence and granted the associations "White Ribbon" and "Männerberatung" which have been to prevent male violence against women and children, with 50.000 euros each (13.4.)

• Currently around 2.000 patients are affected by the backlog of operations, as due to Covid-19 measures, many planned operations had to be postponed in the hospitals of the "Vienna Association of Hospitals" (KAV). Now the surgical services in the municipal hospitals have gradually resumed and the availability of operations and hospital beds is expanded in collaboration with Vienna´s private hospitals (14.5.).

• Early April, a total of 12 tons of much needed protective gear from China arrived in the city (6.4.).

• The Ministry of Health and the provincial councillors of social affairs agreed on a special bonus for round-the-clock caregivers. Vienna is going to make a one-time payment of 500 euros to those caregivers who extend their service by at least four weeks following their usual regular cycle (2.4.).

Public services: energy, water, waste and transport

• Since April 14th , passengers in public transport are required to wear face masks, and public transport increases the intervals, thus providing more room in the vehicles (7.4.).

• Waste disposal is possible at nine Viennese waste disposal sites. However, it is only allowed in urgent cases and the rules about wearing facemasks and keeping the necessary distance still apply. (9.4.).

• Viennese Public Transit Network: Normal Service Again from 18 May (11.5.)
The Viennese Lines (Wiener Linien) increased their operations further on 11 May. Normal service with peaks of up to two minutes is planned again from 18 May. Already since Monday, May 11, the five underground lines have been running again at the densest possible intervals. The night subway is still being replaced by night buses. Buses and trams will continue to run at short intervals until 15 May inclusive, according to an adjusted holiday timetable for a weekday.

• Normal Service Again from 18 May
On 18 May - when many pupils start school again - the bus and tram also return to their usual dense normal service. At the weekend, the Sunday timetable applies. Night buses every hour bring people to work - from 30 May every 30 minutes. On weekends, night buses will be running instead of the night subway until further notice. They also run every hour during the week.

• As of 30 May, Wiener Linien will intensify the frequency. The night buses will then operate at a compressed 30-minute interval.

• Mouth and nose protection in vehicles and in the entire area of underground stations is mandatory(1.5.)

Since the beginning of May, an ordinance of the Federal Government has been in force, according to which a mouth and nose protector must be worn when entering public places in closed rooms. In addition, a distance of at least one metre must be kept from people who do not live in the same household. For public transport passengers, this means that they must wear a mouth-and-nose protector in the vehicles and in the entire area of the underground stations. The only exceptions are children under 6 years of age and persons who cannot wear the mouth and nose protector for health reasons. The obligation to wear a mask is also enshrined in Wiener Linien's conditions of carriage; this means that Wiener Linien can refuse carriage to persons who do not comply with them. The Vienna Lines provide information about the mask obligation by means of announcements, pictograms and info messages on the overhead displays and info screens in the stations or stops. The service and security employees who travel on the public transport network are also instructed to inform passengers about the regulations.

Helping the economy and people to keep jobs

• The Vienna Employment Promotion Fund (waff), the city´s labour market organization helps in case of job losses. Budget has been increased by 3 million euros. If a company becomes insolvent, the affected staff can now get help to start a new career (19.4.).

• Vienna established a new company with the name "StolzaufWien BeteiligungsGmbH" (lit. "Proud of Vienna associated company ltd.”) with the aim to temporarily invest in companies in Vienna whose existence is at risk due to the corona crisis. The capital volume of the associated company is expected to be around 50 million euros, with 20 million euros coming from the City of Vienna (5.4.).

• The support campaign “Wien Online” addresses small Viennese companies in the fields of local supply, creative industries and personal services with a maximum funding amount of 10.000 euros. It aims to strengthen the competition with big international online shops. 15 million euros are available in total; the maximum amount per company is 10.000 euros. (22.4.).

• Assistance with repairs: The staff of the around 80 companies of the repair network come to people´s homes if needed (22.4.).

• The whole rent for May is dropped for shops that are located in buildings of municipal housing and that are not allowed to open before the middle of May. Shops that were allowed to open already at the beginning of May are asked to pay the half of the rent for May (1.5.).

• Funding of teleworking jobs exhausted: 2.050 Viennese SMEs have taken advantage of the funding of teleworking jobs. This quick and not bureaucratic help was highly appreciated by the companies; the 2.050 applications are currently being evaluated by the "Vienna Business Agency". With this number of applications the available total of 10 million euros is exhausted, new applications can no longer be accepted (10.5.).

• As important local suppliers in times of the corona crisis, the Viennese markets guarantee a supply of fresh vegetables and fruit, often offering products from Viennese gardeners and farmers in the Vienna region. The market authority has imposed a strict mask requirement for market traders and customers (10.4.).

Housing and homelessness

• The city of Vienna had decided already end of March that its municipal housing company will stop evictions for its stock of 220,000 flats with half a million inhabitants in case they have problems with rent payment due to Corona measures. The cooperative and for limited-profit housing sector in Vienna with another 180,000 flats followed this example immediately. City government has since then appealed to the national government to protect tenants also in the private rental sector as this is a national competence. Eventually, mid-April, the national government also prohibited evictions in the private rental market in the corona crisis (15.4.).

• Vienna´s municipal competence centre in the field of housing with its three main action fields - information on funded flats, tenants´ assistance and neighbourhood service - has registered around 14.000 consultations since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis (11.4.).

Education, arts and culture

• At the end of March, the City has set up work scholarships of 1 million euros for freelance artists and freelance scientists as a provisional assistance for the time of the corona crisis. Two weeks later, the interest in them remains strong. So far, 1.100 applications from all fields of art have been made. Due to this strong demand, the funds for these work scholarships are increased by 2 million euros to a total of 3 million euros (1.5.).

• Adult education online: The courses by adult education centres (VHS) are available online for free; bookings are possible from April 20th (17.4.).

• 5000 laptops for home schooling have been made available to help families, needs assessment by the class teachers. The next step is to create a comprehensive digital learning platform for Vienna. According to City Councillor Jürgen Czernohorszky, responsible for education, , around 15,000 children need additional support in learning. City will also set up a central platform for teachers and a helpline for parents who need educational support (15.4.).

• As of early April the event database of the City of Vienna also includes all online events. With no publicly accessible events, event organizers are particularly affected. The event database of the City of Vienna now offers the possibility to promote online-events (8.5.)

• The opening of the school system will take place in 3 stages:

Stage 1: from May 4, 2020: Opening of the schools for Matura classes, final classes at BMS and teaching and final classes at vocational schools

Stage 2: from May 18, 2020: all primary and secondary level I classes (elementary schools, new secondary schools, AHS lower level), special schools; in addition, all years/classes with a shortened teaching year can start successively at vocational secondary and higher schools

Stage 3: from June 3, 2020: all other classes of secondary level II (AHS Oberstufe, BHS, BMS, vocational schools, polytechnic schools), transition stages

More room outdoors

• A political argument between the City of Vienna and the Austrian national government has eventually come to a good end after Easter. While all parks owned by the city remained open and accessible after the beginning of the corona crisis, public parks owned by the national government were closed. After a wave of citizen’s protest, petitions and appeals of the city government, national government showed readiness to reopen the parks after Easter weekend (7.4.).

• The new Alma-Rosé-park in Floridsdorf, the north-western district of Vienna, covering a 3.500 m2 green area opened mid April. The park adds to the green areas of Vienna and is named after the musician Alma Rosé who was a prominent Viennese violinist of the interwar period and conducted the famous "Girls Orchestra" of Auschwitz,where she was murdered in 1944. (16.4.).

• The "Donauinsel" (Danube Island) with a shore length of 42 km as well as the "Alte Donau" (Old Danube) are some of Viennese people´s most favourite oases of leisure at this time of the year to catch some fresh air and remained all the time. Physical distance has to be kept, making barbecues is strictly forbidden (10.4).

• Exit restrictions abolished as of 1 May The minimum distance of one metre to people who do not live in the same household must still be maintained. Under these conditions, meetings with a maximum of 10 people are also permitted. A maximum of 30 persons may attend funerals.

The restaurant is open again from 15 May until 23.00 hrs

• A maximum of 4 adults and their children can sit at each table. • Of course the minimum distance to other guests must be kept. • The service personnel will wear mouth and nose protection, guests at the table do not have to wear one. • There is no free choice of seats and tables should be reserved in advance.


• As of 15th May, Vienna city administration will gradually reopen for customers under to certain conditions, a making an appointment beforehand, wearing of mask and keeping the safety distance of 1 meter.

• Employees of the City of Vienna decided to sew 2,500 masks in order to protect the partially exposed staff of the facility management department. The team decided to take matters into their own hands and to produce the masks to equip the colleagues with reusable (and washable at 60 degrees) cotton masks.

Excursions in Austria from 29 May

• Accommodation and leisure facilities may reopen from 29 May. • Animal parks can be visited again from 15 May. • If you are planning an excursion, you should find out beforehand whether the destination is actually open, as this decision is the responsibility of the respective company.