End of Mandatory Quarantine in Austria

Lifestyle & TravelHealth ♦ Published: July 26, 2022; 17:16 ♦ (Vindobona)

The coronavirus quarantine ends in August. This was confirmed by Health Minister Johannes Rauch. Accordingly, anyone who does not feel ill can leave the house even after a positive CoV test but is subject to traffic restrictions.

From August even after a positive CoV test, anyone who doesn't feel ill can leave the house, but traffic restrictions apply. / Picture: © Vindobona.org (Collage of Photos)

This was confirmed after a meeting with the state health officers at a press conference this afternoon and announced yesterday. Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens) spoke of a new phase of the pandemic, in which tools to fight the disease are in hand with vaccination and medication. There are also psychological effects from the crisis to consider, he said.

Chief Medical Officer Katharina Reich added that CoV is here to stay for the foreseeable future, and they need to be prepared. A first "step down" from crisis to acceptance mode is now being set, she said. She also pointed out that only 50 percent of those hospitalized with Corona were actually in the hospital for Covid.

Traffic restrictions

Even after a positive CoV test, anyone who doesn't feel ill can leave the house, but traffic restrictions apply. That means FFP2 masks must be worn unless you are outdoors and there are no other people within two meters.

Rauch, however, urged caution. What's clear, she said, even in light of the relaxation, is that "if you're sick, you stay home." There is a relief here, as the electronic sick call is being reintroduced. However, there are still some restrictions. This applies to hospitals as well as nursing homes, institutions for the disabled and spas, childcare facilities, elementary schools and after-school care centers.

Criticism from Vienna

Vienna's mayor, Michael Ludwig, has sharply criticized the federal government's planned end to quarantine and warned that the planned move is "the wrong way for the federal government to go about it."

The government presented state leaders with a federal variant management plan for the fall. Ludwig said they shared some "assessments and approaches on how to deal with a wave in the fall." This includes preparing for a wave that is already on the horizon, he said. However, structures necessary to do so also need preparation time, according to Ludwig. Among other things, this includes the test structure and contact tracing, which must be ramped up again as the number of cases increases, Ludwig said.

As for traffic restrictions, they don't think much of those in Vienna and are more aligned with the WHO's European Office, which "still believes that quarantine and measures are necessary to deal with the wave in the fall," Ludwig said.

The Vienna city chief also criticized the political "hick-hacking" in the run-up to the summit and the fact that only some country heads had been informed in advance about the government's plans.

Mayor Ludwig referred to the high number of cases in the summer and a presumably even more tense Corona situation in the fall after many will return from vacation.

Ludwig recalled "booster vaccination," or the so-called "fourth prick," as another protective measure. About one-third of all people who got the fourth prick was in Vienna, Ludwig stressed. Similar to the mask requirement, which among other things continues to apply in Vienna's public transport system, the vaccination serves to protect oneself and vulnerable people.

Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection

City of Vienna