No More Compulsory Vaccination and New Regulations in Vienna: What You Need to Know

Lifestyle & TravelHealth ♦ Published: July 8, 2022; 12:11 ♦ (Vindobona)

Austria's National Council announced at the end of this week that compulsory vaccination would be abolished. Contrary to this announcement, Vienna is tightening its mandatory masking in the health sector. In recent weeks, the number of cases has been increasing, which is why this step was necessary.

The Mandatory vaccination in Austria is abolished. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Maryland GovPics, CC BY 2.0 (

The much disputed compulsory vaccination in Austria will be abolished, as the National Council announced at the end of this week. In contrast to this announcement, the compulsory masking in the health sector is being tightened in Vienna. This step had been necessary because the number of cases has been increasing in recent weeks. A brief update.

Only five months after the COVID-19 compulsory vaccination law came into force, it is now history again. Today, the National Council unanimously decided to repeal the law and related ordinances.

The ÖVP and the Greens state in their explanatory statement that the repeal is in no way intended to diminish the contribution of vaccination to the management of the pandemic, especially with regard to the reduction of severe courses.

It merely refrains from a legal obligation. The amendment is to come into force at the end of the day of its announcement, which can take place if the Federal Council does not raise an objection next week.

The vaccination obligation, which was only introduced at the beginning of February, had already been suspended. There were never any fines anyway, as the obligation had only been effective in its introductory phase, during which no penalties were imposed.

The obligation applied to persons 18 years and older. Originally, penalties of between 600 and 3,600 euros were envisaged.

Stricter masking obligations in Vienna

In view of the current Corona situation and the rising numbers of infections, Vienna's Mayor Michael Ludwig consulted on Thursday with the city's expert staff, which consists of specialists and the medical crisis team, about new Corona measures.

Afterwards, Ludwig announced in a press statement that in future there would be stricter rules to protect particularly vulnerable groups.

In concrete terms, this means that FFP2 masks will be compulsory throughout for all employees in hospitals, clinics as well as old people's and nursing homes. In addition, access to patients is to be reduced to a maximum of three visitors per day.

"Together with experts, we have intensively dealt with the current situation." According to Ludwig, we are in the middle of a Corona wave for the first time in the summer. "We are therefore in agreement that we want to consistently continue on our safe path," said the mayor.

The announced "moderate measures" are intended to achieve a significant reduction in infection pressure and, above all, "avoid clusters in hospitals".

Ludwig described today's regulations as a first step and said the situation would continue to be conscientiously monitored. He also referred to the sensitive phase of the holiday and travel season, which increases the spread of the virus. "We will reserve the right to reintroduce further measures already practised in the coming weeks if the development of the Corona wave requires it."

The Mayor of Vienna once again referred to the existing FFP2 mask obligation in public transport, which was supported by a large part of the population. Other European cities had also taken Vienna as a model on this issue. In addition, Ludwig spoke out in favour of increased testing and maintaining quarantine to break chains of infection.

Vaccination offer extended

Vienna continues to recommend completing the basic immunisation with three vaccinations in any case. One can also get the fourth sting. "I continue to promote vaccination.

It's the only way to guarantee against severe courses of the disease," Ludwig appealed. Due to the high demand for booster vaccinations, the offer has now been greatly expanded.

The municipal vaccination centres are again open six days a week from Monday to Saturday. Additional vaccination centres will open before the end of July. In addition, the recommendation is for everyone to take a test after returning from holiday.

Austrian Parliament

Vienna City Government - Magistrat der Stadt Wien