Get travel and medical insurance
- Normal precautions
- High degree of caution
- Avoid non-essential travel
- Do not travel
- Safety and Security
- Local Laws and Customs
- Climate and Skiing
- Embassy Contact
Ireland has adopted the EU Recommendation on a coordinated approach to travel restrictions in the context of COVID-19, known as the EU traffic lights approach. Based on this, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) will publish a combined indicator map each week which will show COVID-19 risk levels across the EU and EEA. Regions will be green, orange, red or grey, on the basis of agreed criteria. In line with the EU Recommendation, there will be no entry restrictions on passengers travelling from green regions. Further information is available on the Re-Open Europa website.
Our TravelWise app has been suspended to take account of the new EU system. We apologise for this inconvenience. Updated information will continue to be provided on this website.
Information about the EU Recommendation (‘traffic lights’ system) which applies to EU/EEA countries is available here. Anyone considering travel to Austria should check the latest information from the local authorities regarding requirements for international passengers arriving in the country.
Information about restrictions on passengers entering Austria from green, orange, red and grey regions under the new EU Recommendation (‘traffic lights’ system) which applies to EU/EEA countries is available here: https://www.sozialministerium.at/Informationen-zum-Coronavirus/Coronavirus---Haeufig-gestellte-Fragen/FAQ--Reisen-und-Tourismus.html
When entering Austria from abroad, a quarantine of 10 days after entry is obligatory, if you have stayed in a country not listed in appendix A during the 10 days prior to entry into Austria. On the fifth day at the earliest (i.e. from the 5th day after entry, whereby the day of entry represents "day zero"), a molecular biological or antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 can be conducted. If the result is negative, the quarantine can be terminated early.
There are some exceptions from the quarantine requirements (please see further info below).
In addition, from 15th January a new Pre-Travel-Clearance form will need to be filled in online in order to help monitoring quarantine requirements and assist the track and tracing efforts. Every person entering Austria must fill out a pre-travel clearance form. Only persons who fall under the exception regulations in accordance with Sections 7 and 8 of the COVID-19 Entry decree are excluded from this. These are in particular:
- unforeseen, urgent, emergency travel particularly worthy of consideration related to the core family
- compelling reasons for animal care or for measures required in agriculture and forestry
- professional transfer trips/transfer flights
Further exemptions from registration apply to:
- Transits through Austria without a stopover.
- Regular commuter traffic for professional purposes (except for carers).
- Regular commuter traffic to participate in schooling and study.
- Regular commuting for family purposes or to visit a partner.
- Occupants of emergency and public transport vehicles.
- People travelling from Austria to cross foreign territory without stopping to reach their destination in Austria such as the entry into the communities of Vomp-Hinterriss, Mittelberg and Jungholz (access only through Germany).
Persons are allowed to enter without restriction if the country or territory from which entry is made is listed in Appendix A, and the person has stayed exclusively in Austria or in one of the countries listed in Annex A in the past ten days prior to entry. The corresponding countries and areas of Annex A are currently (as of January 15, 2021): Australia, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea and the Vatican.
There are also exceptions for the following:
- Humanitarian purposes.
- Persons entering Austria for work purposes (this also includes, for example, 24-hour carers, but not regular commuters).
- One accompanying person as part of the entry for medical reasons.
- Persons entering the country for the purpose of performing a mandatory judicial or official duty, such as being summoned to court hearings.
- Holders of a photo ID according to §95 FPG 2005 (diplomats accredited in Austria). The identification card must be presented upon entry.
These persons can enter the country with a medical certificate (Appendix D) that confirms a negative PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 or an antigen test for SARS-CoV-2 not older than 72 hours. If no health certificate can be presented, a ten-day (home) quarantine must be started immediately. Persons who are obliged to quarantine must confirm this with their own signature in accordance with Annex F. Any costs incurred are to be borne by the traveller. In these cases, quarantine may be ended early with a negative PCR or antigen test at any time after entry.
The same entry regulations apply to children travelling alone as to adults. Children up to the age of ten who are travelling with an adult are exempt from mandatory testing upon entry
Further information is available here: https://www.sozialministerium.at/Informationen-zum-Coronavirus/Coronavirus---Haeufig-gestellte-Fragen/FAQ--Reisen-und-Tourismus.html
Some border crossing points to the Czech and the Slovak Republic have been closed until further notice. Please see official government announcement as published by the Wiener Zeitung broadsheet on 13th January 2021 as well as further government information here:
A negative RT-PCR test will be required for all passengers entering Ireland, regardless of their country of origin. The test must be administered within the preceding 72 hours. There are only very limited exemptions (international transport workers, passengers in transit, children under 6 and, in exceptional cases, humanitarian emergencies). Individuals who have been vaccinated are not exempt from the PCR test requirement. This is a mandatory requirement. Passengers will be asked to present evidence of their negative/‘not detected’ result before boarding their airplane or ferry and will be denied boarding if they cannot produce such evidence.
Arrivals from other ‘red’ or ‘grey’ regions under the EU Traffic Lights system (this includes all regions outside the EU/EEA) are advised to restrict their movements for 14 days, or until they have a negative result of a second PCR test taken no less than 5 days after arrival.
Passengers from ‘green’ and ‘orange’ regions under the EU Traffic Lights system are not advised to restrict their movements on arrival, but must adhere to the local public health guidance.
These measures have taken effect as of 16th January and will remain in place until 31 January, to be reviewed then.
All passengers arriving in Ireland are required to submit a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form (PLF) for their journey and are advised to follow all public health guidance on arrival in Ireland. For information on arriving in Ireland from abroad, please visit the website of the Irish Government (www.gov.ie) or the Health Service Executive (HSE) www.hse.ie
High Degree of Caution
Security Status Last Updated: 21 October 2020 to take effect from 00.00 on 22 October 2020
Specific measures are in place throughout Austria, and you are advised to follow the guidelines of national, regional and local authorities. The Austrian four-stage Corona traffic light system provides information on the regional risk situation including both the risk of spread and the systemic risk (= risk of overloading the health care system with COVID-19 patients).
Flights from Austria to Ireland have resumed and carriers are operating at a reduced timetable. Current information on flights to and from Vienna can be found on the Vienna Airport website. Please check with your airline if in doubt.
The Austrian Ministry of Health monitors the current developments closely and measures are regularly revised by the responsible authorities. You can follow updates by the Austrian ministries here:
Link to: Ministry of Heath / public health authorities
The Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection provides detailed information, recommendations and download material about COVID-19 (mainly in German).
The Health Hotline 1450 has been created for people with symptoms or people suspecting to have been infected.
The Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) has established a 24/7 Corona-Information-Hotline 0800 555 621.
The Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs regularly updates travel warnings also related to COVID-19. Information is provided in German.
The Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research offers information and recommendations for schools, students, staff and researchers in German and English.
Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:
While there are currently no reports of major delays on public transport, travellers are advised to check with Austrian Federal Railways for information regarding any disruptions to service.
Travellers must carry their passport when crossing all borders and are advised to carry photo identification at all times when travelling within Austria. The Embassy recommends carrying a copy of your passport.
Although Vienna is extremely secure and the risk of anything happening is still low we would like to advise Irish Citizens travelling to the Christmas Markets to be extra careful due to the large crowds gathering at them.
General Travel Advice
An incident, suspected to be a terrorist attack, took place in Vienna city centre (on several locations in the 1st district near Schwedenplatz) on 2 November 2020. People are asked to remain vigilant in crowded and popular inner city places.
The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.
You can contact the emergency services in Austria by dialling 112. Specific emergency numbers are:
- Police: 133
- Fire brigade: 122
- Ambulance: 144
Our tips for Safe Travels:
- Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
- Get a European Health Insurance Card
- Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
- Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
- Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.
Safety and Security
Safety and Security
Safety and security
Crime remains relatively low in Austria but you should take sensible precautions.
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place.
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
Be particularly aware of petty theft at Vienna´s largest train stations, Westbahnhof, and Hauptbahnhof. There have also been several recent reports of thefts on the trains between Vienna and Prague/Budapest.
Reporting a crime
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Austria, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy if you need help.
If your passport is lost or stolen, you should contact the Embassy as soon as possible and report the loss or theft to the nearest police station or Magistrat. You will need to submit a copy of your police statement when you’re applying for a new passport or if you’re making a claim on your insurance.
In some cases, you may be able to use this statement instead of a passport, but you should check with the airline before going to the airport. If your airline won’t accept the statement, the Embassy may issue you with an Emergency Travel Certificate, valid for one journey from Austria to Ireland, or a Temporary Passport, valid for a restricted period of time.
Walking and Cycling
Please observe traffic lights when walking in Austrian towns and cities, particularly Vienna. On the spot fines are administered for crossing the road at a red light.
It is important to observe the rules of the road when cycling. On the spot fines are administered for cycling in pedestrian areas. It addition, cyclists in Vienna are subject to random breath testing. Failing a test may result in a fine, imprisonment, or both.
The rules of the road are more complex in Austria than those in Ireland, especially for caravan and motor home owners so if you’re planning on driving, remember:
- Bring your full Irish driving license and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance.
- Using your headlights is mandatory in poor visibility and recommended at all other times.
- Carry a high-visibility vest and a hazard warning triangle in the car.
- Motorists in Austria must form an emergency corridor as soon as traffic ceases to progress and congestion is imminent on motorways or dual carriageways and highways, regardless of whether emergency vehicles are already in the vicinity or not.
- Road conditions are generally good although roads in alpine areas can become hazardous during winter and some mountain roads may be closed for extended period.
Using the motorway
If you’re planning to use motorways and ‘S’ roads in Austria, you risk heavy, on-the-spot fines if you don’t display a Motorway Vignette on your vehicle. You can buy these Motorway Vignettes at all major border crossings into Austria and at larger petrol stations.
The legal drink driving limit in Austria is 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The limit is 10 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood for coach/HGV drivers and those who have had a licence for less than two years. Penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol are severe.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Local Laws and Customs
Local Laws and Customs
Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms.
Under Austrian law, you must carry identification, such as a passport, at all times, or be able to produce identification within a short timeframe. We advise you to carry photocopies of the relevant pages of your passport, and keep the original in a safe place.
If you’re staying in private accommodation in Austria for more than three days, you must register your place of residence with the local authorities.
Climate and Skiing
Climate and Skiing
Climate and Skiing
If you’re travelling to Austria, make sure you know what to expect – then plan and pack so that you’re prepared. Get local advice on how to manage in the case of a serious incident or dangerous conditions and co-operate with local authorities.
Austria’s climate is moderate and generally pleasant, with warm summers and cold winters (temperatures largely depend on altitudes). From June to September, you can expect sunshine and low rainfall and from November to March the weather is much colder and usually ideal for winter sports.
If you are planning a skiing holiday contact the Austrian Tourist Agency which covers Ireland (1890 930 118 or email@example.com) for advice on weather and safety conditions before you travel. Off-piste skiing is highly dangerous. You should follow all safety instructions carefully, given the danger of avalanches in some areas, in particular in times of heavy snow.
Always check with the local tourist offices on current snow and weather conditions on arrival. Avalanche beepers (receivers) are the most common rescue devices and when properly used provide the fastest way of locating an avalanche victim. You can get avalanche information by telephoning +43 512 581839 or by visiting the following the websites of the Tirol Avalanche Warning Service or the European Avalanche Warning Service. Take extra care during the spring season, as this is when avalanches most commonly occur.
Please register with the Embassy if embarking on a ski holiday.
If you’re planning to travel in forested areas, you risk being exposed to tick-borne encephalitis. Ticks are very common in country areas and are active from spring to autumn. Vaccinations can be organised with your local medical practitioner.
We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.
Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.
Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.
Your policy should cover:
- All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
- Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.
- 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
- Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
- Lost and stolen possessions.
- Cancellation and curtailment.
- Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. skiing, water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).
Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
As an Irish resident you are entitled to get healthcare through the public system in countries of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland if you become ill or injured while on a temporary stay there. Ensure that you get or renew your EHIC (the new name for the E111) before you go, and remember, you need one for every person travelling in your group.
The EHIC is not a substitute for proper travel insurance provided by a reputable insurer. It doesn’t cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. Also, some private hospitals may not accept the EHIC, so you should check with the hospital administrator beforehand.
Make sure you bring enough medication for your entire trip and for any unexpected delays. Bring copies of your prescription in case you lose your medication, or in case you are asked to justify why you have certain medications at an entry point (airport, port, land border etc.).
Bear in mind that not all over-the-counter medications available in Ireland are legal in other countries and do your research before you go. Check with the nearest Embassy or Consulate of the country you’re planning to visit if you’re unsure which medications you may be able to bring with you.
If you are an Irish citizen and require urgent assistance while the Embassy is closed, please dial the Embassy: +43 1 715 4246.
A recorded message will provide the telephone number of the Duty Officer in Vienna, which can be called in case of a genuine consular emergency that cannot wait until office hours.
Embassy of Ireland to Austria &
Permanent Mission of Ireland to the International Organisations in Vienna.
Monday to Friday 09.30-12.30
Get travel and medical insurance
Before travelling, the Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.