As the winter sports season is getting closer, Austria is preparing for it and has decided to introduce the so-called 3G rule on the ski slopes. On Monday in Vienna, the government of the country announced that ski lift operators will only be allowed to transport people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, recovered from illnesses, and those with a negative coronavirus test result. Distance regulations and capacity restrictions will not apply to ski lifts, but FFP2 masks will be required. If the occupancy of intensive care units with COVID-19 patients increases, regulations will be tightened for unvaccinated winter sports enthusiasts. Austria’s Minister of Tourism Elisabeth Köstinger expressed her belief at a press conference in Vienna that the above regulations will enable carefree and safe enjoyment of the country’s winter season.
Currently, about 200 intensive care beds in Austria are occupied by COVID-19 patients. If this number rises to 300, unvaccinated people will not be allowed to visit apres-ski bars – even if they test negative for coronavirus. This is according to an announcement by Austrian Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein. In addition, ski lift operators and owners of catering establishments and hotels will no longer be able to accept self-tests. If bed occupancy in intensive care units exceeds 400, unvaccinated persons will have to present a negative PCR test result. Less accurate antigen tests will then no longer be sufficient.