Austrian Tourist Industry To Reopen

The Austrian government today announced that hotels and other guest accommodation will be allowed to open for the summer season from May 29, 2020.

Tourist accommodation has been officially closed since the end of March – many establishments had already shut down at that point because of travel restrictions across Europe.

Tourist sights and other leisure activities such as open-air swimming pools will also be allowed to open at the same time, announced tourism minister Elisabeth Köstinger.

“The entire industry has had to slam on the brakes,” said Köstinger. “The last weeks have been extremely difficult and, in many case, have threatened the existence of the businesses.”

Regulations and restrictions related to the reopening will be announced in the coming weeks.

It is unclear whether or when international tourism will be allowed, either from the Austrian side or from restrictions imposed by foreign countries.

“We will only be able to provide opportunities for freedom of travel and partial opening of borders with countries where infection rates are low and similar to those in Austria,” said Köstinger. These may include countries such as Germany and the Czech Republic, but any decision on international travel would be made at a later date.

Restaurants will be able to open as from May 15. There will be a maximum of four people at one table, plus children, and waiting staff will have to wear protective coverings. Tables will have to be at least one metre apart and reservations will be obligatory.

The restrictions on movement in public in Austria (the ‘four reasons’ for leaving home) will be lifted from the beginning of May. Events with a maximum attendance of up to ten people will also be permitted from that point.

More information: (German only)