Cable car operators can only transport people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, tested for coronavirus or recovered, to make the winter season in Austria safe again, the authorities in Vienna said. Unvaccinated people must take into account difficulties.
The Austrian government wants to enable a safe winter season this year. For this purpose, the Alpine country uses the so-called 3G rule (from the German geimpft, genesen, getestet – vaccinated, recovered, tested).
Under this rule, cable car operators can only transport people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, tested for coronavirus or have recovered, the government in Vienna announced. The provisions on distance and capacity limitation will not apply to ski lifts, but the mandatory FFP2 medical masks do.
Dependence on the number of beds occupied by COVID-19 patients
If the overcrowding of intensive care units increases with COVID-19 patients, the rules on unvaccinated winter sports enthusiasts will be tightened.
Currently, around 200 beds in Austria are occupied by COVID-19 patients. If this number rises to 300, unvaccinated people will not be able to visit Apres-ski premises, even if their coronavirus test results negative, the Austrian Ministry of Health announced.
From this level on, also cable cars, gastronomy and hotels will not be able to accept self-tests. With 400 beds in intensive care, unvaccinated people will have to show a negative PCR test result. Less precise antigen tests will then no longer be sufficient. If things worsen, the government has envisaged extending the 2G rule – vaccinated or recovered – to other areas.
Government action to “prevent Austria from being covered by travel alerts again”
The German TV ARD notes that it is not yet known how the 3G rule is to be controlled in the cable cars without creating long queues. Work on resolving this problem is still ongoing.
Austria’s Minister of Tourism, Elisabeth Koestinger, expressed her conviction that a safe winter season was possible with such framework conditions. The idea is “that Austria will not be covered by travel warnings again,” says the minister quoted by ARD.
Ski tourism is an important economic sector in Austria. More than half of all winter holidays in Europe are spent in Austria. According to Koestinger, the 2020/21 season was a “total failure”.
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