Alpine hospitality? Austria op

Austria is now open to vaccinated South Africans. Image : Pixabay

Alpine hospitality? Austria opens up to vaccinated South Africans

The latest country to reopen its borders to vaccinated South Africans is Austria in Europe.

Alpine hospitality? Austria op

Austria is now open to vaccinated South Africans. Image : Pixabay

If fresh mountain air and picturesque Alpine scenery is what you are missing, here is good news. A trip to Austria is again possible for fully vaccinated South Africans.

Due to the prevalence of virus variants, South Africans and several other nationalities were banned from travelling to Austria for non-essential purposes but were only allowed entry for business travel, medical purposes, and other special reasons, subject to a ten-day quarantine.

South Africa is classed as a virus variant area by many countries, due to the presence of the Beta variant in the country — even though the Delta variant is currently more prevalent in South Africa.

Germany reclassifies SA as ‘high-risk area’

As a consequence of lobbying efforts for South Africa to be removed from Germany’s virus variant list, Germany reclassified South Africa as a “high-risk area”, resulting in South Africans being able to enter Germany again from 1 August.

Now Austria too has reopened its borders to several countries that have been re-classified from previously being categorised as virus variant areas.  This change has been effective from Wednesday 18 August.


The requirement for entry to Austria is full Covid-19 vaccination, with the last vaccination dose having been administered 22 days before arrival in Austria.

According to TravelNews, travellers may also be required to present proof of vaccination in order to gain entry to hotels, restaurants, museums and other public spaces in Austria.


The following vaccines are accepted by Austrian authorities :

  • BioNTech/Pfizer
  • AstraZeneca
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Moderna
  • Sinovac
  • Sinopharm
  • Covishield

Unlike the United Kingdom, Austria recognizes mixed-dose vaccinations. This means that travellers are considered fully vaccinated by Austria if they have received different vaccine doses when being vaccinated.


Swissair and Lufthansa have resumed scheduled flight operations to South Africa. Both airlines offer convenient connections to destinations in Austria, including Vienna and Salzburg.

 It is also possible to travel to Austria with Emirates Airlines, which has begun to accept South African nationals on its flights.