Short-term travel for 'business purposes' to Austria is still possible under the current COVID-19 rules. This article explains.
Anyone entering Austria currently must complete an online 'Pre-Travel-Clearance-Form' within 72 hours before entering Austria. Professional commuters, who enter Austria for business purposes at least once a week only have to fill out this form every seven days.
Individuals may enter Austria without restrictions if the country or territory from which entry is being made is listed in Annex A to the amendment of the COVID-19 entry regulation that came into force on 10 February 2021 and provided that the person has stayed exclusively in Austria or in a country listed in Annex A for the past ten days. The countries and territories listed in Annex A are currently (as of 13 February 2021): Australia, Finland, Greece, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea and the Vatican.
If the relevant state is not listed in Annex A, individuals entering from an EU/EEA state, or from Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or the Vatican, or who have not been exclusively in Austria and/or in one of the Annex A states during the past ten days, must carry a medical certificate or a test result issued in German or English confirming a negative COVID-19 test result which has been performed not longer than 72 hours before entry (seven days for regular commuters). If a test result cannot be presented at the time of entry, a test for COVID-19 must be carried out immediately, but no later than 24 hours after entering Austria entry, at the traveller's own expense. After arrival, all travellers (even if a negative test has been presented) must immediately enter a ten-day quarantine. Early termination of quarantine is possible on the fifth day of quarantine at the earliest on presentation of negative molecular biological test (e.g. PCR) or antigen test.
If a state is not listed in Annex A and does not fall within the exception described above, third–country nationals are basically not allowed to enter Austria, except for specific cases listed under paragraph 5 of the COVID-19 entry regulation (e.g. holders of a visa or residence permit). One of these exceptions, however, is entry for business purposes to be proven by the traveller.
Individuals entering the country for business purposes are not required to observe quarantine. A negative medical certificate or test result must be presented in the event of an inspection; if the traveller cannot provide this, they will be required to start a ten-day quarantine period immediately. Entry will be considered to be for professional purposes if the reasons for it are directly related to professional purposes. If a person has left Austria for professional purposes, his or her re-entry into the country is considered to be for professional purposes. The credibility of the professional reasons can be verified, for example, by confirmation from the employer, delivery bills, order confirmations, confirmation of a job interview, etc. This evidence should include the time and place of the business appointment or the duration of the appointment.
Originally Published by Ius Laboris, February 2021
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.