VIENNA – Expanded testing for the hospitality sector

The Austrian government is expanding its state-financed testing to include employees at restaurants, camping sites, and hostels as of 1 September.

Previously, only hotel employees were regularly tested for free, and at present, between 2,000 and 4,000 tests are conducted per day on this group. There are also plans to expand the free regular testing to ski instructors once the season starts.

Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger hailed the move, saying “this makes us one of the international pioneers.”

“Austria should continue to be one of the most hospitable and safest vacation countries in the future,” she added.

Previously, Austria’s ski resorts have been the sites of superspreader events.

In March, the small village of Ischgl became a COVID-19 hotspot, after hundreds of tourists contracted the virus there and brought it back to their home countries.

(Sarah Lawton |

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