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Questions and Answers

Here you can find FAQs and contacts in relation to the EU Digital COVID Certificate in Austria.

AGES hotline

If you have further questions in relation to the EU Digital COVID Certificate, you can contact the AGES hotline around the clock on 0800 555 6212.

If you have been issued with a wrong or faulty certificate, fill out the AGES form for further support.

Multilingual documents and Easy Reading and ÖGS content are available on the service page.

Questions and Answers

What is a EU Digital COVID Certificate?

The EU Digital COVID Certificate is an umbrella term for a system to provide simple, safe and verifiable proof of a coronavirus vaccination, recovery from an infection with SARS-CoV-2, or a negative test result. The uniform solution in all EU Member States are the EU Digital COVID Certificates which have been realised in Austria as test certificates, certificates of recovery and vaccination certificates. Each of these certificates comes with an EU-compliant QR code. This forms the basis for checks by the respective authorised entity and will thus act as a ticket for admission to a pub or restaurant, a cinema or a gym, for example. These certificates can easily be saved on electronic devices such as smartphones. In order to retrieve the certificates in electronic form, a mobile phone signature or citizen’s card  is necessary. The latter should therefore be applied for in good time.

In Austria, these EU-compliant certificates supplement the already existing forms of proof, which will continue to be valid. Together they form the EU Digital COVID Certificate. At a European level, the EU-compliant certificates were introduced at the beginning of July and are now making it possible to travel more easily again between EU Member States.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

What are the advantages of the EU Digital COVID Certificates?

The EU Digital COVID Certificate offers many advantages regarding the handling and documentation of individual forms of proof. It makes it easier for people to move around and counteracts the uncontrolled spread of SARS-CoV-2. The EU Digital COVID Certificate is an important step towards safely resuming social contacts and normality within the European Union.

(27.05.2021, 12:00)

Is the EU Digital COVID Certificate obligatory?

No. Use of the EU-compliant certificates with a QR code will not be compulsory. It will still be possible to use the previously valid forms of evidence in Austria, such as a self-isolation order or officially recognised vaccination passes. However, for those verifying the information, such as hotels or cultural venues, for example, scanning a QR code is simpler and quicker than checking a written document. This will be particularly relevant in the case of travel abroad as soon as the mutual recognition of certificates in EU Member States becomes possible. The EU Digital COVID Certificate is intended to provide persons who have tested negative, recovered or been vaccinated with equal access to travel, restaurants, cafes and pubs, as well as hotels, culture, leisure activities and sports.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

Which consequences does it have if you use forged proof of vaccination, a test or recovery in a restaurant, hotel, gym, etc.?

This constitutes a violation of the COVID-19 Opening Regulation and is sanctioned with a fine of up to €500. In addition, presenting forged evidence can have consequences under criminal law.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

What are the consequences of using a forged EU Digital COVID Certificate in a restaurant, hotel, gym, etc.?

This constitutes a violation of the currently valid COVID-19 Opening Regulation and is sanctioned with a fine of up to €500. In addition, presenting forged certificates can have consequences under criminal law.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

What are the consequences of actively falsifying and distributing forged EU Digital COVID Certificates?

Such actions can lead to a report being made to the public prosecutor’s office and consequences under criminal law.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

My EU Digital COVID Certificate was issued incorrectly. Where can I turn to?

You can apply for your certificate to be corrected and re-issued via the AGES Hotline 0800 555 621, or online via the AGES service form.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

The EU Digital COVID Certificate in Austria

Which regulations apply after the introduction of the EU Digital COVID Certificate in Austria?

Since June, in addition to the already existing forms of proof, the EU Digital COVID Certificate certificates (at EU level referred to as the Digital COVID Certificate), which are PDF files with an individual QR code, are being deployed in Austria in order to support the continuing reopening measures. These certificates can be presented on a mobile device or printed out.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

Which forms of evidence can be shown in Austria instead of the EU-compliant EU Digital COVID Certificates?

Regardless of the introduction of the EU-compliant EU Digital COVID Certificate certificates in Austria, the already existing forms of proof can still be shown. These are:

• Tested: Persons who have been tested can prove this with their negative test result. Its validity is based on the previously established time scales.

• Recovered: Persons who have already recovered from a SARS-CoV-2 infection can prove this with their self-isolation order or a medical certificate. Evidence of a positive test for neutralising antibodies is valid for three months in Austria.

• Vaccinated: Persons who have already been vaccinated against  COVID-19 can prove this with officially recognised vaccination passes such as the yellow vaccination pass, the vaccination cards used in some provinces, or with the e-vaccination passport. 

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

What information does the EU digital COVID Certificate contain?

The EU Digital COVID Certificate consists on the one hand of the already existing forms of evidence, and on the other of three EU-compliant certificates which enable simple checks on whether a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19 (vaccination certificate), has recovered from an infection with SARS-CoV-2(certificate of recovery) or has a negative test result (test certificate). All three certificates can be retrieved and used individually and independently. Due to the equal status of test certificates, certificates of recovery and vaccination certificates, there is no discrimination with regard to the conditions attached to freedom of movement.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

What is a test certificate?

Test certificates are one of the three EU-compliant certificates of the EU Digital COVID Certificate. Their validity is based on the respective periods of time laid down in the COVID-19 reopening regulation:

•  A PCR test is valid for 72 hours. PCR tests are processed in a laboratory, such as in the Alles Gurgelt campaign for gargling tests.

•  An antigen/lateral flow test, which is carried out at a testing site or in a pharmacy, is valid for 48 hours.

Information: Regardless of the introduction of the EU Digital COVID Certificate in Austria, the following already existing forms of proof can still be shown:

•  all previously recognised test results.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

Which data does a test certificate contain?

The data which is necessary for the issue of the certificates mentioned above is called a minimal data set. Alongside an EU-compliant QR code, a test certificate contains the following data:

•       Date of birth of the tested person

•       Disease or pathogen for which the person was tested – in this case only COVID-19

•       Type of test

•       Name of the test

•        Name of the manufacturer of the test

•        Date and time when the sample was taken

•        Test result (positive/negative)*

•        Name of the testing site or the organisation carrying out the tests

•        Name of the state in which the test was carried out

•        Name of the issuer of the test certificate

•        Unequivocal identifier of the test certificate.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

How do I obtain the test certificate?

For persons who have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 (e.g. at a testing site, as part of the Alles Gurgelt programme, in a pharmacy, etc.) an EU-compliant test certificate is created automatically  and sent to the person tested by email or text message, or made available via gesundheit.gv.at

In addition, the test certificate can be printed out free of charge at the testing site.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

What is a certificate of recovery?

Certificates of recovery are one of the three EU-compliant certificates of the EU Digital COVID Certificate. From today’s perspective a certificate of recovery is valid for six months – starting at the earliest from the 11th day after the first infection was confirmed by a molecular test (PCR) and lasting for up to 180 days after that.

Certificates of recovery are only issued if the first molecular test result was recorded no later than 180 days (six months) before the day of issue of the certificate. If the test result is from a time before this, no certificate of recovery will be issued.

Information: In spite of the introduction of the EU Digital COVID Certificate in Austria, the following already existing forms of proof can still be shown: a self-isolation order, a medical certificate on an infection with SARS-CoV-2 which took place in the last six months and has now been overcome, or evidence of a positive test for neutralising antibodies.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

Which data does a certificate of recovery contain?

The data which is necessary for the issue of the certificates mentioned above is called a minimal data set. Alongside an EU-compliant QR code, a certificate of recovery contains the following data:

•         Surname and first name(s) of the tested person

•         Date of birth of the tested person

•         Disease or pathogen which the person was vaccinated against – in this case only COVID-19

•     Date of the first positive molecular test result

•        Name of the state in which the test was carried out

•        Name of the issuer of the test certificate

•     Date from which the certificate of recovery was valid

•     Date when the certificate of recovery expires

•        Unequivocal identifier of the test certificate.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

How do I obtain the certificate of recovery?

For persons who have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and were recorded in the EMS (epidemiological reporting system) in Austria, an EU-compliant certificate of recovery is automatically issued and made available to the person who has recovered via the gesundheit.gv.at platform. A mobile phone signature or a citizen’s card is necessary to retrieve it. When the certificate of recovery has been downloaded and saved, it can be used for the entire period of validity as proof of having already been infected with SARS-CoV-2. The certificate can, however, also be retrieved again at any time.

In addition, it is possible to have the certificate of recovery printed out free of charge at the ELGA Ombudsperson’s offices or at local authorities (Gemeinde) and district administration authorities (BH).

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

I have a positive test for neutralising antibodies confirmed by a laboratory. Will I receive a certificate of recovery?

No. At a European level, there are no plans to include neutralising antibodies in the Digital COVID Certificate. In line with the tested-vaccinated-recovered rule (3-G) and the COVID-19 Entry Regulation in Austria, laboratory-confirmed evidence of a positive test for neutralising antibodies will, however, continue to be recognised as proof for travelling to Austria. The test result is valid for three months.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

What is a vaccination certificate?

Vaccination certificates are one of the three EU-compliant certificates of the EU Digital COVID Certificate. Their validity in Austria is as follows:

•    The certificate from the first dose is valid from the 22nd day after vaccination up to a maximum of 90 days from the day of vaccination.

•    The second dose extends the period of validity of the first vaccination. The validity of a full series of vaccinations with one of the vaccines approved by the EMA is currently 270 days from the second dose.

•    Vaccines which require only one dose (such as that from Johnson & Johnson) are valid from the 22nd day after vaccination for a total of 270 days from the day of vaccination.

•    For persons who have already recovered from the infection, and who – from the current perspective –  only require one dose, this is valid for 270 days from the day of vaccination.

Certificates can be issued for all COVID-19 vaccinations which are recorded in the e-vaccination passport register. However, the vaccines must have been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The period of validity is not affected if a series of vaccinations is composed of two different vaccines, as long as they are approved by the EMA.

Information: Regardless of the introduction of the EU Digital COVID Certificate in Austria, the already existing forms of proof can still be shown.

•  Officially recognised vaccination passes such as the yellow vaccination pass

•  The vaccination cards used in some provinces

•  A printout of data from the e-vaccination pass.

The vaccination cards and printouts from the e-vaccination pass are not official documents. For this reason, only the yellow vaccination pass is accepted for entry into other countries.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

What data does a vaccination certificate contain?

The data which is necessary for the issue of the certificates mentioned above is called a minimal data set. Alongside an EU-compliant QR code, a vaccination certificate contains the following data:

•  Surname and first name(s) of the vaccinated person in that order

•  Date of birth of the vaccinated person

•  Disease or pathogen which the person was vaccinated against – in this case only COVID-19

•  Vaccine

•  Name of the vaccine in accordance with its licensing

•  Owner of the licence or manufacturer of the vaccine

•  Number of the vaccine dose (e.g. 1 or 2) and the total number of doses of a series of vaccinations

•  Date of the vaccination (for each dose of vaccine received for basic immunisation and booster vaccinations)

•  Name of the state in which the vaccination was carried out

•   Name of the issuer of the vaccination certificate

•  Unequivocal identifier of the vaccination certificate.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

How do I obtain the vaccination certificate?

For persons who have had a COVID-19 vaccination in Austria, an EU-compliant vaccination certificate is automatically issued. It is made available to the person who has been vaccinated by means of the e-vaccination passport (accessed via gesundheit.gv.at). A mobile phone signature or a citizen’s card is necessary to retrieve it. When the certificate of recovery has been downloaded and saved, it can be used for the entire period of validity as proof of having received a COVID-19 vaccination. The certificate can, however, also be retrieved again at any time.

In addition, the vaccination certificate can in future be printed out free of charge at pharmacies, doctors’ practices, the customer service points of Österreichische Gesundheitskasse or at the ELGA Ombudsperson's Offices.

In order to ensure particularly low-threshold access to vaccination certificates, all persons who have been fully immunised by the end of June 2021 will receive their vaccination certificate by post.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

I have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Which vaccination certificate should I show?

For every dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, an EU-compliant vaccination certificate will be issued and made available at gesundheit.gv.at. As soon as you have received the second dose and have downloaded the certificate via gesundheit.gv.at, you only need to carry and show the vaccination certificate for the second dose (dose 2/2). This automatically shows the validity of 270 days from the second vaccination.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

I have been vaccinated against COVID-19 with two different vaccines. Will I receive a vaccination certificate?

Certificates can be issued for all COVID-19 vaccinations which are recorded in the e-vaccination passport register. However, the vaccines must have been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The period of validity is not affected if a series of vaccinations is composed of two different vaccines as long as they are both approved by the EMA.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

I have recovered and have only received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Will I receive a vaccination certificate?

Yes, a certificate will principally be issued for every COVID-19 vaccination. However, the validity of the individual doses is currently regulated in different ways in individual EU Member States. In line with the currently valid COVID-19 Opening Regulation, in  Austria, persons who have received one dose currently receive a vaccination certificate with a validity of a maximum of 3 months from the day of vaccination. At a European level, there was recently a Council recommendation regarding the validity of vaccination certificates for person who have recovered and then been vaccinated (it is now assumed that having been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and having received one dose of a vaccine provides full immunisation). However, there is still no uniform solution in the Member States, as not all of them are following this recommendation. This procedure would, however, also coincide with the recommendations of the National Vaccination Council in Austria.

Austria has been working on the technical implementation of this Council recommendation since its publication, but a corresponding legal prerequisite is required for this. Until the validity of the vaccination certificates of persons who have recovered and then been vaccinated has been legally and technically adjusted to the validity of vaccination certificates of fully immunised persons, a vaccination certificate can still be shown together with a certificate of recovery in Austria, both within the country and for journeys to Austria. The validity of a vaccination with a single dose is set at 270 days here.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

I have neutralising antibodies and have only received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Will I receive a vaccination certificate?

Yes, a certificate will principally be issued for every COVID-19 vaccination. However, at a European level there are no plans to include neutralising antibodies in the Digital COVID Certificate. In Austria, you receive a vaccination certificate with a validity of a maximum of 3 months from the day of vaccination. In any case,  in Austria the vaccination certificate can currently be shown together with proof of neutralising antibodies – the validity of the partial vaccination is set at 9 months here. In addition, in line with the tested-vaccinated-recovered rule (3-G) and the COVID-19 entry regulation in Austria, laboratory-confirmed evidence of a positive test for neutralising antibodies will continue to be recognised as proof for travelling to Austria. The test result is valid for three months.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

I have been vaccinated against COVID-19 abroad. How do I obtain a vaccination certificate?

Entering a COVID-19 vaccination received abroad into the e-vaccination passport retrospectively is possible in return for a small fee at healthcare providers (doctors’ practices, etc.). Entry into the e-vaccination passport forms the basis for the issue of a vaccination certificate. If the vaccination was carried out with a vaccine approved by the EMA and entered into the e-vaccination passport, a vaccination certificate can be created and retrieved from gesundheit.gv.at. 

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

I have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Austria, but I don’t have an e-Card. Will I receive a vaccination certificate?

Persons who have an Austrian social insurance number but no e-Card have an e-vaccination passport nevertheless. The certificate for the COVID-19 vaccination you have received on paper can be entered into the e-vaccination passport in return for a small fee by your respective healthcare provider. Entry into the e-vaccination passport forms the basis for the issue of a vaccination certificate. If the vaccination has been entered into the e-vaccination passport, a vaccination certificate can be created and retrieved from gesundheit.gv.at.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

I have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Austria, but I do not have an Austrian social insurance number. Will I receive a vaccination certificate?

Principally, all persons who have already been registered in the social insurance system in Austria once since 1972 have an Austrian social insurance number. This is also the case if you have additionally insured yourself privately. However, if you really have no social insurance number, an e-Card can be applied for and issued in order for you to participate in ELGA and the e-vaccination passport. This can be done at your local customer service office of the Österreichische Gesundheitskasse. In order for an e-Card to be issued, an up-to-date photo is required. The conditions stated at www.chipkarte.at/foto apply to photos. An application for the issue of an e-Card to persons without an Austrian social insurance number so that they can use ELGA and the e-vaccination passport can be made at any of the customer service offices of Österreichische Gesundheitskasse . The paper certificate for the COVID-19 vaccination you have received can then be entered into the e-vaccination passport in return for a small fee by your respective healthcare provider  (such as a doctor’s practice). Entering it into the e-vaccination passport forms the basis for the issue of a vaccination certificate. If the vaccination has been entered into the e-vaccination passport, a vaccination certificate can be created and retrieved from gesundheit.gv.at or printed out at authorised offices.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

Where can I retrieve the certificates in electronic form?

All EU-compliant EU Digital COVID Certificate certificates can be retrieved with a mobile phone signature or a citizen’s card from gesundheit.gv.at.  A mobile phone signature or a citizen’s card citizen’s card; should therefore be applied for in good time. Digital certificates can also be printed out by the respective person, carried with them and shown when needed.

Information: A citizen’s card or mobile phone signature can also be easily activated from home via the FinanzOnline website:

•   Log-in to FinanzOnline using your login details

•   Choose the menu item ‘Bürgerkarte/Handy-Signatur aktivieren’

•   Within a few days you will receive a letter of confirmation by post.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

Is it possible to retrieve the certificates electronically for other people?

Yes. Under certain circumstances, it is possible to retrieve the certificates electronically from gesundheit.gv.at for other people by acting as their representative (e.g. parents can do this for their children, and guardians for the person they represent, etc.). Further information is available from gesundheit.gv.at.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

Where can I have my EU Digital COVID Certificates printed out?

All EU-compliant EU Digital COVID Certificate certificates can be printed out free of charge at the following places:

•         Vaccination certificates:

−          Pharmacists

−          Doctor’s practices

−          Customer service offices of the Österreichischen Gesundheitskasse

−          ELGA Ombudsperson’s offices

 

•         Certificates of recovery:

−          Local authorities

−          District administrative authorities

−          ELGA Ombudsperson’s offices

 

•         Test certificates:

−          Directly at the testing site

For persons who show proof of their identity at these locations, a search can be carried out and the existing certificates can be printed out free of charge.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

Is it possible to have certificates printed out for other people?

Yes. It is possible to have certificates printed out for other people at authorised locations. To do so, a signed power of attorney and the social insurance number of the person you are representing is necessary.

If parents or legal guardians wish to have certificates printed out for children at authorised locations, they need to present evidence of their parenthood or guardianship plus the social insurance number of the child.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

The EU Digital COVID Certificate in the European Union

When will there be a EU Digital COVID Certificate (officially referred to as the EU Digital COVID Certificate) at a European level?

Within the European Union, the reciprocal recognition of certificates has been possible from the beginning of July. The reciprocal recognition of certificates at EU level will help to make travelling easier. The data which is contained in the QR code may not be stored by the states which a person visits.

The area of application of the Digital COVID Certificate envisioned by the European Union is primarily travel between the Member States. At a national level, Member States can also deploy the EU Digital COVID Certificate / Digital COVID Certificate to enable the safe reopening of areas such as restaurants, pubs and cafes as well as culture and sport. This is also the case in Austria.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

Will the Austrian EU Digital COVID Certificates also be recognised in other countries?

Yes. In order to ensure the verifiability of certificates throughout the EU, the necessary technical interfaces between the systems of the Member States are being created. In this way the certificates can be read anywhere in the EU. At every border it will then be possible to prove with the QR code that one has been vaccinated, tested, or has recovered. What this means in terms of access to facilities, events etc. for travellers who have been vaccinated, tested or have recovered is, however, dependent on the respective epidemiological situation and is decided independently by each Member State. Before travelling to another country one should still obtain information about the existing regulations. A good overview of entry regulations is available at https://reopen.europa.eu/en

Information: Home tests which are recorded in the official data processing systems of the provinces (e.g. electronic monitoring via an app), can only be used in Austria and are not valid for entry to other EU Member States.

(06.06.2021, 12:00)

Where can I find information on the entry regulations of other countries?

•       Information on entry to other EU Member States is available from the website of the Ministry of European and International Affairs.

•         Information on entry to third countries is available at reopen.europa.eu.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

Will the EU Digital COVID Certificate /Digital COVID Certificate also be a precondition for travel within the EU after the pandemic?

The use of the certificates is currently only planned for combating the pandemic.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

Checking the EU Digital COVID Certificate – information for companies

As a company/business, which forms of proof can I accept after 19 May?

•         Test result: Persons who have been tested can prove this with their negative test result. Its validity is laid down by the previously established rules. The sample for a molecular test (e.g. PCR) must have been taken no longer than 72 hours ago, while that for an antigen/lateral flow test must have been taken within the last 48 hours. Home tests which are recorded in an official data processing system of the provinces (such as digital monitoring via an app) are valid for 24 hours.

    Certificate of recovery: Persons who have already recovered from an infection with SARS-CoV-2 can prove this with their self-isolation order or a medical certificate on an infection with SARS-CoV-2 which took place in the last six months and has now been overcome. Evidence of a positive test for neutralising antibodies is valid for three months.

       Vaccination certificate: persons who have already been vaccinated against  COVID-19 can prove this with officially recognised vaccination passes such as the yellow vaccination pass, the vaccination cards used in some provinces, or temporarily also with a printout of data from the e-vaccination passport.

− The certificate from the first dose is valid from the 22nd day after vaccination up to a maximum of 90 days from the day of vaccination.

−     The second dose extends the period of validity of the first vaccination. The validity of a full series of vaccinations with one of the vaccines approved by the EMA is currently 270 days from the second dose.

− Vaccines which require only one dose (such as that from Johnson & Johnson) are valid from the 22nd day after vaccination for a total of 270 days from the day of vaccination.

− For persons who have already recovered from the infection, and who – from the current perspective – only require one dose, in Austria this is valid for 270 days from the day of vaccination.

Information: Children up to their twelfth birthday are exempted from the obligation to provide evidence. Above that age, children are required to provide evidence in order to enter certain facilities.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

May I let a person who has no form of evidence into my company/onto my premises?

No. Every visitor has to show their relevant proof to the person responsible for checking their status. If you nevertheless let persons who have no valid proof of their status into your business (e.g. a restaurant, gym, hair salon, etc.) you risk a large fine.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)

How are EU Digital COVID Certificates checked?

All saved certificates can be shown when required either electronically or in printed form in combination with photo ID. In addition, already existing forms of proof from Phase 1 remain valid.

The person checking the evidence (in a restaurant, cinema, gym, etc.) can verify the validity of the certificate with the official app GreenCheck. For electronic checks, a mobile phone or tablet with a functioning camera is required. No personal data is transferred here – the check takes place offline, only in the device of the person carrying out the check. Since the EU-compliant QR code of the certificate cannot be read by a normal QR code reader, it can only be verified with the GreenCheck app.

If electronic verification is not possible, the information which can be seen by humans on the presented certificates can of course just be read.

(08.07.2021, 9:00)