COVID-19 information for incoming exchange students at UIBK

Last update: 16 August 2021

The University of Innsbruck is looking forward to welcoming you in Innsbruck for your exchange semester! This webpage has been designed to inform international students at UIBK about useful links and precautions regarding COVID-19 in Austria and at the University of Innsbruck in particular. In order to ensure that life at university and in your free time is as safe as possible, we urge you to comply with the legal provisions and official recommendations regarding the containment of COVID-19. As the information about entering Austria may rapidly change, we strongly advise you to contact the Foreign Ministry in your country of residence and the Austrian representation there before deciding to enter Austria.

All information is subject to change. Despite thorough research on our part and frequent updates, we would like to point out that the information provided on this webpage does not replace legally valid information provided by the Austrian government and we are unable to assume any liability for its correctness and completeness. Its purpose is to help you collate useful information in English to make your life as an exchange student in Innsbruck easier.

 

 

HOW TO ACT AT UNIVERSITY

Please check out the official COVID info page of UIBK for the most recent information about rules of conduct on campus: https://www.uibk.ac.at/newsroom/information-on-the-corona-virus.html.en

IMPORTANT: In accordance with the university's duty of care, all persons who have been in contact with a SARS-CoV-2 infected person or who have been diagnosed with an infection are asked to contact the Coronavirus Hotline of the University corona@uibk.ac.at with the following information: First and last name, telephone number, address, brief key data on the contact (when, how long, contact in which form).

Hauptgebäude01
Credit: Uni Innsbruck

 

CORONAVIRUS NEWS RESOURCES & SAFETY MEASURES IN AUSTRIA

Maske
Credit: Pexels - Markus Winkler

Staying up to date on the changing situation in Austria is critical since safety measures and rules of conduct may change within a matter of a few days. For purposes of consistency, clarity, and accuracy, please see the following reliable English-language resources that regularly report on the situation in Austria:

Official information on the coronavirus and its management provided by the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection: https://www.sozialministerium.at/en/Coronavirus.html

More detailed information is available in German: https://www.sozialministerium.at/Informationen-zum-Coronavirus/Coronavirus---Aktuelle-Ma%C3%9Fnahmen.html

 

 →Tip: The websites of most Austrian federal ministries are mainly available in German. We recommend that you download a browser such as Google Chrome with an automatic translation function (check the language settings). This will allow you to read German websites in English or other languages. Even if the translation is not perfect, it grants you access to up-to-date information.

Daily updates curated by Metropole (English-language quarterly magazine targeted at expatriates and internationals in Vienna): https://metropole.at/category/coronavirus-daily-updates/

A general overview about coronavirus safety measures in Austria can be found on the website of the Austrian Tourism Board or ÖIF respectively:
https://www.austria.info/en/service-and-facts/coronavirus-information
https://www.integrationsfonds.at/coronainfo/en/

Region-specific information about the COVID management in Tyrol is provided by the regional government: https://www.tirol.gv.at/gesundheit-vorsorge/infekt/coronavirus/.

Corona Traffic Light System (“Corona-Ampel”): https://corona-ampel.gv.at/ (see detailed overview of regional measures for Tyrol on subpage: https://corona-ampel.gv.at/aktuelle-massnahmen/regionale-zusaetzliche-massnahmen/tirol/)

 

TRAVELLING TO AUSTRIA & ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Bahnhof
Credit: Pexels - Veerasak Piyawatanakul

The changing situation in Austria will determine entry requirements and state-mandated health and safety measures to be taken upon your arrival. For purposes of consistency, clarity, and accuracy, please see the following English-language resources from the Austrian government that are continually being updated:

For the current entry requirements to Austria including pre-departure COVID-19 testing and any pre-registration requirements as well as the corresponding forms, please visit the websites of the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation, and Technology (https://www.bmk.gv.at/service/corona/einreisebestimmungen.html) or the Federal Ministry for Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection;

https://www.sozialministerium.at/Informationen-zum-Coronavirus/Coronavirus---Haeufig-gestellte-Fragen/FAQ-Einreise-nach-Oesterreich.html

 

When entering Austria, the following legal requirements may apply:

  • Registration via Pre-Travel-Clearance (PTC; submission no sooner than 72 hours before your planned entry to Austria; https://entry.ptc.gv.at/en.html)
  • Presentation of a medical certificate or proof of a valid negative test result for SARS-CoV-2, a vaccination certificate (vaccine must be approved in the European Union) or recovery certificate from SARS-CoV-2 issued in German or English language.
  • Observance of a ten-day post-entry quarantine, which may be terminated no earlier than the fifth day after entry by a negative molecular biological test (e.g. PCR test) or antigen test for SARS-CoV-2. The day of entry is considered day "zero".

These requirements depend on the state or region of departure and the cause of entry. Please check carefully which requirement applies to your country of origin and/or any country you have a layover in during your journey to Austria!

There are some exceptions from the general quarantine requirement upon entry depending on your country of origin and where you have been in the past 10 days. If you meet one of the reasons, you must provide the immigration officer (border police officer) with credible evidence upon request when you enter Austria. The final decision as to whether you have to quarantine is up to the border officer and is an individual decision.

The Austrian Consulate General New York and the official travel portal of Austria also provide a good overview and summary of the current travel information:

https://www.bmeia.gv.at/en/austrian-consulate-general-new-york/

https://www.austria.info/en/service-and-facts/coronavirus-information/entry-regulations

If you have questions about entry requirements (visa, residence permit ...), please contact the Austrian representative authority in your country of residence. You will receive legally valid information by the Austrian embassy/consulate: https://www.bmeia.gv.at/en/embassies-consulates/search-for-austrian-representations/

Information about visa and entry conditions from the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD) can be found here: https://oead.at/en/to-austria/entry-and-residence/entry-conditions-covid-19/

The website ‘Re-open EU’ provides information on the various measures in place, including on quarantine and testing requirements for travellers, the EU Digital COVID certificate to help you exercise your right to free movement, and mobile coronavirus contact tracing and warning apps. The information is updated frequently and available in 24 languages. This should help you plan your travel in Europe, while staying safe and healthy: https://reopen.europa.eu/en

While travelling, please carry the following documents on your person in order to be able to provide supporting documentation at the airport/border if necessary (additionally, it can be useful to have a digital backup of important documents, credit cards, IDs, etc.):

  • passport
  • hardcopies of your dorm contract
  • pre-filled Meldezettel
  • acceptance letter or confirmation of enrolment from UIBK
  • pre-travel-clearance (if applicable to your country of departure)
  • negative COVID test as well as corresponding forms (such as Medical Certificate ‘Anlage D’)

If you do not arrive directly in Austria but travel through other countries such as Germany, make sure to check the respective entry conditions in these countries as well as any special requirements your airline might have.

 

PREPARING FOR POTENTIAL QUARANTINE

Stopcovid
Credit: Pexels - Cottonbro

We recommend that everyone should be prepared for a quarantine just in case. You have to book a suitable accommodation for quarantine at your own expense. As you are not allowed to leave your accommodation for 5-10 days, everything you need should be available on site upon arrival. Think about the following topics and contact your dorm in order to prepare for a potential home quarantine in the best possible way:

  • Is the accommodation suitable for quarantine (shared bathroom/kitchen etc.)? Please check with your housing provider if it is possible to have a separate space/room and also separate bathroom/kitchen area in your accommodation during quarantine. In case this is not possible, please organise an accommodation that is suitable for this purpose.
  • Are there means of communication available (WiFi/internet access, SIM card/phone, laptop/computer)?
  • Are all necessary items in the accommodation (bedding, sheets, towels etc.)?
  • Do you have acquaintances/friends/family in Innsbruck who can take care of you during the quarantine or does your dorm offer any assistance, i. e. for grocery shopping? It is a good idea to buy some groceries directly at your port of arrival (airport/train station) since you have to go straight to your accommodation in case you have to quarantine.

The authorities might check occasionally if you comply with the quarantine requirements. If you have been placed in quarantine and fail to comply, you thereby endanger others and can expect high fines!

 

USEFUL THINGS TO BRING FROM YOUR HOME COUNTRY / KEEP IN YOUR ROOM DURING THE SEMESTER

Fiebermesser
Credit: Pexels - Polina Tankilevitch

In case you have to quarantine, you are forbidden from leaving your accommodation. We therefore recommend that you bring the following items from your country of origin to Innsbruck in addition to the documents and objects that you would bring anyway:

WHILE TRAVELLING, please carry the following documents on your person in order to be able to provide supporting documentation at the airport/border if necessary (additionally, it can be useful to have a digital backup of important documents, credit cards, IDs, etc.):

  • passport
  • hardcopies of your dorm contract
  • pre-filled Meldezettel
  • acceptance letter or confirmation of enrolment from UIBK
  • pre-travel-clearance (if applicable to your country of departure)
  • negative COVID test as well as corresponding forms (such as Medical Certificate ‘Anlage D’)

 

OTHER USEFUL ITEMS:

  • prescription medications that you take regularly (if necessary, observe import regulations – if you have any questions, please contact the Austrian representative authority), contact lenses etc.
  • clinical thermometer
  • mouth-nose protection
  • hand and surface disinfectant
  • some cash (EUR)
  • some non-perishable food and drinks in case you suddenly have to quarantine

 

ORDERING GROCERIES AND TAKE-AWAY

Packet
Credit: Pexels - Norma Mortenson

It is generally a good idea to bring a few snacks with you directly from your port of arrival (airport/train station) in case you have to undergo self-monitored quarantine after you have reached your dorm/apartment (occasional check-ups from the authorities possible).

  • Take-away from restaurants can be ordered here: https://www.lieferando.at/en/ or https://www.mjam.net/en/
  •  You can also order groceries online from MPreis (unfortunately the site is only available in German). Orders have to be placed by 1PM for the following day (1PM Saturday for delivery on Monday): https://shop.mpreis.at/
  • Mensa to go - The university canteen offers takeaway from the following three locations:

           > Ubi Chat, Innrain 52f (08:00 – 14:00)

           > SoWi Lounge, Universitätsstraße 15 (08:30 – 13:30)

           > Neue Mensa, Herzog-Siegmund-Ufer 15 (11:00 - 13:30)

You can also place your order via the app ‘mensa.club’ (more info here: www.mensen.at/club; detailed instructions in PDF) beforehand after registering at the cash desk during your first takeaway order on site.

 

 3G RULE AND VACCINATIONS 

The measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus have been eased in Austria but a number of special safety measures (called 3G rule) apply when you go to establishments such as restaurants, service providers with close physical contact (e.g. hairdressers), hotels, leisure facilities (e.g. dance schools, zoos), cultural establishments (with the exception of museums, libraries and archives), meetings with more than 100 people, trade fairs, conferences, excursion boats and coaches etc.

The ‘3G’ rule (short for German ‘geimpft, getestet, genesen’ = vaccinated, tested, recovered) is used to define low-risk groups in epidemiological terms. The ‘Green Pass’ (mobile phone app; https://gruenerpass.gv.at/en/) confirms that you are tested, vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19. In Tyrol, everyone over 12 years of age must comply with this rule. In all places where the 3G rule applies, there is no mask requirement. This also applies to employees in those areas where a 3G certificate is needed.

Mouth-nose protection is however still required in supermarkets, pharmacies, health facilities and doctors’ offices, banks, post offices, public transport (and at the corresponding stops), taxis, cable cars, customer areas, museums, libraries, archives, administrative authorities, for food takeaway etc.

‘Geimpft’ = vaccinated

The following rules apply if you have been vaccinated against COVID-19:

  • The first vaccination is valid under the 3G rule from the 22nd day for a maximum of three months, counted from the day of vaccination. From 15 August 2021 onward, you need to be fully immunised (= two shots, except for Johnson & Johnson) in order to fulfil this criterion.
  • The second vaccination (booster shot) extends this period for another 270 days.
  • If the vaccine you received requires no booster shot (e.g. Johnson & Johnson), the first vaccination is valid for the 3G rule from the 22nd day after the vaccination for a total of nine months. Again, the nine months are counted from the day of vaccination.

You can pre-register for a vaccination in Tyrol after your arrival if you have your main or secondary residence (‘Meldezettel’) in Tyrol and you will be contacted if an appointment is available. More information can be found on the following website: https://www.tirol.gv.at/gesundheit-vorsorge/infekt/coronavirus/tirolimpft/informationen-in-weiteren-sprachen/english-tyrol-gets-vaccinated/

‘Getestet’ = tested

Tests remain valid for different periods of time:

  • PCR tests are valid for 72 hours from the time of taking the sample. ATTENTION: From 22 July 2021, access to nightclubs, discos and bars will only be granted to vaccinated persons and people in possession a valid negative PCR test result!
  • Antigen tests carried out by an authorised body are valid for 48 hours from the time of taking the sample. These tests are sufficient for going to restaurants and service providers.
  • Antigen self tests are valid for 24 hours from the time of taking the sample but they have to be recorded in the official data processing system. More information can be found here: https://www.tirol.gv.at/gesundheit-vorsorge/infekt/coronavirus-covid-19-informationen/tirol-testet/selbsttests/

‘Genesen’ = recovered

The following rules apply if you have recovered from a past COVID-19 infection:

  • If you have recovered from COVID-19, you do not have to test for the virus for six months (=180 days) from the 11th day after the first molecular-biological confirmed infection (by means of a PCR test). You need your quarantine order or a medical certificate from your doctor to prove you have recovered from the infection. A positive test for antibodies neutralising the virus is valid for three months from the date of testing.

 

WHERE TO GET VOLUNTARY COVID TESTS

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Credit: Pexels - Gustavo Fring

In order to attend face-to-face classes at university and to fulfil the 3G requirements in other places (if you have not recovered from COVID-19 recently or been vaccinated), you have to be able to present a negative COVID-19 test result.

PLEASE NOTE: in case you have symptoms typical of COVID-19, you should not use the public testing offers. You have to isolate yourself and call the health hotline 1450 in order to schedule a test!

There are several places to get tested for COVID-19 in Innsbruck (this list is by no means complete):

 

Antigen tests

Antigen tests can be done all over town in various pharmacies, medical practices and test lanes/facilities. Prices may vary from EUR 00.-- (depending on the facility and if you have an EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) / Austrian social security number) to approx. EUR 30.--.

‘Tirol testet’ (free antigen tests for residents):

https://www.tirol.gv.at/gesundheit-vorsorge/infekt/coronavirus-covid-19-informationen/tirol-testet/

Register online to make an appointment for a free antigen test at Olympiahalle (Olympiastraße 10, 6020 Innsbruck). You can only do so after you have done the registration of residence in Innsbruck. 

Pharmacies:

https://apotheken.oesterreich-testet.at/#/registration/start

An EHIC is required for the online registration and in this case the test is free. If you do not have an EHIC, best call your chosen pharmacy ahead to schedule an appointment and inquire about the price (usually around EUR 30.--).

Medical practices:

https://www.tirol.gv.at/gesundheit-vorsorge/infekt/coronavirus-covid-19-informationen/tirol-testet/testmoeglichkeiten-niedergelassene-aerztinnen/

You can find a general practitioner close to your place of residence in this list. Call to set up an appointment and bring your EHIC if available.

 

PCR tests

Prices for voluntary PCR tests vary but they usually start around EUR 85.--. This type of test is currently only free if there is a suspected COVID case among your close contacts and a PCR test is thus medically indicated by the authorities to confirm it. If you need a PCR test for travelling, here are a few options:

https://www.covid19-labore.at/bundesland_list.php?bundesland=15 

https://www.advantageaustria.org/sk/files/COVID-19_Testmoeglichkeiten_Oesterreich.pdf

Prices may vary. Please check the labs’ websites for more details.

 

REGISTRATION OF RESIDENCE

MeldezettelThis section is to make sure everything is in place for the first steps once you reach Austria. Upon your safe arrival in Austria, you will have to complete a number of bureaucratic steps such as completing a residence registration at City Hall (Melde- und Einwohnerwesen, Passangelegenheiten, Maria-Theresien-Straße 18, 1st floor, email: post.meldewesen@innsbruck.gv.at,Tel: +43 512 5360 1219, https://www.innsbruck.gv.at/page.cfm?vpath=wohnen/wohnen/wohnsitzmeldungen).

The residence registration must be completed in Austria as soon as you arrive in your host city, latest by 3 days after arrival. This also applies to exchange students unless you have to undergo initial quarantine upon entry to Austria. In this case the authorities are more lenient and you have to go to City Hall right after the end of your quarantine in order to complete your registration. Under no circumstances should you break your quarantine!

The Meldezettel is available for download here: https://www.help.gv.at/Portal.Node/hlpd/public/resources/documents/meldez.pdf

A guide to filling out the government issued form (in German) is available from the OeAD at: https://oead.at/fileadmin/Dokumente/oead.at/KIM/Nach_Oesterreich/Scholars/Guide_Meldezettel.pdf

You will receive a confirmation document that your registration is complete. Be sure to obtain this confirmation sheet (“Bestätigung der Meldung”), as you will need it for other steps like opening a bank account.

 

WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF SYMPTOMS OF ILLNESS & YOU SUSPECT HAVING CONTRACTED COVID-19

Emergency
Credit: Pexels - Pixabay

Always keep some (non-perishable) food in your room in case of self-isolation/quarantine. Do not go to courses, parties, meetings, meet friends, leave your room etc. if you feel sick!

  • HEALTH HOTLINE

If you show symptoms such as

 - fever,
- cough,
- sore throat
- shortness of breath,
- breathing difficulties,
- sudden loss of smell,
- sudden loss of taste,
- fear that you are ill,


stay at home, do not visit a doctor (!) and call the corona health hotline 1450 for further instructions/diagnostic clarification (In case you do not understand/speak German well enough to navigate through the automated voice instructions, please wait for the end of the message. Do not press any buttons. After the end of the message you will be transferred to the call center and can ask for an English-speaking administrator.).

  • FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS FROM HEALTH PERSONNEL

Follow the instructions you receive from the employees of the health hotline.

  • SELF-ISOLATION/QUARANTINE

Stay in self-isolation, i. e. avoid contact with other people. If such contact cannot be avoided, e. g. in the family, flatmates, pay particular attention to the rules of conduct to avoid infecting other people: the greatest possible distance from other people, increased hand hygiene, sneezing and coughing in the crook of your arm, use of face masks (FFP2).

  • OBLIGATION TO REPORT SUSPECTED/CONFIRMED CASES

Inform your contact person at UIBK (International Relations Office/IWW Office) and send an additional email to corona@uibk.ac.at (see above, ‘How to act at university’).

 

HEALTH & WELLBEING

youarenotalone
Credit: Pexels - Brett Sayles

The current situation and the restrictions it brings are challenging for all of us. During this time, it is especially important to take care of your psychological and physical health. Even if physical distancing is inevitable, we should keep socially close to each other, make new friends, talk about the challenges all of us face and stay active.

  • Get in touch with ESN (Erasmus Student Network) for advice on leisure activities and to connect with other international and local students: http://innsbruck.esnaustria.org/
  • If you feel overwhelmed by the situation and would like to talk to a professional, our Psychological Counseling Center will listen to your problems: https://www.studierendenberatung.at/en

- They also have a section dedicated to the Corona Crisis: https://www.studierendenberatung.at/en/corona-crisis/dealing-with-corona-overview/

  • Staying active also helps passing the time. Find a lot of cheap sports classes for students on the webpage of our University Sports Institute: https://usi.uibk.ac.at/usi/page

 

CONTACT US

International Relations Office:

Currently, access to service departments is possible by appointment only. You might consider asking questions during the virtual office hours of the International Relations Office every Wednesday morning. More information about the virtual office hours as well as address and contact details of your interlocutors can be found here: https://www.uibk.ac.at/international-relations/index.html.en

 

IWW Office (for IWW business exchange students only):

Currently, access to service departments is possible by appointment only. But feel free to send an email to iww@uibk.ac.at or use WhatsApp if you have any questions. If you need a signature for a document, please, make sure that the document is completed and send it as PDF ONLY.

 

 

 

 

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