COVID-19 information for incoming exchange students at UIBK

Last update: 27 June 2022

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

Due to relatively stable infection rates at the moment, all COVID-19 measures have been lifted at the University of Innsbruck for the time being as of May 9, 2022.

It is still recommended to wear an FFP2 mask on campus however, especially if it is not possible to keep an appropriate distance from other people or if the situation makes it necessary otherwise.

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


Hauptgebäude01
Credit: Uni Innsbruck


CORONAVIRUS NEWS RESOURCES & SAFETY MEASURES IN AUSTRIA

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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.

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

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

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Credit: Pexels - Veerasak Piyawatanakul

 

The 3G rule (proof of vaccination, recent recovery or negative COVID test) for arrivals to Austria from all countries was lifted on 16 May 2022. There are currently no COVID related entry restrictions in effect for Austria.

Should the situation in Austria change, entry requirements and state-mandated health and safety measures to be taken upon your arrival may be re-introduced on short notice. For purposes of consistency, clarity and accuracy, please see the following English-language resources that are continually being updated:

  • Official information in German can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry for Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection.
  • The Official Travel Portal of Austria provides a good overview and summary of the current travel information.
  • 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 from the Austrian embassy/consulate. Due to COVID restrictions in some countries, the local Austrian embassy might not be open yet or only offer limited services. Please regularly check their website and make sure to start your application for a residence permit/visa relatively early because the process might take longer than usual.
  • 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.

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

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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

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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
  • proof of vaccinations (incl. booster jab if applicable) and/or proof of recent recovery (past 180 days)

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
  • European-certified FFP2 face masks (= requirement in Austria; simple mouth-nose protection is not sufficient)
  • 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

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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).

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 subject to frequent changes, so please check the links mentioned on this website regularly or follow the Austrian news.

The abbreviation 3G stands for ‘getestet – geimpft – genesen’, which means ‘negative COVID test – vaccination certificate – proof of past infection’. This rule is used to define low-risk groups in epidemiological terms. It is important to note that not all existing vaccines count as proof of 3G: only vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) are accepted.

At the moment, a 3G proof is only required for visitors, patients (scheduled health check-ups) and employees of health institutions such as hospitals, retirement and nursing homes and similar places, where you also still have to wear an FFP2 mask at all times. However, the 3G requirement does not apply to medical emergencies, when you need urgent treatment. 

Read more about the validity period of your 3G proof on the website of the Austrian Health Ministry.

If you have your main or secondary residence (‘Meldebestätigung’) in Tyrol, you can get vaccinated for free after your arrival. For more information, please contact your incoming exchange coordinator at UIBK.

The Austrian government had decided to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for residents but the Austrian Health Minister announced during a press conference on June 23, 2022 that the compulsory vaccination regulation was going to be abolished due to the new dynamic of the pandemic caused by the Omicron variants.

 

WHERE TO GET VOLUNTARY COVID TESTS

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Credit: Pexels - Gustavo Fring

According to the national COVID testing strategy, citizens and/or residents of Tyrol are entitled to a limited number of free COVID home test kits per month in order to check their current status:

  • 5 free PCR gargle tests per month are available for collection and drop-off at various SPAR and MPreis super markets for all persons with their main or secondary residence in Tyrol (‘Meldebestätigung’). It is not necessary to have an Austrian health insurance: When you create your user profile on the app, you can indicate your travel document number instead of your social security number. More information can be found on the ‘Tirol gurgelt’ website.
  • 5 free antigen tests per month are available for collection at various pharmacies for people who have an Austrian health insurance card (EHIC). More information can be found on the ‘Tirol testet’ website.

In case you require additional tests for travelling or other reasons, there are several locations to get tested for COVID-19 in Innsbruck, such as pharmacies, labs and testing lanes/facilities. Prices may vary from EUR 00.-- to approx. EUR 30.-- for antigen tests and from EUR 30.-- to EUR 90.-- for PCR tests (depending on the facility and if you have an EHIC [European Health Insurance Card] / Austrian social security number). This list is by no means complete:

PLEASE NOTE: In case you have symptoms typical of COVID-19, call the health hotline 1450 or register online for a test at the screening station!


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

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Credit: Pexels - Pixabay

DO NOT GO TO PUBLIC TESTING SITES IN CASE YOU SUSPECT HAVING CONTRACTED COVID-19!

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. You will probably be sent for testing at the PCR screening station at Olympiahalle, Olympiastraße 10, 6020 Innsbruck.

  • 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 incoming exchange coordinator (International Relations Office/IWW Office) about a confirmed COVID infection and send an additional email to corona@uibk.ac.at.

 

HEALTH & WELLBEING

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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

We do understand that it can be a bit overwhelming to find all the right information – sometimes even on websites in German – so please contact your incoming exchange coordinator at UIBK in order to find the information you are looking for or if you have a question that has not been included on this website. Your coordinators are happy to support you!

 

  • International Relations Office:

The International Relations Office is open for walk-ins during its regular office hours. If you have specific questions you would like to discuss, we kindly ask you to contact us in advance to make sure the person in charge is available at the requested time. You can also contact us via email or telephone, or attend our weekly virtual office hours (details can be found on the IRO website).

 

  • 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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