Update: 3G at work

Read the newest update from November, 18th, 2021 here. 


The introduction of a general 3G[1] rule in the workplace (as part of an amendment to the Covid-19 Measures Act) was last week also approved by the Austrian Federal Council. The exact modalities were laid down this week in the 3rd Covid-19 Measures Regulation. "Vaccinated, tested or recovered" will also apply in the workplace from November 1st 2021.


Current provision

Previously, the law allowed the 3G rule only in those workplaces where there is a significant risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 because of the nature of the work and direct physical contact with others.  


New provision

The amendment to the law made it possible for the 3G rule to be prescribed for all places of work where physical contact with other persons cannot be ruled out. This has now been implemented with the 3rd Covid-19 Measures Regulation.

From November 1st 2021, employees, owners and operators may only enter such places of work (where physical contact with other persons cannot be ruled out) if they have a 3G certificate. This is the case if there is direct customer contact at the place of work or contact with other employees cannot be ruled out. Thus, the 3G rule will apply to almost all companies in the future.

However, currently already existing stricter general provisions, such as a 2G[2] or 2.5G[3] rule in nightclubs and discos, remain in place. The regulation also provides, for example, that providers of mobile care and support services may only enter external workplaces if - in addition to the 3G certificate - they wear a face mask in closed rooms when in contact with customers.



The 3G rule also applies to entering external workplaces, but not in home office. Also exempt from the 3G rule at the workplace are those who have no more than two physical contacts per day, which take place outdoors and last no longer than 15 minutes each. This could apply, for example, to truck drivers, foresters etc.


Covid-19 Officer & Covid-19 Prevention Concept

Furthermore, owners of permanent establishments with more than 51 employees must appoint a Covid-19 officer and draw up and implement a Covid-19 prevention plan.

  • The Covid-19 prevention concept serves to minimise the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 and must contain, in particular, specific hygiene measures, rules of conduct in the event of infections occurring, rules concerning equalisation measures and the regulation of the number of persons, as well as specifications for appropriate staff training.
  • The Covid-19 Officer is the contact person for the authorities and is responsible formonitoring the implementation of the Covid-19 prevention concept.


​Verification & Control

The 3G certificate is a prerequisite for entering the workplace. Compliance with the 3G rule at the workplace is the responsibility of both employer and employee.

  • Employees must keep the 3G certificate available for the duration of their stay at the place of work and present it in the event of an inspection.
  • The owner of the  permanent establishment or place of work is obliged to carry out inspection. However, no continuous control in the sense of an entry control is required. The extent of the control obligation depends on the circumstances of the individual case. Depending on the size and structure of the business, the number of employees, spatial and organisational conditions etc., appropriate notices, spot checks, notices, oral and written instructions, etc. are sufficient. In the case of random checks, however, these must be effective checks within the meaning of the Covid-19 Measures Act. This will be the case if checks either regularly affect individual persons (selected at random) or take the form of "focus checks" (sporadic continuous checks).

The owner of the permanent establishment or place of work is authorised to determine certain personal data (name, date of birth, validity or period of validity of the certificate and barcode or QR code) and to establish identity when fulfilling his duty of inspection. However, with the exception of the collection of contact details (name, telephone number, e-mail address), the reproduction or storage of the certificates and the personal data contained in the certificates is not permitted.



Employees who enter or drive into the place of work without 3G certificate are committing an administrative offence and face a fine of up to EUR 500.

Owners of an permanent establishment or place of work who fail to ensure that the permanent establishment or place of work is not entered or driven upon contrary to the conditions laid down in the regulation also commit an administrative offence and are liable to a fine of up to EUR 3,600.


Transitional arrangement

In principle, the 3G rule at the workplace will apply from November 1st 2021. However, the regulation provides for a 14-day transitional arrangement: Employees, owners and operators are obliged to wear an FFP2 mask at the workplace at all times in the absence of a 3G certificate. From November 15th 2021, this option will no longer be available, from that time onwards the 3G certificate will be a mandatory requirement for entering the place of work.


[1] 3G refers to „Geimpft, getestet, genesen“, meaning that a person must either be vaccinated, tested or recovered. 

[2] Vaccinated or recovered.

[3] Vaccinated, PCR-tested or recovered.

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