Since the beginning of the week, anyone who cannot prove that they have been vaccinated or have a convalescent status is no longer allowed to go to a restaurant, hairdresser or event (for 25 people or more) in Austria. FOODSERVICE spoke with restaurateur Heiner Raschhofer about the current situation.
"We will have to tighten the reins on the unvaccinated," Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP)said while the decision was still being announced.
FOOD SERVICE: Dear Heiner Raschhofer, what exactly is the regulation in restaurants?
Heiner Raschhofer: Guests are checked upon entering the restaurant - if they are either vaccinated or recovered. For employees 2.5G applies: Vaccinated, recovered or PCR test - which is still free of charge.
How is the regulation received by businesses?
Very different. But tends to be positive because of skyrocketing numbers with no alternative. People are desperate to save the winter season. The impact depends on the target group. The younger the clientele, the more unvaccinated.
Do you fear that many potential guests will stay at home?
Yes, there will certainly be a dip - especially in the younger crowd and due to the general mood and the many vaccine breakthroughs in more fearful or cautious people. Beyond that, there will be hardly any Christmas parties.
How high was the percentage of tested people in your restaurants before the rule?
About 70% - 75% vaccinated and 25% -30% tested.
Is it allowed to ask for the vaccination status of employees in Austria, unlike in Germany?
Employee must show a PCR test if they can't or don't want to show a vaccination card.