Corona Ampel

The “Corona-Ampel” is Austria’s regional assessment of the epidemic situation regarding COVID-19. It’s a traffic light system that was rolled out by the government indicating infection risks in all Austrian districts (except for Vienna, which is treated as one single district) and the measures arising from the risk level. A new risk evaluation will be announced Fridays.

A map of Austria with the traffic light system can be found on the website: (in German), where you can hover over a district to see it’s color.

The image describes the traffic lights in English.
Original image from the Federal Ministry Republic of Austria

The Vienna-based publication “Metropole” offers a daily update on Covid-related news, developments, rules and regulations in English:

Update November 16

The Corona traffic light system now indicates a very high infection risk for all of Austria. For more see

The government announced a lockdown of most social and commercial activities starting tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov 17. The lockdown will remain effective until Dec 6.

The stay-at-home order is expanded to 24 hours. Leaving your home during these times is only permitted in these cases:
• immediate danger for life or property
• care-taking 
• essential shopping
• job purposes, if unavoidable (see below in section At IST Austria)
• outdoor activities serving physical and mental health like walks, walking the dog and jogging
• medical appointments
• court or other necessary appointments with authorities

The harshest measures affect social contacts. Apart from members of your household (be it family or flat mates) leaving your apartment is only permitted if you are meeting
a) your partner in case you do not share a flat
b) your closest relatives
c) a single person with whom you are usually in close contact more then once a week.

A distance of >1 meter is to be observed in all public spaces to any person who does not belong to your household. Indoors and in addition, facemasks are mandatory except for infants up to the sixth birthday. Transparent shields are now prohibited.

Remain open: shops for essential goods 6am-7pm; chemists and drugstores; post offices; newspaper agents; car and bicycle repair shops; parks; child care, schools and universities with very limited services.

Are closed: non-essential shops; personal services like hairdressers and physiotherapists; all cafes, bars and restaurants, but delivery and take-away services permitted from 6am to 7pm; hotels; theatres, cinemas and museums; any sports venue.

In addition, government offices offer only limited services and usually request an appointment.
The restrictions remain effective at least until Dec 6. Only if the numbers fall significantly will the measures be lifted, most likely beginning with certain sectors.

For orange districts and above the province of Lower Austria issued additional restrictions. See the following paragraph on the impact on campus activities:

Card reader at Cafeteria: The province of Lower Austria requires restaurants to collect data of their patrons if the infection risk in a district is assessed as high (indicated with the color orange). As this is the case you are required starting today to swipe your IST Austria access card over the data reader at the entrance to the cafeteria in order to record your data and to enable the tracing of possible contacts should an infection occur. For external patrons without access cards the two tables to the left of the entrance have been designated and will be reserved accordingly.