Travel is not the problem
What matters is not where you are but how you behave.
In a recent strategy paper, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Germany has the following to say on the topic of mobility: "Increased mobility (professional or private travel) means extra risk; however, this risk is not primarily related to the place of travel or a specific area but depends mainly on how the individual behaves in an area where the virus is being transmitted."
At the same time, the RKI emphasizes the importance of personal responsibility: "The behavior of every single person counts: consistent compliance with the social distancing and hygiene rules not only protects the individual and others against SARS-CoV-2 but can also reduce the incidence of other infectious diseases." According to the requirements, travelers must be informed about tests, quarantine, and isolation with a range of communication media in different languages.
(Source: Robert Koch Institute, Strategy supplement, as at Oct. 13, 2020)
Flights pose a very low risk
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has demonstrated the low frequency of COVID-19 transmissions during flights with an updated list of published cases: since the beginning of 2020, 44 cases of COVID-19 were reported in which transmission was linked to a flight (including confirmed, probable and potential cases). Approx. 1.2 billion passengers traveled in the same period. According to Dr. David Powell, IATA's medical adviser: "The risk of a passenger being infected with COVID-19 on a flight appears to be very low. As only 44 potential cases of flight-related transmission have been identified among 1.2 billion travelers, that is equivalent to one case for every 27 million passengers." Even if we assume a very high estimated number of unreported cases of 90%, this would only be one case per 2.7 million travelers, says Power: "We find these numbers extremely reassuring. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of published cases occurred before the wearing of face coverings during the flight became widespread."
The existing aircraft airflow systems, High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, the natural barrier of the backrests, the downward flow of the air, and high air replacement rates efficiently reduced the risk of disease transmission on board even in normal times, emphasizes IATA. The mandatory wearing of face coverings for passengers and crew during the pandemic represents another important measure.
(Source: IATA/International Air Transport Association, Press Release, Oct. 8, 2020)
Moreover, initially from November 12 to December 15, 2020, Austrian Airlines are offering COVID-19 tests for flights OS171 and OS172 between Vienna and Hamburg: all passengers and the entire crew are tested before departure. The result is available within about 10 to 40 minutes. If a passenger is negative, they can board the flight. If they are positive, unfortunately they will not be permitted to fly. A positive rapid antigen test is classed as a suspected case of COVID-19, and the medical and official regulations applicable in the country of departure will apply. Information on the airport website
The hotel and restaurant trade is ideally prepared.
Few cluster formations (COVID-19 infection hotspots) have been observed in the hotel and restaurant trade to date. The cluster settings in this sector are relatively low in Austria according to data of the Agency for Health and Food Safety.
Vienna's hotel sector has developed extensive safety and hygiene concepts. The Vienna Economic Chambers and the Vienna Tourist Board have worked together to develop the "Safe Stay" safety seal in order to support accommodation providers with the implementation of higher safety and quality standards. Vienna stands for the highest standards of quality and hygiene. Having won multiple awards as one of the world's most livable, safest, and smartest cities, Vienna participates in the "Safe Travels" initiative of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). The "Safe Travels" label was developed by the WTTC in cooperation with its members, health experts, and the UNWTO as the world's first global safety seal for the travel and tourism sector, specifically to combat COVID-19.