The good news is, learning German in Austria in times of the Coronavirus pandemic is possible again. If you read on now, don't be discouraged by complicated-sounding measures. A German course in the middle of the Tyrolean Alps is a good opportunity to forget the often difficult everyday life caused by Corona for the moment. Have fun learning German in a face-to-face course in one of the most beautiful areas of Austria - even in times of the pandemic.
What you have to consider before starting your language study trip to Austria:
In order to travel to Austria (as of 01.02.22), proof of double-vaccination or recovery is required as well as a molecular biological test (e.g. PCR) or a booster shot. In Austria this is called the 2G+ regulation and stands for vaccinated (“geimpft”), recovered (“genesen”) or tested (“getestet”). You will encounter these three “G’s” in the German speaking world when navigating Covid regulations.
Unfortunately, students with a one-time vaccination by Johnson&Johnson are no longer able to be considered fully vaccinated and will need to get a second vaccination. An EMA-approved mRNA vaccine (BioNTech/Pfizer or Moderna) is recommended for this purpose. Have you been vaccinated three times? Individuals who can demonstrate a booster are not required to submit a PCR test. For those who have recovered, the infection must have been no more than 180 days ago. After that, you will also need your (first) booster vaccination. Those who are neither vaccinated nor recovered must complete the Pre-Travel-Clearance and are required to quarantine. The quarantine can be ended at the earliest on the 5th day by a negative PCR test. Please check the page of the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection for updated travel regulations before your trip.
What you need to keep in mind during your German course in Austria:
German courses can finally be held in face-to-face tuition again, and German is best learned in an on-site language course with a teacher and fellow students. This is simply the most fun way to learn German. In order to ensure your safety and that of your colleagues during your German lessons, all course participants as well as the teachers must be verifiably vaccinated or recovered. At the moment there is a general obligation to wear masks in public places in Austria. For the lessons this means that the German course can take place without the obligatory wearing of the mask. Before the start of the course, it is clarified with the participants what they prefer. Large classrooms make it possible for the small groups of 2-3 people to keep a distance of two meters.
Recommended hygiene measures during German classes in Austria:
The DIT disinfects work surfaces and everyday items after class each day.
What to watch for during your free time program:
The good news is, winter sports enthusiasts can combine their German language course with skiing and snowboarding, because the cable cars are in operation. In the winter season 2021/22, the 2G rule applies in cable cars and hotels. So you must be fully vaccinated or recovered. In closed and coverable ski lifts (gondolas, cabins, coverable chair lifts) and in closed rooms in the public area the FFP2 mask obligation also applies. Also if you cannot keep the minimum distance of 2 meters outdoors, you must wear a mask. Likewise, masks are compulsory in supermarkets.
The Deutsch-Institut Tirol is pleased to inform you that after your German course you can have a nice meal or go for a coffee or a beer. For the gastronomy the 3G proof is valid: So you have to be vaccinated OR tested OR recovered. In addition, the general closing time will be moved back by two hours to midnight and will apply from 05 February 2022. If you enter a restaurant, the mask must be worn until you are seated at the table and may then be removed. Aprés-ski and nightlife are suspended for the time being.
If you are traveling by public transport (e.g. bus or train) you also need an FFP2 mask. Always keep sufficient distance and ensure adequate hand hygiene.
What should you do if you have Corona-specific symptoms or fall ill with Corona during your German course in Austria?
We do everything we can to make your German course as safe as possible. However, there is no such thing as one hundred percent certainty during these extraordinary times.
If you show symptoms of illness such as fever above 37.5 °C, cold symptoms or respiratory illness during your time in Austria, please stay in your accommodation. Inform us so that we can stop possible chains of infection as quickly as possible. Also notify us if you have come into contact with an infected person. Dial the Corona hotline 1450 - The telephone health advice line is available 24 hours a day and will give you all the important recommendations for action and information on testing options.
If you have tested positive for Covid-19, and also if you suspect a possible infection, you must not attend classes until you have been cleared by a doctor and have tested negative (by PCR test). If you fall ill with Covid during your stay, you can also make up the missed lessons free of charge – this can be discussed individually with the head of the school. We are sure to find a good solution for you, because your enjoyment of learning German is our top priority.
Students who have been in close contact with confirmed cases as well as those who tested positive can be cleared with a PCR test from the fifth day onwards. During this time, the Deutsch-Institut Tirol will gladly support you with non-contact deliveries of food or medication and will gladly put you in contact with a local doctor. In case of mild symptoms, please stay in your accommodation and wait. Avoid any contact with other guests and the hosts.
Costs and liability
We cannot make any statements about the amount of costs of possible treatment. Please contact your health and travel insurance for this. If you fall ill from Covid before your arrival, you can change your booking with us to another date free of charge.
Students and teaching staff are required to provide FFP2 masks themselves. If no vaccination or recovery certificate is available, students are unfortunately not allowed to participate in any course.
The Deutsch-Institut Tirol does not assume any responsibility for non-compliance with hygiene measures on the part of course participants and extra costs should students become sick during their time in Austria. Even with all of the precautionary measures, the possibility of becoming sick with Covid cannot be fully eliminated, and our students understand and accept this risk. It is your responsibility to understand the potential costs of healthcare and arrange appropriate health/medical insurance before coming to study with us.
Last but not least,
we are happy, that you are interested in coming to Kitzbühel to learn German with us and can't wait to welcome you to our region. With a face-to-face tuition, the restaurants and ski resorts in Austria open, you are sure to have a good time learning German with our instructors.