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Mini Report Switzerland and Austria

We finally made it to Switzerland a bit over a week ago. We spent one night in Zurich and we actually really liked it. Then headed to Wengen for hiking for four days. First day cool but every day after just great. ( see other note though on Know Your Hike). Left Wengen, sadly, for a night in Lucerne which we did not like. Hyper vibe, too many tourists. So we bailed early and went back to Zurich for a night. We just fell in love with Zurich, seemed a much chiller vibe, very nice people. We walked all over outside and was just lovely. Then we got a day room because we were taking the Nightjet to Vienna which we did last night. Loved our sleeper car, private, own bath. Only toughie was I had to take the upper bunk and am short enough it was a little tough to get in and out. But fine. We knew we would be arriving from the Nightjet early so back in April we actually booked the Vienna hotel for the night before so it was ready when we got here. We LOVE it, staying at Hotel am Stephanplatz across from cathedral, beautiful large room with deck. Could not be happier. Off to Hallstatt in a few days and then onward. Hanging on and hoping BA keeps our flight to LA for our return.

We were asked for our CDC cards here in Vienna on check in to confirm we are under the 270 day limit. Only place that has asked to see them besides Swiss Air when we checked in for flight.

Now the downers: we’re traveling mostly by train. One nice thing in the BO is all the train cars have windows. So that was all fine. Two bad experiences and they both involved AMERICANS. One was short train to Lucerne. People in front of us were not wearing masks and were Americans. To boot the lady kept sneezing. I finally complained to them by asking if they needed extra masks. After that they put them on. Was a lady and her son. We then moved, we tried to change cars but no room so we moved to the farthest end of the car away from them and kept our KN95s tight. It was not a long trip fortunately because I was quite pissed off. Anyway then when we went from Lucerne back to Zurich another American couple behind us also maskless until I bitched at them, they did put theirs on and we again moved as far away as possible. As vaccinated I worry a lot but could maybe be more chill when I see my 82 year old neighbor who has been in Europe since July 3 and is now in his 7th country and all fine.

In Austria KN95s are basically required but less mask wearing here-not by any waiters nor even our hotel staff. However people are good anytime inside a building. But we have noticed hardly anyone here or in Switzerland wears a mask outside. So that’s a bit dicey but ok in that we’re outside and only around others in cities but it does give pause on the street. We’re doing our mask thing and keeping ourselves as safe as possible. Eating almost 100% outside. Doing our best to keep ourselves safe. But enjoying the heck out of traveling again! The stress has melted away! Keep on travelin’

Posted by
575 posts

Thanks for sharing. Good that you are keeping yourself safe all the time.

Posted by
6841 posts

Hardly anyone wears a mask walking down the street when outdoors everywhere not just in Switzerland and Austria. I guess the Americans you mentioned not wearing a mask on the SBB took them off after the conductor checked tickets? It is mandatory on trains everywhere.

Posted by
251 posts

I guess that’s probably true about outdoor mask wearing but we don’t live in a big city so aren’t used to walking among crowds outdoors and maskless.

The Americans on the first train (son and Mom) didn’t have masks on and conductor told them to, the Mom had to go retrieve a cloth mask in her luggage for the son. The minute the conductor left they took them off until I complained to them. Then we just moved as far away as possible.

Posted by
4325 posts

Just so you know, in Vienna any type of mask can be worn and N95 are not required. Pretty sure that’s true throughout Austria. Masks are required in every indoor space, including public transportation. Masks are not required outside.

Posted by
6527 posts

Ugh, really annoying that the two parties not wearing masks as they should have been on trains were American !!!

Thanks for the report, glad you are having a great time.

Didn’t you have a thread about shoes ? What did you end up deciding ?

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks for your update. It helps to hear from someone who is there! We are going to Austria in early October. When you mentioned they checked your CDC cards in Vienna, was that at the train station on arrival? We will be entering just a few days under the 270. (2nd Pfizer shot was Jan 12 so it’ll be 267 days). I’m wondering how or if that will affect us. We are open to testing of course but not quarantine. And we plan to travel through Austria for a little over 2 weeks.

Posted by
251 posts

They checked the CDC cards at the hotel in Vienna before they would let us check in. They did look at the dates.

On shoes I brought all 3 pair—hiking Keens, Birkenstock’s and Clark’s and have worn all three repeatedly.

Posted by
8 posts

Will be in Austria at the end of the month. Where did I miss the 270 day requirement? I assume if you’re over 270 since you’re 2nd shot you cannot enter the country, is that correct?

Thanks for the update, looking forward to our trip.

Jim

Posted by
251 posts

Anyone coming to Austria should check the 270 rule. Today we were asked multiple times to see our CDC cards. First was the KSM (art museum). Then the art museum cafe. Then when we stopped to have a drink and some sausage on the walk back to the hotel. This place also made us fill out a form, which they have printed on little pieces of paper that has you fill in basically a contact tracing form. The good news is we didn’t have to have a digital pass, everywhere accepted the CDC card.

Posted by
9785 posts

I love that your method of “complaining” was to offer masks! I’m going to use that soon. There was an unmasked guy on our gondola yesterday while his three companions obeyed the rules, he didn’t even pretend. Some of the gondola operators confront the mask less but it is not consistent.

Posted by
251 posts

Yes I keep extras with me, pulled those out and said “do you need an extra mask”

Posted by
420 posts

Oh no!! Sorry to hear about your Lucerne experience. We have 7 nights there coming up as my sister had hotel points to use. Maybe the crowds will thin out before we arrive. We have a bunch of day trips planned.
Your mask experience matches mine--masks on public transport and inside only. Not on while waiting for trains and trams as not required there. More masking in France. We have not encountered any Americans that we know of. We are trying to be super nice as I feel we are representing the US and want to have positive encounters with everyone.

Posted by
4325 posts

Will be in Austria at the end of the month. Where did I miss the 270
day requirement? I assume if you’re over 270 since you’re 2nd shot you
cannot enter the country, is that correct?

Incorrect. You just need a negative PCR test...

Posted by
251 posts

FYI we have been asked again today at every restaurant we stopped at in Vienna to see our CDC cards. Not sure how many are checking dates but they are def checking vaccination status. Was pleased to see on subway system 100% compliance on masks.

Heading to Hallstatt and Salzburg before back to Switzerland tomorrow.

Posted by
6527 posts

Glad you brought the right shoes that have kept your feet happy !! That is so important !

Posted by
4325 posts

And if are are not vaccinated, only partially vaccinated or needing a booster, you just need to show a negative test result to enter a restaurant.