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Gradual return to “normal” - store openings since 14 April 2020

  • Austria


    The previous ban on entering the customer area of business premises of retailers and service providers as well as of leisure and sports facilities for the purpose of purchasing goods or services or using leisure and sports facilities was loosened by Federal Law Gazette II No. 151/2020. The amendments were announced on 9 April and entered into force at the end of 13 April 2020.

    The ban on entering the business premises is not applicable to retailers who sell building materials, hardware stores and garden centres as well as pawnbrokers and dealers in precious metals. As previously clarified, petrol stations and car and bicycles repair shops were excluded from the ban on entry, but this was not included in the regulation. New is, that car washes connected to petrol stations may be operated and entered again.

    Other retail establishments - exception to the entry ban

    Much more important, however, is that retail stores with less than 400 m² sales area can reopen under certain restrictions. The outside area is not to be included in the 400 m² (e.g. sale of motor vehicles or plants in outdoor areas).

    In order to prevent circumvention of the 400 m² meter regulation, changes in the size of the sales area that were made after 7 April 2020 are not taken into account when determining the size of the sales area. If other business premises are structurally connected – i.e. in shopping malls - the sales areas of all shops shall be added together if the sales area is entered via the shopping mall.

    The owner of those retail premises must also take suitable measures to ensure that no more than 20 m² of the total sales area is available per customer at any time. This means that if the customer area is smaller than 20 m², only one customer at a time may enter the premises.

    Another protective measure for all customer areas is the compulsory facemask

    A prerequisite for entering the sales area is that both the employees in contact with customers and the customers wear a well covering mouth and nose protection as a barrier against droplet infection. The only exception to this compulsory facemask applies to children up to the age of six. In addition, a distance of at least one meter to other persons must still be maintained.


    Birgit Schleindl

    This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.

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