‘Two people per row’: Austria’s strict Covid-19 private car rules explained

Amid rising infection rates, Austria has restricted who can travel in private cars. No more than two people are allowed to sit next to each other if they come from different households.

‘Two people per row’: Austria’s strict Covid-19 private car rules explained
Road trips are more difficult now in Austria - unless you're in the same household... Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Known informally as the ‘two-person rule’ in Austrian media, the measure prevents more than two people sitting next to each other in a car – unless they come from the same household. 

“Kinship alone is not enough,” explained Austrian motor association (ARBÖ) lawyer Martin Echsel to Austrian newspaper Kurier.

This means a family of four cannot give someone from a different household a lift in a five-seater car. 

“No more than two people per row of seats are allowed to travel,” said Echsel. 

The same rules apply to car pools or other ride sharing arrangements. 

The regulation does not apply to taxis and mass transport, although anyone travelling in taxis or on mass transport will be required to wear a mask at all times. 

Car sharers are advised by ARBÖ to clean the steering wheel as well as the gearstick with disinfectant – and to wash the hands before using the vehicle.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


‘Decomposing smell’: Austrian police called due to smelly shoes

Austria's police department said they were called to an apartment complex in Vienna after a person was concerned about a "smell of decomposition".

'Decomposing smell': Austrian police called due to smelly shoes

This week, the Viennese police department started a weekly ‘series’ of sharing interesting stories on their social media accounts

Calling the series ‘Misunderstanding Wednesday’ (Missverständnismittwoch), the very first post is about a call they received to an apartment complex after a concerned citizen complained to emergency services about a “smell of decomposition in the staircase”.

READ ALSO: Stephansdom: Vienna woken up after hacker sets church bells to ring at 2am

The alleged corpse, it turns out, was just the neighbour’s smelly shoes which were left in the building corridor, in front of their apartment.

The police didn’t say when exactly the incident took place.

“When our colleagues are called because of the ‘smell of decomposition in the staircase’… and notice that the stunk is from the neighbour’s shoes which were left in front of the apartment door”, the official Twitter account of the Vienna police department reads.

‘When in doubt it is an emergency’

The authorities were light-hearted about the misunderstanding, even sharing a “meme-like” picture on their social media accounts, saying “some missions turn out to be different than initially assumed”.

READ ALSO: Austrian police warn public about new ‘fake cops’ scam

However, they reiterated that the misunderstandings should not deter people from calling 133, the emergency police number. They added that in case of emergencies and even if you are not sure, the authorities should be called and they will assist you.

“Note: in case of doubt, it is an emergency”, the Vienna police department says. “Never be afraid to dial the emergency number.”