Austria Country Report
• Austria’s ruling coalition between Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s centre-right Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) and the right-wing Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) signifies a further move to the political right, which has led to increased domestic and international scrutiny. More extreme elements of the FPÖ are likely to remain the focus of strong criticism from within and outside of Austria. This has the potential to affect government stability.
• Current policy priorities include the implementation of stricter immigration and security rules as well as the liberalisation of business regulations, introduction of lower corporate tax rates, and an increase in labour-market flexibility.
• The Austrian economy maintained a higher growth momentum than most of its European peers (including its key trading partner Germany) during 2018, but the annualised pace has halved from almost 3% in 2017 to roughly 1.5% in late 2018. External factors such as rising global trade protectionism and Brexit-related concerns played a critical role in this, but weakening government consumption and fixed investment also contributed since mid-2018.
• By late 2018, the relatively restrictive fiscal policy stance and the tax revenue boost from strong economic growth during 2016–18 broadly have erased the public sector deficit for the first time in more than 40 years. This gives the government leeway to provide fiscal stimulus if economic demand wanes further and is more likely if Austria faces an unexpected recession.
• Austria faces a moderate risk of terrorist attacks primarily affecting major urban centres, in particular Vienna. The most likely form of attack is one of low capability, for instance using a vehicle or rudimentary weapons such as knives, carried out by a lone actor or small cells inspired but not necessarily directed by militant non-state groups such as the Islamic State.
Despite the current government being under increased political scrutiny, Austria's operational environment is likely to remain stable and attractive for domestic and international competitors. Further structural reforms to reduce administrative burdens for businesses are likely to be introduced. Overall, Austria has one of Europe's lowest unemployment rates and industrial action is rare. The country maintains strong trade links with its neighbours in the EU and the Western Balkans. Communication networks and infrastructure are of a high standard, with extensions planned in the aviation sector in particular.
The risk of jihadist terrorist attacks in Austria is lower than in many other Western European countries, including neighbouring Germany. However, there is a moderate risk of both low-capability and more sophisticated terrorist attacks launched by lone actors or small cells. Moreover, the collapse of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria means that a number of foreign fighters are likely to enter Europe, heightening the risk of attacks. Soft targets such as transport hubs, music and sport venues, shopping centres, or public spaces near tourist attractions or in city centres are likely to be most at risk.
Vaccines Required to Enter the Country
No vaccinations are required to enter the country.
Vaccines Recommended for All Travelers
Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).
Vaccines Recommended for Some Travelers
Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.
Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.
Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).
Austria has highway and road infrastructure meeting the western European standard and public transportation is well equipped and easily accessible. Mountain roads are well tended, but winter weather can see snow blocking some areas. Snow tires and other equipment is recommended for driving in mountainous areas.
Austria's climate is continental in the north and the east of the country, with heavy rain in the summer. Temperatures fluctuate significantly between seasons and snowstorms are common in winter months in the west of the country (mountainous region).
Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz