Prevention Measures

The Salzburg Festival has worked out a prevention concept, approved by the health authority to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. If necessary, this is going to be adapted to the current situation for the Whitsun and the Summer Festival.


27 August 2021 ‘This season, we were able to prove for the second time that cultural events can take place in times of the pandemic and specifically in this year of the Delta variant, and that they can be implemented safely, thanks to a detailed prevention plan which was implemented in all its consequences. Only two registered cases among 230,000 visitors without subsequent infections in the audience, and few individual cases backstage without subsequent cluster infections, prove that henceforth, the question cannot be whether cultural events can take place, but how. Thanks to the last-minute possibility of selling tickets at full capacity, the Festival was able to proceed as planned, avoiding a looming deficit,’ says the Executive Director Lukas Crepaz.

12 August 2021 During the regular routine testing at the opera camp, one positive index case was found among the 39 participating young people between 14 and 18 years of age from 12 countries. As an immediate response, in accordance with the prevention concept, the regular testing of the group was changed from antigen tests normally taking place every 2 days to daily PCR tests. During these follow-up tests, 3 more infections have been detected. In total, 20 young people have been classified as category 1 contacts by the health authorities.

The festival has decided to cancel the planned final public performance of the camp on 14 August.

The opera camps are a young artists’ project in which up to 40 young people come together for a week at Schloss Arenberg to hold workshops and rehearsals for selected productions of the Salzburg Festival. The camp concludes with a public performance of their devised interpretation. The Jedermann and Cosí camps could be held as planned and without a corona incident.

Additional information: In the case of the visitor who tested positive with the 44 contact people on the day after the Jedermann premiere, there was confirmation from the authorities after the incubation period had expired that no transmission or subsequent infection had been reported.

19 July 2021 The Salzburg Festival and the City of Salzburg’s Public Health Authority hereby confirm that yesterday evening, one person was tested positive for coronavirus who had attended the premiere of Jedermann the previous evening. The infected person had been fully vaccinated.

The surrounding circumstances were duly checked, and thanks to the personalisation of tickets mandated by the Salzburg Festival’s prevention plan, the authorities could be informed of the data of 44 contact persons. Contact tracing is currently being carried out.
The legal regulations and the measures of the Festival’s prevention plan were implemented to the fullest extent.

“After this unfortunate event, we have decided together with the health authorities and our expert council that we will now implement the next safety level described in the prevention plan: starting tomorrow, the wearing of FFP2 facemasks is mandatory for all visitors at all performance venues,” says Executive Director Lukas Crepaz.
As planned, the prevention plan will continuously be adapted to the development of the pandemic.

10 December 2020: Prevention Plan
During the past year, the Salzburg Festival worked with health experts to develop a comprehensive prevention concept, which was then implemented in all consequence. It proved that events can take place even in times of the pandemic, and that the measures adopted actually reduced the risk of infection and viral spread.

Among 76,500 visitors, not one case of infection was reported. Among 1,400 artists and staff, only one case was reported, that of a temporary administrative employee during the preparation period in early July.

The ‘Salzburg Prevention Plan’ has now served cultural institutions around the world as a foundation for their own work in prevention – the Salzburg Festival has passed it on to more than 45 institutions in Europe and the USA.

Tickets Issued
‘The current situation of the pandemic makes it difficult to imagine normal operating conditions for 2021. We hope and are optimistic that the vaccinations and a basket of measures which have been tried and tested by the Festival and many other cultural institutions will make it possible to make full use of our seating capacity. Once again, we will continue to develop our successful prevention plan together with the experts, with accuracy and taking into account the latest insights and developments,’ says the Executive Director Lukas Crepaz.

The Salzburg Festival will proceed in two steps: assuming full capacity, 209,961 tickets will be used for 168 performances as well as 62 performances in the ‘jung & jede*r’ youth programme in 2021. Of these, 139,380 will be released for sale first; the remaining third will be released when the development of the pandemic allows and when the legal basis and the recommendations of our expert council make this advisable.

As last year, all tickets will be personalized. Tickets can be ordered from the start as e-tickets resp. print@home tickets. Altering the personalization will be possible online free of charge.

The deadline for ticket orders (usually in early January) will be postponed to 28 February 2021.

Ticket sales to the general public begin on 10 May 2021.

Regarding all tickets, if attending a performance becomes impossible due to public measures taken against the Covid-19 pandemic, ticket sales prices will be refunded.

1 September 2020: Final Report 2020
Safety and Prevention Concept

To present a Festival that would be artistically meaningful and economically viable without endangering the health of the audience, artists and staff – that was the maxim of the Directorate when deciding in favour of a modified anniversary programme.

Since the end of April, Executive Director Lukas Crepaz was responsible for developing a detailed prevention concept, in close cooperation with Technical Director Andreas Zechner (backstage areas), the Associate Director of Building and Event Management Friedrich Hoch (public areas) and Resident Physician Dr. Joseph Schlömicher-Thier (Prevention Officer) as well as innumerable Festival employees.

In addition, a high-carat council of experts consisting of physicians, virologists, epidemiologists and hygienists was formed. This council supported the Festival as it developed the Prevention Concept as well as additional measures and implemented the centenary Festival.

The following members serve on the Festival’s council of experts:

Prim. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Uta Hoppe – Head of Internal Medicine II of the Paracelsus University of Medicine, Cardiology and Internistic Intensive Care with A&E
Prim. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Michael Studnicka – Head of Pneumology at the Salzburg University Hospital
Priv.-Doz. Dr. Markus Hell – Specialist in Clinical Microbiology and Hygiene, Medilab Salzburg
OA Dr. Bodo Kirchner – Specialist in Internal Medicine, Hygiene Commissioner of the Salzburg Emergency Hospital, also chairman of the Association of Theatre and Festival Doctors
Dr. Josef Schlömicher-Thier – Specialist in ENT and occupational physician of the Salzburg Festival


The Prevention Concept was submitted several times to the health authorities and was approved by administrative decision dated 27 July 2020.
In addition, codes of behaviour were established for all employee groups, for press representatives and external third parties, all of which met with highly disciplined and model compliance from all those involved.

On the basis of an elaborate testing concept, approximately 3,600 coronavirus tests were carried out:
– 1,000 initial tests at the place of residence of temporary employees and artists
– 2.355 routine tests of those persons in the red group
– 154 tests of suspected cases

Only one test for suspected cases in early July came back positive, and was immediately communicated to the public by the Festival’s directorate. Fortunately, the COVID-19 infection suffered by a temporary employee in the administration was a very light case. The Prevention Concept passed its first practical test: because of the quick reaction of all those involved, no further employees were infected.

Having submitted the best tender for routine tests and tests of suspected cases, the Salzburg-based laboratory Mustafa-Richter was awarded the contract for these tests.

The audience this summer was generally obliged to wear a facemask, except when seated during a performance. The use of hand-held fans was prohibited in order to limit the spreading of aerosols. The audience was actively guided to aid compliance with the 1-metre distancing rule. In general, there were no intervals and no refreshments available. Tickets were personalized in order to enable the authorities to speed up contact tracing, if necessary. Ticket buyers were obliged to show picture ID when entering the venues. Dispensers of disinfectant were available at all entry points as well as at sensitive points; contact surfaces were repeatedly cleaned. Available seating at the performance venues was significantly reduced; the audience was seated in a chequerboard pattern.

Among the more than 70,000 visitors, not a single positive case has been reported to the authorities.

The facemask designed for the 100-year-anniversary of the Salzburg Festival enjoyed a notable presence in the Festival’s venues and on Salzburg’s streets. More than 7,200 masks have been sold so far.

Staff members and artists were divided into three groups:
The red group included stage performers whose work did not permit them to comply with distancing rules or wear a facemask. These were regularly tested via PCR screening and had to keep a health and contact diary.
The orange group included those artists and employees who were able in principle to comply with distancing rules and wear a facemask at all times. They were obliged to submit an initial test and also keep a health and contact diary.
The yellow group included all those employees who were able comply with distancing rules at all times. These were also tested initially, had to wear a facemask while moving throughout the venues and during short-term lack of distancing, and comply with the hygiene and distancing rules at all times.

There was a significant increase in medical services. The availability of in-house doctors on call was doubled and an internal medical coronavirus hotline was installed, which was available around the clock. A rotation of test teams was organized by the Red Cross.

31 July 2020: Initiative of the Salzburg Festival
The Salzburg Festival, the Salzburger Altstadtverband and the Wirtschaftskammer Salzburg have come together for an initiative in times of rising COVID-19 infections. On the one hand, this is intended to preserve the excellent reputation of the city of Mozart as a tourist destination and, on the other, to prevent the feared clusters from developing. Learn more about the Initiative Partnerbetriebe – sichere Festspiele (Initiative Partner Companies – Safe Festival).

8 July 2020: Information on Corona Case
A temporary employee of the Salzburg Festival who took up her position on 18 June 2020, after a negative initial test, was unfortunately tested positive for coronavirus today. So far, she has only exhibited light symptoms, such as a scratchy throat. Since she had been keeping a health and contact diary, as required by the Salzburg Festival’s prevention plan, the health authorities could immediately be informed of all Category I contact persons.

By way of explanation, a Category I contact person is any person who has spent more than 15 minutes at a distance of less than 2 metres in the same room with an infected person.

Those Festival employees who are Category I contact persons are now into quarantine for 14 days. Preferring to err on the side of caution, however, the Festival is also testing persons beyond Category I (i.e. those who were in contact with the employee in question for a shorter period of time, or at a greater distance). All tests of the five Category I contact persons of the employee have come back negative, but they will remain in quarantine for the full 14 days.

Regrettably, the prevention concept thereby had to prove its practicability for the first time, which it fortunately did. The prescribed procedures and measures, for example the health and contact diary, ensured that the first rule of rapid containment, i.e. immediate traceability, was adhered to.
Preparations for the Festival are not endangered by this regrettable case.

Information prevention concept, 9 June 2020
The Salzburg Festival has modified its programme, reducing the number of performance venues from 16 to 8. The organization has developed a prevention concept which is currently being coordinated with the Festival’s council of experts and the authorities. It will be adapted continuously to accommodate any new developments.

The following members serve on the Festival’s council of experts:

Prim. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Uta Hoppe – Head of Internal Medicine II of the Paracelsus University of Medicine, Cardiology and Internistic Intensive Care with A&E
Prim. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Michael Studnicka – Head of Pneumology at the Salzburg University Hospital
Priv.-Doz. Dr. Markus Hell – Specialist in Clinical Microbiology and Hygiene, Medilab Salzburg
OA Dr. Bodo Kirchner – Specialist in Internal Medicine, Hygiene Commissioner of the Salzburg Emergency Hospital, also chairman of the Association of Theatre and Festival Doctors
Dr. Josef Schlömicher-Thier – Specialist in ENT and occupational physician of the Salzburg Festival

Key Points of the Security and Prevention Plan (as of 8 June 2020)

Modified and significantly reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Salzburg Festival will take place in compliance with the measures decreed by the federal government and additional, self-imposed security measures. The prevention plan will continuously be coordinated with the council of experts named above and the authorities, and will be adapted to any new developments. Current key points of the prevention plan for audience and staff are as follows:


  • General obligation to wear a facemask, except when seated during a performance
  • Active audience guiding to support compliance with the 1-metre distancing rule: among other measures, the venues will be divided into sectors
  • In order to avoid larger agglomerations of people and thereby minimize the risk of infection, there will be
  • a significant reduction in performance venues and events; instead of the 16 venues originally planned, there will now be 8.
  • a separation of admittance and egress. Unlike regular Festival summer practice, there will be no simultaneous events in the Festspielhäuser, in order to prevent groups of visitors from meeting.
  • no intervals and no catering as a general rule. Since controlling queues outside of bars or toilets would be very difficult, there will be no refreshments. This means that all the bars at the Festival’s venues will be closed, including before and after events.
  • Personalized tickets, enabling authorities to speed up contact tracing. Ticket purchasers must show ID to the ticket-takers without being requested to do so.
  • Special measures of hygiene: these include disinfection stations at all points of entry and at neuralgic points, frequent cleaning of contact surfaces, etc.
  • Significant reduction of seating, in keeping with distancing rules: as a matter of principle, these are arranged in a chequerboard pattern. In areas with more than 1 metre distance to the seats behind them, other forms of seating allocation are being examined.

The audience will be informed via all the Salzburg Festival’s channels in detail and in due time before the Festival opens about the security measures then current and in place.

Artists / Staff

  • Significant modification and reduction of the rehearsal and performance schedule and the artistic and technical operations of the 2020 Salzburg Festival
  • Obligatory initial testing and submission of a certificate of health for all artists and temporary staff, dated no more than 4 days before they begin their work
  • Obligatory hygiene regulations and rules on wearing facemasks
  • Division into three groups with corresponding additional prevention measures:

Red Group
Stage performers who cannot comply with distancing rules and cannot wear facemasks: PCR screening, Health log, Hygiene rules, Behaviour rules

Orange Group
Artists who can practice distancing in principle
Staff in contact with red group who can wear facemasks: Initial testing, Health log, Temporary facemasks in keeping with prevention plan, Hygiene rules, Behaviour rules

Yellow Group
Staff who can practice distancing at all times: Initial testing, Temporary facemasks in keeping with prevention plan, Hygiene rules, Behaviour rules

25 May 2020
The 2020 Salzburg Festival will take place from 1 to 30 August, but in a modified and shortened form, due to coronavirus containment measures. Learn more

15 May 2020
A modified Festival seems possible. Learn more

6 April 2020
As announced in the press conference of the Austrian government on April 6, 2020, it is necessary to prohibit performances of all kind in Austria until the end of June, in order not to imperil the containment of the coronavirus, which has been successful so far. To our deep regret, we are thereby also prohibited from presenting the performances of this year’s Whitsun Festival.

Please consider the following changes due to the coronavirus:

You have a question?
Our ticket office for personal customer service is open during the usual opening hours, as well as by phone or E-Mail.

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Frequently asked questions

What happens if I am not allowed to leave the country / am infected with Covid / am in quarantine?
If attendance at the performance is impossible due to measures taken in connection with the Covid 19 pandemic, the ticket price will be refunded upon presentation of appropriate proof.
If a performance is cancelled, will my money be refunded?

In the event of a performance cancellation, the customer will only be refunded the ticket price. After two-thirds of the planned duration, the performance is considered to have been completed. In case the performance is broken off earlier the refund is made proportionately. Further claims of the customer are excluded if the Salzburg Festival is not responsible for the reason for the cancellation of the event. The claim for the ticket refund must be stated within 3 months of the date of the cancelled performance. After that any claim expires.

Please note the special regulations for the performances of the Jedermann: Since Jedermann performances on Domplatz (Cathedral Square) are openair performances, a weather risk cannot be excluded. In the event of rain or an uncertain weather situation (e.g. heavy rain or thunderstorms), the performance may be moved to the Grosses Festspielhaus. After 60 minutes, the performance is considered to have been completed; if the performance is cancelled earlier, the admission fee will be refunded on a pro rata basis. Due to the differences between the venues Domplatz and the Grosses Festspielhaus, it is not possible to guarantee a side-by-side position in the event of a performance of the Jedermann in the Grosses Festspielhaus, or to vary the position in line and spatial positioning in relation to Domplatz.

Can I return or change my booked tickets?
Ticket orders and purchases are binding in any form. Optional ticket reservations are unfortunately not possible, nor is the return or exchange of purchased or ordered tickets. Ticket returns are only possible for sold out performances for resale on commission; a 15 % commission fee (club members 10 %, sponsors free of charge) applies. The Salzburg Festival does not guarantee the resale of returned tickets.
If the necessary bank details are available, any return transfers will be made from the day after the respective performance date (in the case of several performances, after the day of the last performance for which tickets have been accepted for resale on commission).
It is the customer’s responsibility to check the information on his/her tickets immediately after receipt. In the event of any errors, the ticket office must be contacted immediately.
Where can I find information on the Coronavirus?
How to protect yourself and others, what you should know and what to do in a case of emergency you find on the coronavirus information site of the Austrian Government.

The State of Salzburg has established a website especially for this issue.

Prevention measures set by the Salzburg Festival can be found on this site: Info Coronavirus.

General information on the coronavirus in Austria:
Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety Österreichisches Sozialministerium (in German only)
Are there currently cases of the coronavirus in Salzburg?
Current information on the spread of the coronavirus in Salzburg can be found on the website of Land Salzburg: Coronavirus Salzburg (in German only)
Can I travel to Salzburg?
Please note the travel regulations of the Federal Ministry. Learn more here.
Are there restrictions on public life in Salzburg and the State of Salzburg?
Measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus affect the public life in Austria. More Information:
What should I do if I suspect I may be infected?
Should you seriously suspect that you or someone in your close proximity might be infected and you are within Austria, please immediately contact the Health Services by calling the number 1450. Please make sure to make initial contact only by phone.

Outside of Austria, please contact the local health authorities.
How can I protect myself from infection?
The links below offer an overview of how to prevent infection with the coronavirus:

Austrian Government on coronavirus prevention

World Health Organization advice for the public

Die Gesundheitsnummer (in German only)