UPDATE: Austria to tighten quarantine rules for travellers over Christmas period

UPDATE: Austria to tighten quarantine rules for travellers over Christmas period
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Picture: MICHEL EULER / POOL / AFP
The Austrian government announced on Wednesday it will tighten its quarantine restrictions for anyone entering the country.

This story is now out of date. An updated guidance on the quarantine is available here

At a press conference on Wednesday, the Austrian government announced it was tightening the existing quarantine rules to ten days. 

Currently anyone entering Austria can avoid quarantine if they have a negative result from a test carried out within 72 hours of arrival. Anyone without a test must undergo 10 days of quarantine.

But under the new rules, anyone returning from any “high-risk” area will be required to quarantine for ten days. 

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After five days in isolation, people will be entitled to take a free coronavirus test in order to leave quarantine early. 

After some initial confusion, the government clarified late on Wednesday that the quarantine requirement will come into effect from December 7th and run until January 10th. 

What is a high-risk country? 

‘High risk’ countries will be any country which has a 14-day incidence rate of more than 100 positive cases of coronavirus per 100,000 residents. 

“We have to enforce a strict border regime” said Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz at the press conference announcing the rules. 

Minister of the Interior Karl Nehammer said one of the goals of the quarantine requirement was to stop people travelling abroad over the festive season. 

“It is not acceptable for Austrians to travel to neighbouring countries to throw New Year's Eve parties,” Nehammer said. 

All of Austria's neighbours over the limit

As it currently stands, each of Austria’s neighbours is over this threshold. 

The measure is set to come into effect on December 7th and will be in place until January 10th.

According to Kurier, being forced to quarantine will not be an excuse to miss work – meaning that anyone who plans to travel abroad and return to Austria must ensure that they have the next ten days off, or that they can work from home. 

 


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