Austria has carried out 770,000 border checks since a mandatory quarantine was imposed on December 19th
The way these checks are carried out differ greatly across the country however, with some cantons imposing 24-hour patrols and others using mobile teams to check at random.
In total, 10,000 people have been refused entry under the quarantine rules – while a further 55,000 have been told to quarantine in Austria.
The figures came before Austria closed its borders with Slovakia and the Czech Republic on Friday at midnight due to rising coronavirus infection rates in those countries.
Southern borders under 24-hour patrols
In Carinthia, Styria and Tyrol, checks are carried out 24-hours a day – a fact made possible through the support of the Austrian military.
In total, around 1,200 soldiers are deployed at Austria’s borders.
Leibnitz District Captain Manfred Walch told Kurier that around 500 people are told to quarantine per day in Styria.
Far fewer checks in Austria’s north
Unlike in the south, border checks are far rarer in the north.
On the borders of Upper Austria and Lower Austria – which border Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia – controls have been carried out on a random basis by mobile teams.
On January 7th, Austrian authorities told Kurier that the reason the controls did not have a permanent presence was that entry is “more manageable”.
Just one day later however, the borders between Austria and the Czech Republic and Slovakia were closed.
Austria closes borders with Czech Republic and Slovakia
Austria closed its borders with the Czech Republic and Slovakia at midnight on Friday, January 8th.
Interior Minister Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) made the announcement on Friday afternoon.
Smaller border crossings will be closed completely, while fixed controls will be put in place at larger border crossings.
Previously, Austria had put in place a series of mobile controls which would check people at random.
As reported on Tuesday by The Local Austria, Austria has carried out more than 770,000 checks since the mandatory quarantine regulation came into effect on December 19th.
Of those, around 10,000 people – mainly third-country nationals – have been refused entry to Austria. Around 55,000 of those checked have been ordered into home quarantine.
Nehammer described the situation in Slovakia and the Czech Republic as “extremely tense”.
“The Czech Republic in particular has massive numbers of new infections with a seven-day incidence of 680 (per 100,000 people) at the moment,” Nehammer said.
“To protect the people in our country, we are closing the borders at this point and checking every vehicle when entering Austria”.
Everyone entering Austria will need to sign document indicating they are committing to quarantine. If this document is not signed, entry will be refused.
Cross-border commuters will be allowed to enter and to avoid the quarantine requirement, however all cross-border workers will need to show evidence that they have an employer in Austria.
More information about Austria’s coronavirus quarantine is available at the following links.