Explained: How has Austria’s coronavirus quarantine been tightened?

Explained: How has Austria's coronavirus quarantine been tightened?
A police officer at the German-Austrian border. Photo: Christof STACHE / AFP
Austria's already strict quarantine requirement will be tightened from Wednesday, February 10th. Here's what you need to know.

Entry regulations in Austria are to be made stricter from Wednesday, February 10th.

Arrivals to Austria must now show a negative PCR or negative antigen test, in addition to registration with an online form

Unlike under the previous rules, cross-border commuters will also need to register online once a week and they are required to present a negative PCR or antigen test result once a week.

Quarantine will not apply to them however.

Quarantine: Here is the form you need to enter Austria 

Can I leave quarantine after five days with a negative test? 
 
Yes. On Tuesday, Austrian media reported that a minimum ten-day quarantine was to be introduced for travellers into the country, scrapping the rule that allowed people to leave quarantine after five days if they tested negative to coronavirus. 

On Wednesday evening however, the government announced that this rule would be kept in place. 

More detailed information is available here

Please note: As of March 9th, several Austrian states extended the quarantine period to 14 days due to concerns about coronavirus variants. 

More information is available at the following link. 

READ MORE: Quarantine extended in several Austrian states

What else has changed? 

The existing border controls with the neighbouring countries of the Czech Republic and Slovakia will be extended.

The Czech Republic in particular has high numbers of new infections, said Interior Minister Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) at a press conference on Tuesday, Der Standard reports. 

Since border controls began in December, three million people have been checked and 200,000 have been quarantined, Minister Nehammer said, according to the German newspaper Taggesschau

In order to prevent tourists from crossing the border as far as possible, controls in ski areas are  also being tightened.

Most recently, cases had become known in which foreigners pretended to be job seekers but ultimately came to ski.

More information about Austria’s quarantine requirement can be found at the following link. 

UPDATED: Everything you need to know about Austria’s quarantine rules 

Who is a ‘cross-border commuter’?

Anyone who regularly enters Austria is considered a commuter, i.e. this does not need to be for work purposes. 

Provided you enter Austria at least once per month – whether for work or private reasons – you are considered a commuter

Will Europe introduce a mandatory app for travel?

Schwechat Airport board member Günther Ofner has called for a Europe-wide app to be introduced, in which tests and vaccinations are registered, in an interview with broadcaster ORF.

UPDATED: Which countries are now on Austria’s quarantine list? 

He says since the airport in Vienna was the first in the world to introduce PCR testing, more than 130,000 tests have been carried out at the airport.


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