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Travel: When will Brits be allowed to travel to Austria again?

Travel: When will Brits be allowed to travel to Austria again?
Photo: Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP
While flights have been cut and travel discouraged across the world as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, are Britons actually restricted from entering Austria? Here’s what you need to know.

On February 3rd, Austria updated its border restrictions and quarantine rules. 

This included a section entitled ‘new rules for entry from the UK’, which clarified that entry from the UK to Austria is prohibited as a consequence of Brexit. 

As the UK is no longer a member of the EU, it is considered a ‘third country’ by the Austrian government. 

As the guidance outlines expressly

“Due to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, entry from said national territory is treated as equivalent to entry from a third country. This means that entry is generally prohibited, with the exception of EU citizens, business travellers and students.”

Therefore, while Austrian residents and citizens – along with EU residents, business travellers and students – will be allowed to enter Austria from the UK, people without one of these statuses will not. 

Anyone entering Austria will be required to quarantine, although this is expected to be relaxed on May 19th. More information on the quarantine can be found below. 

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

Is this a new ban? 

Prior to the announcement, people from the UK were not expressly banned from entering Austria – although there were restrictions in place as a direct result of the coronavirus variant B117, which was first detected in the UK in 2020. 

From December 2020 onwards, flights between the UK and Austria were banned due to the variant, other than some limited exceptions. 

According to the Austrian government “excluded from this are, for example, cargo flights, emergency flights, ambulance / rescue flights, flights for the transport of seasonal workers for agriculture and forestry as well as nursing and health personnel”. 

Now however the grounds of the UK ban will be based on the UK not being a member of the EU, rather than the variant itself. 

People from outside the EU are generally restricted from entering the bloc, other than from a handful of non-EU countries including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea. 

More information can be found at the following link. 

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

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

When will Brits be allowed to travel to Austria again?

At this stage, it is difficult to definitively say when the rules will be changed.

From an Austrian perspective, the quarantine rules will be relaxed from May 19th – however this does not mean that the travel ban will be relaxed, but rather that those who are allowed to enter will no longer need to quarantine. 

The most likely scenario is that Austria’s so-called ‘green pass’ framework – which will allow travel for vaccinated people along with those who have recovered from the virus and who have tested negative – will allow travel from the UK.

However, a concrete date for the introduction of this pass has not yet been developed

The UK has also developed its own framework to allow for travel to take place again through its traffic light system. 

While this may make it easier for Brits to be allowed to leave, it is unlikely to influence the Austrian government to change its rules. 

More information about the UK traffic light system is available below. 

READ MORE: What does the UK’s new ‘traffic light’ system mean for travel to Austria?


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