Austria to lift UK flight ban from Monday

People walk through Vienna airport
JOE KLAMAR / AFP
As of Monday, there will no longer be a landing ban for aircraft from the UK, Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg has announced in a digital live talk with Austrians living in the UK. 

The ban on flights arriving from Britain has been in place since before Christmas.

The measure was taken after the discovery of a particularly contagious British variant of coronavirus to slow the spread of the variant across Austria. 

The ban came into force on December 22nd at midnight and was extended several times, but expires on Sunday at midnight. 

‘Difficult times’

The landing ban shortly before the holidays in the middle of a pandemic meant “of course incredibly difficult times when you can’t go home, can’t see your relatives, your partner, or your family, your friends,” said Schallenberg.

“But I think we are almost through it now. We can already see the finish line, so to speak”, the Kurier newspaper reports.

Only essential international travel is allowed from the UK until 17th May, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to reassess this in April.  

‘We didn’t want Brexit’

Schallenberg also spoke about Brexit in the talk on Thursday. “We didn’t want Brexit and, as the European Union, we would have given the British a lot more,” he said. “It was they who wanted this agreement in this form”. 

He concluded “Great Britain has left the EU, but not Europe and is still a very, very important partner for me”.


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