Covid-19: US now advises against travel to Austria

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated its travel advice to warn Americans against travel to Austria.

Planes arrive at Vienna airport in Austria, which the US ranks as Level 4 for travel.
Planes arrive at Vienna airport in Austria, which the US ranks as Level 4 for travel.(Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP)

The US has placed Austria on its highest alert level and is advising its citizens not to travel to the country due to Covid-19 concerns.

Austria was moved to “Level 4: Very High” in the US along with Armenia, Barbados, Croatia and Latvia. 

The warning, issued earlier this week, is related to high Covid-19 case rates and trajectory in the five countries. Austria was previously at Level 3, which means case rates are high.

According to the CDC, Level 4 destinations have recorded more than 500 new cases per 100,000 people in the past 28 days or more than 500 cases in total if their population is smaller than 100,000.

The warnings from the CDC are a recommendation and not travel restrictions, which means people travelling from the US can still visit the countries on the Level 4 list.

However, to return to the US they must provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test before boarding a flight, even if fully vaccinated.

The CDC currently lists Germany, Slovakia and Italy at Level 3 and the Czech Republic at Level 2. Switzerland, the UK and Spain are all listed at Level 4.

On Monday, the CDC also lowered its travel recommendations to Level 3 for Morocco, Argentina, France, Iceland, Lesotho, Nepal, Portugal and South Africa. Level 3 urges travellers to be fully vaccinated before visiting those countries.

READ MORE: EXPLAINED: What is Austria’s Covid vaccination lottery?

Travelling to Austria from the US

Travellers from the US can currently enter Austria.

If arriving from the US, travellers must provide proof of full vaccination, recovery or a negative Covid-19 test.

People that are fully vaccinated or can show proof of past infection do not need to register for pre-travel clearance or self-isolate on arrival.

Travellers with a negative test need to register in advance for pre-travel clearance and self-isolate for 10 days. There is an option to test out after five days.

Children up to the age of 17 from the US can enter Austria without having to self-isolate if travelling with fully vaccinated or recovered adults. But between the ages of 12 to 17 they have to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test.

Up to date entry regulations for Austria can be found here.

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Austrian Airlines expands flight connections to Berlin ahead of winter

Austrian Airlines announced on Friday it would launch new weekly flights to Berlin, including a Berlin-Innsbruck route.

Austrian Airlines expands flight connections to Berlin ahead of winter

In the 2023 winter flight schedule, Austrian Airlines (AUA) said it would increase its offers to and from Berlin and include a new Berlin-Innsbruck route with a weekly flight.

From January 28th to February 25th, the company will fly passengers from the German capital to the Tyrolean city on Saturdays, aiming to give winter tourists more connections and travel possibilities. The airline already has routes connecting Innsbruck to Vienna, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Stockholm and Copenhagen.

READ ALSO: REVEALED: The best websites for cross-Europe train travel

In total, Lufthansa Group airlines will fly to Innsbruck up to 48 times a week during the peak ski season, the AUA parent company said in a press release.

“With this seasonal service, we are giving our flight program to Berlin an upgrade. Our winter sports-savvy passengers will enjoy the convenience of a direct connection to Tyrol.

READ ALSO: Train travel in Austria: 6 ways you can save money

“Austrian Airlines and the Lufthansa Group significantly contribute to strengthening tourist traffic in the region with almost 50 weekly flights to Innsbruck,” says Austrian Airlines CCO Michael Trestl.

The company added that the Vienna-Berlin route would also be expanded with an additional flight on Saturdays around the semester break, the company added. This will benefit not only city tourists travelling to Vienna or Berlin but also numerous transfer passengers who travel via Vienna as a convenient hub for their onward flight.

READ MORE: Five European cities you can reach from Austria in less than five hours by train

Winter routes

Austrian Airlines is not the only company offering more rules for the winter season.

The low-cost company Ryanair announced eight new routes would be included in the program of its flight scheduled from Vienna, as The Local reported.

READ ALSO: From inflation to Covid: What to expect from Austria’s winter season

The new routes are Bremen (Germany), Manchester (England), Copenhagen (Denmark), Helsinki (Finland), Genoa and Venice (Italy), Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Sibiu (Romania).