Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Austria is maintaining current COVID-19 restrictions as of Sept. 1; list of countries approved for travel updated.

Alert Begins 01 Sep 2020 11:31 AM UTC
Alert Expires 15 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Date: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business and transport disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Austria are maintaining current restrictions introduced to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic as of Sept. 1, while continuing to update the list of countries with which travel is restricted. Officials previously removed entry restrictions for nationals of EU and Schengen Area countries, and the UK. However, authorities have issued travel warnings for multiple countries, including from within the European bloc; permitted travelers arriving from these countries, or having visited these countries in the preceding 10 days, are required to present a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test no older than 72 hours, or get tested within 48 hours of arrival and self-isolate while waiting for the result. As of Sept. 1 countries with travel warnings are Albania, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China (Hubei Province) Croatia, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kosovo, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, Spain (mainland and Balearic Islands), Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, and the US. Entry to Austria remains prohibited indefinitely for third-country nationals from states outside the EU, Schengen Area, and the UK. Exceptions are in place for health workers, freight workers, diplomats, individuals in transit, and urgent or essential reasons decided on a case-by-case basis.

Most businesses and facilities have been permitted to resume operations, provided strict hygiene and social distancing requirements are implemented. As of Aug. 1, indoor events with up to 500 attendees and 750 attendees in outdoor areas are permitted and authorities may grant permits for specific events exceeding these limits. Individuals must wear protective face coverings in enclosed public spaces, and maintain social distancing of 1 meter (3 feet) at all times where possible.

Authorities could amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Austrian government are similar to actions undertaken by other regional governments in recent weeks based on assessments of the evolution of disease activity globally. As countries relax blanket restrictions across Europe, authorities could reintroduce sporadic, highly targeted measures in response to local COVID-19 outbreaks.

COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.


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