Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Austria maintains suspension on flights from 18 countries through July 31 due to coronavirus activity.

  • Alert Begins: 21 Jul 2020 09:59 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 31 Jul 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 a suspension on direct flights from Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Iran, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, United Kingdom and Ukraine through at least July 31 due to high rates of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection in those countries. Cargo, humanitarian, medical, and expatriation flights are exempt.

Travelers arriving from UK, Sweden, Portugal, Bulgaria, and Romania must present of having tested negative for COVID-19 within the previous four days or undergo a 14-day self-isolation period. Travelers from all other EU, Schengen Area, and associated countries may enter Austria without restriction. Entry for third-country nationals from states outside the Schengen area remains prohibited indefinitely, though exceptions are in place for health workers, freight workers, diplomats, individuals in transit, and for urgent or essential reasons decided on a case-by-case basis.

Authorities previously eased numerous restrictions allowing most businesses and facilities to resume operation as of July 9, provided they comply with strict hygiene and social distancing requirements. Protective face coverings must be worn in enclosed public spaces, and social distancing of 1 meter (3 feet) must be observed at all times where possible. Increasing case numbers in Upper Austria have prompted state authorities to extend the face coverning requirement to additional areas.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The easing of measures in Austria is similar to actions undertaken by other regional governments in recent weeks in response to the beginning of the summer tourist season and lower infection rates of COVID-19. As countries relax blanket restrictions across Europe, authorities could begin to 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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