Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Officials in Austria to tighten coronavirus disease-related restrictions Sept. 14 following nationwide increase in infection rates.
Alert Begins 11 Sep 2020 06:31 PM UTC
Alert Expires 11 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Date: Indefinite
- Impact: Business and transport disruptions
Following a nationwide increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection rates, authorities in Austria will tighten restrictions and public safety measures Sept. 14. From this date, protective face coverings will be mandatory again in all public areas, such as supermarkets, retail shops, government buildings, and schools. Protective face coverings have always been mandatory on public transit. In addition, events without seating will be limited to 100 people outdoors and 50 people indoors. Gatherings with designated seating will be limited to 3000 people outdoors and 1500 people indoors. These measures were reinstated following an increase in infection rates nationwide, particularly in Vienna.
As of Sept. 11, authorities are maintaining current COVID-19 travel restrictions. Authorities have issued travel warnings for multiple countries, including nations within the European bloc. Travelers arriving from a country with a travel warning, or anyone who has visited these countries in the preceding 10 days, are required to present a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken within 72 hours of arrival or get tested within 48 hours of arrival and self-isolate while waiting for the result. Per the most recent advisory, the Austrian government has designated travel warnings for the following countries:
- 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. Third-country nationals arriving from within the Schengen Area, Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Monaco, Romania, San Marino, United Kingdom, or the Vatican are required to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test no older than 72 hours upon arrival.
Most businesses and facilities have been permitted to resume operations, provided strict hygiene and social distancing requirements are implemented.
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.
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.