Summary
Authorities in Austria announced additional measures to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that will come into force from Oct. 23 following an increase in infections in the country. From this date indoor gatherings are limited to six individuals and outdoor gatherings limited to 12; this is a voluntary measures in private homes as such a measure would not currently be legally enforceable. For organized events attendance is capped at 1,000 people indoors and 1,500 outdoors; all events over 250 people require prior approval from authorities. Previously authorities mandated that bars and restaurants must close at 0100. Protective facemasks remain mandatory in all enclosed public spaces and outdoor spaces where social distancing of 1 meter (3 feet) cannot be maintained. Local authorities are empowered to impose stricter measures, including curfews, if they deem it necessary.

As of Oct. 19 authorities are maintaining current COVID-19 travel restrictions. Authorities have issued travel warnings for multiple countries, including nations within the EU. 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 be 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, Andorra, Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria (Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Dobrich, Gabrovo, Jambol, Kardzhali, Montana, Plovdiv, Rasgrad, Shumen, Sliven, Smolian, Sofia, Stara Zagora, Targovishte, and Varna), Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China (Hubei Province), Costa Rica, Croatia (except Brod-Posavina, Istria, Koprivnica-Krizevci, Osijek-Baranja, Sibenik-Knin, Varazdin, and Zadar), Czech Republic (Prague Region), Ecuador, Egypt, France (Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur and Ile-de-France), India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Kosovo, Kuwait, Maldives, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal (Norte Region and Lisbon), Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, Serbia, South Africa, Spain (mainland and Balearic Islands), Turkey, Ukraine, and the US

 

Travelers from all EU countries without travel warnings, as well as the UK, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and Uruguay, are permitted to enter the country without restriction. Travel from all other countries remains prohibited indefinitely; 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. Citizens of countries not currently approved for travel but arriving from within the Schengen Area, Andorra, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Monaco, Romania, San Marino, the UK, or the Vatican are required to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test no older than 72 hours upon arrival.

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 following increasing infection rates. As countries relax blanket restrictions across Europe, authorities could reintroduce sporadic, highly targeted measures in response to local COVID-19 outbreaks.

 

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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