Austria reopens on May 19

Starting May 19, Austrian authorities are planning to reopen and ease their COVID-19 preventive measures, in an attempt to boost the country’s recovery from the devastation caused by the pandemic.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz confirmed the plans to reopen the borders, adding that other sectors such as tourism, restaurants and sports events will also resume, though entry requirements will be enforced to prevent another upsurge in the number of COVID-19 infections. “The light at the end of the tunnel is near,” said Kurz at a press conference announcing the country’s plans to reopen in May.

According to Worldometer, Austria is the 37th most infected country worldwide, with a total of 612,170 people testing positive for COVID-19, and 10,126 deaths. With such numbers, Austria didn’t have a choice but to tighten restrictions to curb the pandemic. Right now, the country remains under lockdown, permitting only essential travel, while some industries such as tourism are frozen.

Currently, most passengers are obligated to self-isolate for ten days upon arrival, and show a negative PCR result. Everyone wishing to enter Austria are also required to register online in advance to obtain the pre-travel clearance form. Only travelers from Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, South Korea, Singapore, all considered safe countries, are exempt from restrictions such as quarantine or a negative corona test.

However, as of May 19, new entry rules will be introduced, based on the COVID-19 map produced by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), and citizens of countries in the green and orange category will not be subject to any restrictions upon entry into Austria. At the moment, plans are to allow entry from EU/Schengen countries, while details and entry requirements for non-EU countries are still being drawn up.


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