Slovenia and Hungary open borders with Austria on Friday

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The opening of Austria’s borders to all neighbouring countries except Italy on Thursday has been met with almost universal approval in Slovenia and Hungary. From today, Friday, 5. June 2020 onwards, Austrians will be able to enter Slovenia and Hungary without any restrictions. The Czech Republic, in turn, announced that the borders would be opened during the night on Saturday.

Hungary will open its border with Austria early on Friday morning. This was announced by Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto on Thursday evening. This means that Austrians, Czechs, and Slovaks will be able to enter Hungary without restrictions, presumably from 8:00 a.m. onwards, Sziijjarto said, according to the online portal “hvg.hu”.

The Czech head of government Andrej Babis said on Thursday that the Czech Republic will lift the restrictions at the borders to Austria and Germany as well as for those entering from Hungary earlier than planned. According to the CTK news agency, Babsis did not rule out the possibility that the previous restrictions would be lifted “perhaps as early as Friday midnight” – meaning the night from Friday to Saturday.

Source: BudapestBusinessJournal

A similar decision could be imminent in Slovakia, Foreign Secretary Martin Klus hinted. Slovakia and the Czech Republic had opened their common border on Thursday.

On the day of the opening of Austria’s borders, the volume of traffic at the various border crossings was different. While in western Austria – for example in Kufstein, Salzburg, on the Carinthian Loibl Pass and even on the Brenner Pass – increased traffic volume was already noticeable on Thursday, traffic in the east was rather limited.

Meanwhile, Austrian MEPs (Member of the European Parliament) have called for the re-establishment of a border-free Schengen area. “As soon as security for the people of Europe and their health allows it, the free movement of persons must be guaranteed again,” said ÖVP MEP Lukas Mandl before the adoption of a resolution on the Schengen area in the EU Parliament’s Justice and Home Affairs Committee. “With special regard to the spread of the virus, the EU Commission, as guardian of the treaties, must press ahead with the full restoration of freedom of travel,” demanded also the SPÖ MEP Bettina Vollath.

Persons entering Austria from Italy or non-bordering countries are still subject to the obligation of quarantine or a health certificate. This was clarified by the Ministry of Health on Thursday. Specifically, entries from Croatia were mentioned as an example. “If, for example, you have been in Croatia and enter Austria again via Slovenia, for example, a health certificate or a 14-day home quarantine is still required at the moment”, the communication stated. Croatia is considered one of the most popular holiday destinations for Austrians.

  • Hector Pascua
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