Germany classifies Vienna as a risk area: What are the consequences?

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In view of the high number of new infections, Vienna is now officially considered a corona risk area in Germany.

Germany currently defines regions in France, Spain, Belgium, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic and Switzerland as risk areas. Entering Germany from risk areas must have themselves tested for the coronavirus in Germany, unless they can show a negative test result that is no more than 48 hours old. As long as no negative result is available, they have to go into domestic quarantine for two weeks.

Austria’s Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (ÖVP) appealed to Germany to issue warnings only regionally, if possible. Switzerland had done so on Friday. Whoever wants to enter from Vienna must immediately report to the authorities, undergo a corona test and additionally – regardless of the test result – be kept in isolation for ten days. If one does not report or makes false statements, then fines of almost 10,000 euros are threatened.

Are Austrians allowed to enter Germany?
In principle yes. Apart from Vienna, no Austrian regions are to be declared risk areas for the time being. If you travel from the federal capital, the same regulations apply to all persons. Those who do not have a negative test result on entry must undergo a PCR test upon arrival and remain in home quarantine until the test result is negative.

How do tests and quarantine work?
Anyone wishing to enter Germany must be tested at special centers at the airport or train stations or at health authorities and doctors’ offices. At the appointment service center under the number 0049 116 117, travellers can find out where a test can be carried out on their premises. If a negative corona test is brought from Vienna, it must not be older than 48 hours. Anyone who cannot or does not wish to take a test must immediately go into a two-week home isolation and report to the respective health office. But beware: The German federal states have different regulations. In some, a negative test is enough to end the quarantine, in others you have to be tested twice.

Is the test also mandatory if you do not travel from Vienna to Germany?
No. At the moment a travel warning is only planned for Vienna. For the Austrian Foreign Ministry, the question of how exactly this is to be monitored is still unresolved. Especially in Vienna there is the special situation that the airport is actually located in the federal state of Lower Austria. The Foreign Ministry expects more detailed information on this. So far the Foreign Minister has not yet been contacted by the German authorities. It is already clear that there is no quarantine and testing obligation if you only change planes in Vienna, i.e. only stay in the transit area of the airport.

Are you allowed to travel through Vienna?
Yes, if there is no stay in Vienna, no PCR test has to be done when entering Germany. If you travel by train or car, there are random checks at the border to Germany. The authorities can pass on the information and data of the travelers to the health authorities.

How do they check which region you come from?
In Germany, this is the responsibility of the federal states. In Berlin, for example, travelers coming from a high-risk area by bus or plane must fill out an exit card, which is sent to the health authorities for further processing. However, there are always problems here: According to German media reports, the authorities are overwhelmed. According to a spokesperson for the German Ministry of the Interior, one must trust that the information provided by travelers is true.

— Hector Pascua, Infosource: kurier.at Picture: stockilyapp.com

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