Entry to Germany from Austria – rules to consider

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Parts of the Czech Republic and Austria are much more affected by the coronavirus than Bavaria. Several border regions are now officially classified as risk areas by the German government. Germany warns against travelling there. Recently, after Vienna, Vorarlberg was also put on the Red List. What does this mean for tourists, business travelers and commuters?

What is the Corona situation in the Czech Republic and Austria?

In Austria, Vorarlberg, which borders on Bavaria, is now considered a risk area alongside Vienna. In the Czech Republic, large parts of the country are at risk, including the border regions of Carlsbad, Pilsen and southern Bohemia.

Both countries are currently much more affected by the coronavirus than Germany and Bavaria. A direct comparison is difficult because the countries sometimes show different indicators and also test differently. However, according to figures from the World Health Organization (as of September 24, 10:00 a.m.), the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week was 57.1 in Austria and 135 in the Czech Republic, while the figure for Germany was 14.6. In Bavaria, the figure is somewhat higher: the State Office for Health and Food Safety reported it at 19.1 as of September 24, 8.00 a.m.

What does this mean for travel from Germany to both countries?

If you travel to a part of the federal states that has not been declared a risk area, nothing changes for you. This also applies if a risk area is only crossed.

If one drives into a risk area, there are different possibilities: There is no effect on business trips lasting less than 48 hours. Even private trips lasting less than 48 hours are theoretically possible without quarantine, but only if they have not “served the private participation in a cultural event, a sports event, a public festival or any other leisure event”, as it is stated in the Bavarian entry quarantine regulation.

Anyone who has either taken part privately in such an event or has been in the risk area for more than 48 hours must actually spend 14 days in quarantine. There are exceptions: Anyone who can present a negative test less than 48 hours on entry does not have to be quarantined in the first place, and anyone who is tested after entry ends up with a negative result. Both, however, only apply if one is symptom-free.

What about commuters?

Tens of thousands of people commute from the border regions to Bavaria. For them, too, the length of time they stay in the risk area is important. If they are there for less than 48 hours at a stretch and have no symptoms, they do not have to be quarantined.

How does the situation affect the economy in the border regions?

Many companies are worried because commuters in particular are important for the economy, as the Chambers of Industry and Commerce emphasize. In Oberpfalz  alone, according to the Chamber of Industry and Commerce there, 13,000 commuters from the Czech Republic are employed. The majority cross the border daily. Accordingly, there are many worried inquiries from the member companies. Czech commuters also play a role in Lower Bavaria. According to the local IHK, there are about 5000. “The companies are urgently dependent on these workers.”

There is also concern in the district of Lindau, which borders on Vorarlberg. “Border traffic is very important for us, we are a very closely networked region,” says a spokeswoman. This affects commuters and shopping traffic as well as families on both sides of the border.

What about freight traffic?

It is not affected. People who “transport people, goods and goods across borders for professional reasons by road, rail, sea or air” are exempt from quarantine according to the regulation.

— Hector Pascua with reports from kurier.at. Picture: stockilyapp.com

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