Travel in Europe: measures to be taken when travelling abroad

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The following is an overview of the regulations in the Corona crisis that apply to Austrians when travelling to other European countries. Roughly speaking, three categories can be distinguished:

entry is possible without conditions. 2. one must show a negative corona test or must be in quarantine for a certain period of time. 3. entry is only possible if you belong to a certain group of people. Recently, many European countries have started to differentiate in their risk assessments according to individual regions, which is why different rules now apply to some extent to the Austrian federal states. Vienna, Tyrol and Vorarlberg are particularly affected by such regional travel warnings. Switzerland also put Upper and Lower Austria on its “red list”.

In addition, free entry does not automatically mean that travel is possible so easily. For Austria has also issued travel warnings (level 6 of the Foreign Ministry) and conditions for returning to Austria for several countries and regions. In this case, a health certificate (with a negative PCR test not older than 72 hours) must be carried. Alternatively, you can go into (home) quarantine, but even then you are obliged to get a PCR test within 48 hours – at your own expense. Until a negative test result is available, a self-monitored quarantine must be maintained.

ALBANIA: Free entry for Austrians into Albania. However, as for most Balkan states, a travel warning issued by the Austrian Foreign Ministry applies.

ANDORRA: Free entry for Austrians. However, Austria has issued a travel warning.

BELGIUM: Persons who have stayed in Vienna, Tyrol or Vorarlberg in the past 14 days must undergo a PCR test in Belgium (foreign tests are generally not recognized) and – even if the test result is negative – enter a 14-day quarantine. Before entering Belgium there is a compulsory online registration. Excluded are persons who have stayed in one of the three federal states for less than 48 hours or who will stay in Belgium for less than 48 hours. Meanwhile, entry from Belgium to Austria is possible without any conditions.

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: Austrians must present a negative corona test not older than 48 hours upon entry. There is a travel warning, therefore on return to Austria testing is also mandatory.

BULGARIA: Health checks with temperature measurements for travellers have been set up at Bulgarian airports and also at land border crossings. Persons with a body temperature above 37 degrees Celsius are isolated and quarantined or receive medical treatment. Otherwise there are no restrictions on the entry of Austrians and other EU citizens. Conversely, a travel warning is in force.

DENMARK: Austria is on the list of Danish travel warnings. An entry from Austria to Denmark is only possible for a reason worth considering. This includes an existing employment relationship, studies or business trips. Entry for vacation purposes is not possible. Conversely, there are no restrictions so far.

GERMANY: Entry from Vienna, Vorarlberg and Tyrol – with the exception of the two towns Kleinwalsertal (Vorarlberg) and Jungholz (Tyrol) – must have a negative Covid-19 test, which must not be older than 48 hours. Otherwise a 14-day quarantine obligation applies. The quarantine obligation is handled differently between the German federal states. Schleswig-Holstein, for example, requires a second negative corona test at the earliest five days after entry in order to end the quarantine prematurely. Travellers who have not been in Vienna, Tyrol or Vorarlberg in the past 14 days can enter the country without restrictions from Vienna-Schwechat airport. Exceptions are also made for commuters, transit (for example in the German Corner and the Little Walser Valley) and for entry for family matters such as caring for family members, visits to the partner or children, medical treatment and other good reasons.

As of October 15th, persons from risk areas, which currently include Vienna, Vorarlberg and Tyrol, must register digitally before entering the country. Those who do not meet their obligation to register risk being fined. Exemptions will continue to apply to commuters and other travelers in so-called local border traffic. The return to Austria is possible without any conditions.

ESTONIA: Austrians must present a health certificate or enter quarantine upon entry. The return to Austria is possible without conditions.

FINLAND: Austrians can only enter Finland in exceptional cases. Tourist entries are not allowed for Austrians. Only the following persons may enter Finland: students in Finland, relatives of Finnish citizens with a right of residence in Finland, business travelers, diplomats, persons in transit. For those entering the country, there is a general obligation to self quarantine for 14 days. The return to Austria is possible without conditions.

FRANCE: Free entry for Austrians. However, Austria has issued a travel warning for the regions Ile-de-France with the greater Paris area and Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur with the port city of Marseilles. A test or quarantine obligation applies on return from these regions.

GREECE: Austrians must register before entering the country. Without registration there is a fine of 500 Euro or you can be turned away at the border. On entry you can be randomly selected for a corona test. In this case you have to go into self-isolation until the test result is available (about 24 hours). The return is possible without conditions.

GREAT BRITAIN: Travellers from Austria must go into a 14-day home quarantine. Contact details must be provided online before entry. Fines of up to 10,000 pounds (10,108.98 euros) are to be expected for violations of these regulations. A negative Covid-19 test is not an alternative to home quarantine. The return to Austria is possible without conditions.

IRELAND: After entry you have to undergo a 14-day quarantine. A form must also be filled out: Failure to fill it in, giving false information or failing to update it when changing the place of residence is punishable by law (up to 2,500 Euros or up to six months imprisonment). The return to Austria is possible without conditions.

ICELAND: You have to register before entering the country. On entry a 14-day quarantine is then due or one lets a liable to pay the costs Corona test on entry as well as an obligatory second free test four to six days after entry make. Between the two tests a quarantine must be maintained.

ITALY: Free entry and return. Registrations are only required for the regions of Puglia, Calabria, Sardinia, Sicily.

COSOVO: Entry is free, but a travel warning from Austria applies, therefore testing or quarantine must also be observed on return.

CROATIA: Free entry. However, a travel warning on the part of Austria is also valid here, therefore on return also test and/or quarantine obligation.

LATVIA: Austrians must return to a 14-day self quarantine on entry. Free return journey to Austria.

LIECHTENSTEIN: Free entry and return journey.

LITHUANIA: Austrians must go into a 14-day quarantine, in addition a negative Covid-19 test must be presented upon entry. This test must not be older than 72 hours. A negative test does not cancel the quarantine obligation. Free return journey to Austria.

LUXEMBOURG: Free entry and return. At Luxembourg airport, travellers will receive a voucher valid for several days for a Covid 19 PCR test, which can be done directly at the airport or in a medical laboratory.

MALTA: There are no conditions for entry. Arrivals from Austria only need to have stayed in Austria or another country classified as safe for 14 days before. For contact tracing purposes, arrivals will be asked to fill out a Public Health Passenger Locator Card and a statement that they have not been in a risk country for the last 2 weeks. No conditions on return journey.

MOLDOVA: A quarantine obligation applies to travellers from Austria. Austria has issued a travel warning.

MONACO: The entry and return journey is free.

MONTENEGRO: In principle, Austrians may enter freely, but traffic into the country is severely restricted and a travel warning issued by the Foreign Ministry applies.

NETHERLANDS: Entering Austria from Vienna and Innsbruck must enter home quarantine for ten days after arrival. Even a negative PCR test before or after arrival in the Netherlands does not annul this provision. Persons who only travel via Vienna or Innsbruck airports but did not stay in these cities are not affected by the quarantine. Meanwhile, the return to Austria is possible without conditions.

NORTH MACEDONIA: Free entry, but a travel warning is in force with consequences for the return journey to Austria.

NORWAY: Austrians must undergo a ten-day quarantine after entry. Free return journey to Austria.

POLAND: Free entry and return.

PORTUGAL: Only on the islands of Madeira and the Azores a negative corona test not older than three days must be presented upon entry or a test must be performed on site upon entry. There are no entry restrictions for Austrians on the mainland. On the part of Austria, the travel warning now only applies to the regions Lisbon and Norte. When returning from these regions, testing or quarantine is mandatory.

ROMANIA: Entering the country from Austria is quarantined for 14 days, from the eighth day on they can have a PCR test performed – if this test is negative, their quarantine will be lifted on the tenth day. Exceptions apply to travelers who stay in Romania for less than three days. For them, a PCR test up to 48 hours old is sufficient upon entry. Austria issued a travel warning for Romania already in summer.

RUSSIA: Only foreign nationals who maintain machines and technical equipment in Russia; spouses of Russian citizens, diplomats and key personnel may enter and must present a corona test in English or Russian not older than 72 hours when crossing the border. Conversely, Austria has issued a travel warning against Russia.

SAN MARINO: Free entry and return travel parallel to Italy.

SWEDEN: Free entry. There are also no longer any conditions for returning to Austria.

SWITZERLAND: A quarantine obligation applies to travelers from Vienna, Lower Austria and Upper Austria. This regulation applies to all persons who have stayed in these federal states for more than 24 hours within the last ten days. The transit through Switzerland remains allowed. There is a further exception for professional travel, travel for medical reasons, goods transport, etc. For travelers from other parts of Austria, entry is free.

SERBIA: Travellers entering the country will be checked for signs of Covid 19 infection at all border crossings. They will receive a written health warning in English and Serbian about the measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic in the country. However, if you are entering the country via Bulgaria, Croatia, Northern Macedonia or Romania, you must have a negative Covid-19 test no more than two days old. At the same time a travel warning from Austria applies and therefore test and/or quarantine obligation with the return.

SLOVAKIA: Free entry and return journey. However, the person must have stayed in Austria or another country classified as safe by Slovakia in the 14 days before. Persons who have not done so must report to the relevant health authority, and they and members of their household must go into home isolation until the results of a Covid 19 test are available, which may be carried out after five days at the earliest.

SLOVENIA: The government in Ljubljana has issued a travel warning against the states of Vienna, Tyrol and Vorarlberg. After entry, either a ten-day quarantine or a negative Covid 19 test must be presented. The test must not be older than 48 hours. However, there are several exceptions such as commuters, students and property owners. Transit through Slovenia is unconditional within twelve hours. Special cases include urgent personal or business travel, whereby the return must be within 48 hours. Seasonal workers may stay in Slovenia for 24 hours without conditions. The return to Austria is possible without restrictions.

SPAIN: Before entering via an airport or seaport you must register. This is not the case overland. However, Austria has issued a travel warning for the Spanish mainland and the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera). Only returnees from the Canary Islands are exempt from the test or quarantine obligation.

CZECH REPUBLIC: In principle free entry for Austrians. However, there is an Austrian travel warning for the Prague region. Starting Monday, a quarantine obligation or the obligatory presentation of a negative Covid-19 test applies when returning from the Czech capital.

TURKEY: Persons entering the country will undergo a health examination. If Covid-19 is suspected, a free PCR test is performed. If the test result is positive, the person concerned will be taken to a specially designated hospital for treatment. An immediate return journey is not permitted. Austria has issued a travel warning.

UKRAINE: The government has issued an entry ban for foreigners until the end of September. Exceptions are made for close relatives of Ukrainian citizens, students, persons with residence permits, cultural workers invited by a cultural institution, and persons entering for medical treatment, among others. Austria has issued a travel warning.

HUNGARY: There is again an entry ban for foreigners. There are exceptions for business travelers and commuters. Tourist travel is not permitted. The return to Austria is possible without conditions.

VATICAN: Free entry and return journey parallel to Italy.

BELARUSSIA (BELARUS): Free entry for Austrians. However, many flights are suspended and entry by land is restricted. Apart from the corona pandemic, Belarus is currently experiencing a political crisis: Since the presidential election, which the opposition classified as rigged, there have been protests against the authoritarian regime of long-term ruler Alexander Lukashenko. Austria has issued a travel warning about the Corona situation.

CYPRUS: Entering Cyprus from Austria is obligatory to show a negative PCR test when entering the country. The PCR test must not be older than 72 hours at departure. With regard to the Turkish northern part of the island, the Foreign Ministry states: “ATTENTION! The entry of Austrian tourists into the internationally unrecognized ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ by way of the demarcation line is prohibited until further notice due to the current Covid 19 pandemic. Free return journey to Austria.

— Hector Pascua: Source: Austrian foreign MInistry and APA. Picture: sotckilyapp.com

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