Border controls strengthened until January 10

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Due to the Corona Entry Ordinance, the Austrian Armed Forces have been increasing their forces at the state border in Lower Austria, Carinthia and Tyrol since Saturday until probably January 10. In the remaining provinces, troops will be redeployed, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense said Saturday morning in a statement. The army is stepping up controls at border crossings with the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia and Italy, together with the police.

On the German A3 freeway near Passau, traffic jams have been forming since nightfall on Saturday in the direction of Austria. The reason was the many travelers returning, said a police spokesman according to the news agency dpa. At 10:00, health checks began in Austria, according to Lower Bavarian officials. Many travelers are said to be continuing south through Austria. This was recognizable from the license plates, the police said. “Probably the people are going home.” Between three and seven kilometers long was the traffic jam during the morning, it said. At the Kiefersfelden and Salzburg border crossings, traffic was running normally, according to officials.

There was also a kilometer-long traffic jam on the eastern freeway (A4) at the Nickelsdorf border crossing (Neusiedl am See district). In the morning, the queue stretched from the border back about 14 kilometers to the junction Neusiedl and Weiden/Gols, Asfinag told APA request. According to ÖAMTC, the waiting time was up to two hours. There were also delays on the B10 before the border in Nickelsdorf.

In Carinthia, there had been traffic jams and waiting times at the Karawanken Tunnel border exit. On the Karawanken freeway (A11) from Villach in the direction of Ljubljana between the junction St. Jakob/Rosental and Karawankentunnel, the waiting time was up to one hour. The traffic jam was about three kilometers long. At Spielfeld in Styria, waiting times were also recorded on exit, but only for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, no significant delays were reported from the west due to the controls. The police in Vorarlberg are carrying out “demand-oriented controls”, there have been no traffic jams so far, a spokesman told APA. In Tyrol, continuous checks are being carried out – as far as possible – at all border crossings, it was said in response to an APA query. The control density will be “kept as high as possible,” an executive spokesman said. Visual checks would be carried out in all cases, and it was also at the discretion of the control bodies whether vehicles would also be stopped.

However, there were hours of waiting at the Slovenian-Croatian border for entry into Croatia. According to the Slovenian Automobile Club, travelers had to wait up to ten hours at the largest border crossing Obrezje/Bregana, while the Croatian Automobile Club gave the waiting time as eight hours. According to the media, many of these were people who had previously passed through the Karavanke tunnel.

According to the entry regulation, everyone who enters Austria from December 19 must be quarantined for ten days. You can clear yourself after five days at the earliest and at your own expense. There are exceptions for people who commute regularly. They can travel freely. Also excluded are people who enter the enclaves of Mittelberg (Kleinwalsertal), Vomp-Hinterriss or Jungholz.

Those who enter at least once a month for family purposes or to visit their life partner can also come without a test. Likewise, the entry for unforeseeable, unpostponable reasons in the family circle, such as in particular serious cases of illness, deaths, funerals, births, as well as the care of persons in need of support in emergencies, is possible without restriction. In all other cases, i.e. if there are no regular visits or someone only wants to enter for a Christmas or New Year’s Eve celebration with the family, the ten-day quarantine applies.

There are also exceptions for people arriving from those few countries whose Corona load is still low and who also do not have to show a negative test. However, this does not currently apply to Austria’s neighboring countries. Personal caregivers, i.e. 24-hour nurses, people entering the country for humanitarian reasons, diplomats and medical escorts are also allowed to enter the country without fear of quarantine. However, a medical certificate confirming a negative PCR or antigen test must be presented upon entry, and the test must have been taken no longer than 72 hours ago.

According to the Ministry of Defense, 350 soldiers were previously deployed for border controls. Since Saturday, their number has been increased to more than 500. “If more soldiers are needed to implement the mission of the authorities, the provinces will receive this increase in personnel. The Austrian Armed Forces are always there when the protection of the population requires it,” said Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner (ÖVP).

  • hp, source: APA, picture: pixabay.com
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