Christmas plans up in the air as Austria enters lockdown

Covid cases are surging all over Europe. With winter well on its way and people spending more time indoors and in closer quarters, Austria has decided to return to a lockdown.

Austria, which for many is the perfect Christmas destination, is the first country in Europe to reimpose a lockdown, although others like Germany are considering following in their footsteps.

The lockdown will start on Monday, November 22, and is expected to last a minimum of 20 days as the Chancellor says he doesn’t want to see a fifth wave. This means travelling to Austria has been put on pause for the time being.

READ MORE : Austria travel restrictions for Heathrow passengers

Under these new restrictions, Austrians will be required to work from home and non-essential shops will close. Schools will remain open but only for kids who need in-person teaching.

The restrictions are set to last until December 12 but will be reviewed after 10 days.

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Can you still travel to Austria?

Flights to Austria are still leaving from Heathrow Aiport, but tourists are asked not to travel to the country until December 13, so if you had hopes of strolling around Christmas markets, then sadly you will have to re-think your plans.

If you still need to enter Austria, you must provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination, proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test (rapid antigen tests are no longer allowed from November 21) or proof that you had Covid-19 but have since recovered within the last 180 days.

If you are unvaccinated, however, you will need to fill out a pre-clearance form no longer than 72 hours before entry to Austria and you will also be required to self-isolate for 10 days, although you can leave isolation early if you receive a negative PCR test on day five.

Crucially though, if you are fully vaccinated, Austria requires that you have received your second dose (or single dose if you got Johnson & Johnson) no more than 270 days before arrival. So if you were one of the people vaccinated first in the UK, this may be a problem when travelling to Mozart’s resident country.

What does the Austrian government say?

Austria’s borders are open but the government has announced that travel for touristic purposes has been suspended until December 13.

They have also stated that you must be vaccinated in order to enter any type of accommodation, go to restaurants or bars and use services such as ski lifts or hairdressers.

Chancellor Alexander Shallenberg said: “We don’t want a fifth wave, we don’t want a sixth or a seventh wave. We don’t want to have this discussion next summer.”

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Source: Einnews

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