<p>Vienna, Austria </p>

Vienna, Austria

Austria could ban British travellers from this week over Omicron

UK could be classified as ‘virus variant area’

Helen Coffey
Wednesday 22 December 2021 08:16

Austria is considering effectively banning travellers from the UK over concerns about the Omicron coronavirus variant, according to reports.

New rules could come into force this Friday – Christmas Eve – if the country designates the UK a “virus variant area”, according to Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung.

The publication claims that Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands are also at risk of being given the same classification by the Federal government amid surging rates of Covid-19.

If the changes went ahead, British arrivals would face a 10-day quarantine – effectively ruling out tourist visits, reports the Kronen.

However, arrivals could be eligible to “test to release” on day five of self-isolation, and stop quarantining early if they receive a negative Covid test result.

There has yet to be any official confirmation of the move; “We have already taken the information from the media, but we have not yet received any regulation,” said a spokesperson for Salzburg Airport.

At present, travellers from the UK may enter Austria without quarantining provided they can prove full vaccination or recovery from Covid-19. “Additionally you must provide either evidence of a current negative molecular biological Covid-19 test, or a booster,” according to the UK’s Foreign Office (FCDO).

Those who are not double jabbed are “generally” prohibited from entering Austria, except for exceptional circumstances.

Unvaccinated citizens in Austria are currently in lockdown and must remain at home.

“The only valid reasons to leave the home include to avoid immediate danger or harm to oneself or one’s possessions, to seek medical attention (including vaccinations), for education or work purposes (though working from home is recommended where possible), to exercise for physical or mental health, and to purchase essentials such as food or medicine,” states the FDCO.

The decision to block Brits, if taken, would be following in the footsteps of France and Germany, which have both barred nearly all UK arrivals in the past week, citing spiralling Omicron cases.

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