Austria to classify Prague as a risk area starting next week, according to Czech Foreign Minister

Austria is the latest country to impose restrictions on travelers coming from the Czech capital

Samantha Tatro

Written by Samantha Tatro
Published on 24.09.2020 10:03 (updated on 24.09.2020)

Austria will issue a warning against travelling to Prague due to the current spread of coronavirus starting Monday, Die Presse Austrian paper reported today.

The news comes after Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček tweeted Friday morning that Austria might list Prague among their coronavirus risk regions. He said he was discussing exemptions from the travel restrictions with his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg. 

The countries would like to make an exception for tours that have already been paid.

"I am discussing the final form of the restriction with Minister Schallenberg. I would like to push for the measure not to affect already paid tours," Petříček said.

Along with the Czech capital, Austrian diplomacy also warns of trips to 37 countries and several regions, including Paris and Cote d'Azur as well as Andorra, Argentina, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Israel, Kuwait and the Maldives.

On the contrary, Sweden, known for its liberal approach to the pandemic, is no longer on the list. Vienna also deleted a major part of Portugal from their travel warnings list, except for Lisbon.

Austria requires a negative COVID-19 test result no older than 72 hours from travelers coming from the risk countries and regions once they arrive in Austria, otherwise they must be quarantined.

The Czech Foreign Ministry writes that people can spend a ten-day quarantine in Austria at home or in temporary or holiday accommodation, the costs of which they must cover on their own. They have to undergo a COVID-19 test in quarantine within 48 hours. If the result is negative, they are allowed to leave the quarantine earlier.

These measures do not apply to transit, or those crossing Austria without a stop, the ministry adds.

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The Foreign Minister told Radiožurnál that the measures would be valid starting Monday, and the restrictions would apply to those who live in Prague long-term or have recently visited the capital.

Austria is the most recent neighboring country to introduce restrictions on travel from the Czech Republic. This week, Germany placed almost all of the Czech Republic -- save for two regions -- on their list of risk areas. In the past, Slovakia has also placed restrictions on travel from the Czech Republic. Poland remains the only neighboring country with no restrictions on travel from the Czech capital.

In addition, Czech residents heading to Greece will need to present a negative COVID-19 test starting on Sept. 28.