Much of Europe, especially the area known as the Schengen+ countries, has been off-limits to the American tourist since March. While this is supposedly being reviewed on a rolling 14 day basis, this latest word from Austria may start a move by other European countries to keep Americans out (unless they have exemptions) until at least September 30.
Austria Initiates New Restrictions Until September 30
While the US has not revealed any end date to their ban on Europeans entering the US (except for some exceptions), the European Union and other European countries have set many dates for the lifting of the travel ban on Americans. These dates keep getting pushed back further and further and now we are at a point where the data is examined every 14 days to see if the US (and other countries) will be allowed entry again.
Exemptions to the Entry Ban
Exceptions apply i.a. for:
• US-Family members (e.g. spouses, children, parents) of Austrian (and EU/EEA/Swiss) citizens living in the same household
• Holders of a D visa or residence permit issued by Austria
• PERSONS WITH A RESIDENCE IN AUSTRIA (E.G. HOLDERS OF A “MELDEZETTEL”)
• Members of diplomatic missions and employees of international organizations (including their family members living in the same household)
Restrictions on Travelers from Outside the EU/Schengen Area
But, Austria has just today put in place a new series of restrictions that, among other things, will keep out Americans that do not have an exemption until at least September 30, 2020. Even those who are allowed to enter Austria will need to present “a medical certificate confirming a negative molecular-biological SARS-CoV-2 test, unless their immediate departure from Austria is secured.”
If you cannot produce such a result/certificate (which could be the case for any exempted passenger coming from the US since the TEST must not be older than three days), you either need to be subjected to a 10 day quarantine at home or pay for a test yourself within 48 hours of entry into Austria (and they do offer tests at Vienna airport).
Restrictions on Travelers from EU, the Schengen Area, or from Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican, or the United Kingdom
It is even tighter for travelers trying to enter Austria from EU member state, the Schengen Area, or from Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican, or the United Kingdom as they must present a negative test result at the point of entry into Austria.
Not only that, but they also must quarantine for 10 days at home – and that quarantine cannot be ended early for any reason. If you cannot show that you have confirmed availability at an appropriate accommodation and the medical certificate, you will be denied entry into Austria.
Basically, this is targeted at tourists that managed to get into Europe and want to visit Austria because of the following exemption…
Exception to the Above Restriction
However, if you are entering from one of the following states and you have your residence in Austria or one of the states, you do not need to present a medical certificate and you are not subject to a quarantine. But, you have to prove you were not present in any other European state other than Austria and one of the states below:
Andorra, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania. Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, the Vatican,THE UNITED KINGDOM, and Cyprus
Flying Austrian Airlines/Transiting Through Austria
Have no fear – you are still able to transit through Austria as long as you are not having a stop in the country. Having a layover is fine as long as you are continuing on your way.
But, you will still need to have the appropriate documents for your final destination when you check in for your flight that will transit through Austria.
Austria is taking a step that we may see other EU countries take (or possibly all of them?) – restricting US tourists (and others) from entering Austria for the next two months. In addition, they are also making it even more difficult for non-European nationals/residents already in Europe to visit.
Will we see other European countries finally just push the date out for how long restrictions are in place? I kind of hope so because going piecemeal two weeks at a time is definitely not going to encourage people to visit and it would be better to just know a place is off limits.