Austria to tighten border crossings over COVID-19

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From Friday midnight, Austria will introduce border controls due to the worsening epidemiological situation, with the number of border crossings being limited from next week. Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček announced this new regime on Twitter, adding that otherwise, the rules of travel remain the same. “Warning about trips to Austria: From Friday midnight, the Austrian side is introducing border controls! ️Next week, the number of border crossings will be reduced. Otherwise, the rules of travel remain the same – exceptions excluded, there is a mandatory quarantine,” wrote Petříček on Twitter. According to Austrian rules, after submitting a negative test for coronavirus, it is possible to end the otherwise ten-day-long quarantine on the fifth day after entering the country.

However, Austria is not the only country restricting the entry of foreigners. With the Saxon Minister of Health Petra Köpping, Petříček will discuss the stricter rules for travel from the Czech Republic to the federal state of Saxony. Conditions for commuters will change on Monday. According to previous information, commuters will have to get tested for COVID-19 regularly and at their own expense at least twice a week. Saxony has tightened the rules for entry from foreign risk areas, including the Czech Republic, on Dec. 31. Currently, not only quarantine but also a negative coronavirus test no older than 24 hours are both required. The tightening of restrictions for workers commuting from abroad has caused resentment among employers and employees. At the heart of the dispute are payments for coronavirus tests, as Saxony has passed the expanses on to employees. The German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) labeled this practice illegal.

Title image: In this May 13, 2020 file photo, a barrier blocks the road at the closed border crossing from Austria to the Czech Republic near Reinthal, Austria. European Union countries are set to adopt a common traffic light system to coordinate traveling across the 27-nation bloc, but a return to a full freedom of movement in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic remains far from reach. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File)

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