Model of the coronavirus next to stamp with "travel warning" imprint travel warning due to corona virus  |  Image: DesignRage/shutterstock

Worldwide travel warning except for 10 countries

Due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), as of December 19, 2020, 00:00, until further notice, all tourist and non-essential travel to all countries is warned by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The following ten countries are exempt:

Australia, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Uruguay and Vatican.

(In these 10 countries the high security risk of security level 4 due to COVID-19 still applies).

 

What is considered "tourist" and "non-essential" travel?

The quasi-global warning corresponds to security level 6 for tourist and non-essential travel only. Urgent professional travel, transit or commuting from one country to another are excluded from the warning level.
But what about the other exception - urgent family reasons? Does a visit to relatives abroad for Christmas or New Year's Eve fall within this exception?
No! A Christmas visit does not qualify as an urgent reason. Examples of urgent family reasons include a death in the family or caring for a relative in need of assistance. Thus, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues a dedicated warning against all tourist and non-essential travel, including vacation and family visit travel to these countries!

Warning is not a ban

What is the legal consequence of making the trip anyway? This is a warning and not a regulation, such as the
3.COVID-19 protective action regulation issued by the federal government. 

Was ist die juristische Konsequenz, wenn man trotzdem die Reise macht? Es handelt sich hier um eine Warnung und keine Verordnung, wie etwa die
3.COVID-19 Schutzmaßnahmenverordnung der Bundesregierung. If you return to Austria from a country with this warning level, you still have to undergo a 10-day quarantine. The exception here is again the 10 countries listed above. From the 5th day onwards, you can be cleared by means of a PCR or antigen test in order to get out of quarantine.
Nevertheless, we of course strongly recommend against planned trips! Also note that the countries or regions in question have strict quarantine regulations or even emergency laws in force that restrict your usual rights and services available.

Conclusion

Even though the travel warnings now cover more countries, the travel law lessons learned months ago because of the pandemic still apply. Read more about this in our FAQs on travel law in times of COVID-19.

Related Links

Ministry of Foreign Affairs website - travel warnings
https://www.bmeia.gv.at/reise-aufenthalt/reisewarnungen

List of the Austrian car touring club (ÖAMTC) on entry regulations of Austrian neighbouring countries
https://www.oeamtc.at/thema/reiseplanung/coronavirus-reiseinfos-36904404

Austrian Broadcasting (ORF) company report on increased border controls
https://orf.at/stories/3194389/

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