It is now officially confirmed: A COVID-19 test will be obligatory for Austrians from Monday after their return from Croatia, as announced by the Austrian government as a consequence of the travel warning issued today.
In plain language this means: Austrians who have not left Croatia by Sunday evening (16.08.2020), 24:00 hours, and have not crossed the border into Austria, must either present a negative COVID-19 test when entering Austria from Monday, 17.08.2020, or arrange for a corresponding Covid-19 test within 48 hours after return. Until the result of the covid-19 test is available, they must remain in quarantine.
Border congestion expected at the weekend
Based on current information, it can be assumed that there will be longer traffic jams at the border crossings from Croatia to Slovenia and from Slovenia to Austria this coming weekend, as the normal return traffic in the peak season will include Austrian citizens who will interrupt their holiday in Croatia due to the new epidemiological situation in connection with the travel warning in order to avoid the obligation of a Covid-19 test and domestic quarantine.
Border controls will be tightened
At the same time, it is to be expected in this connection that tighter controls will also be ordered at the border crossings to Austria, as virtually every Austrian who enters his home country from Monday onwards will have to be registered manually in order to obtain traceable data on his whereabouts. This also costs time and causes additional congestion at the border.
Croatia for Austria Risk country
Here the exact wording of the corresponding Austrian publication:
“Therefore, in analogy to the travel warning issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Croatia is classified as a risk country in the entry regulation as of Monday, August 17, from 00:00 a.m. onwards. This means that a medical health certificate must be presented upon entry into Austria. This health certificate must confirm a negative PCR test, which must not be more than 72 hours in the past. If such a certificate cannot be provided, those returning to Austria must arrange for a test to be carried out within 48 hours. Until the test results are available, the returnees must remain in quarantine.”
Foreign Ministry: Austrians should leave the country
An inquiry by the SeaHelp editorial team at the Austrian Foreign Ministry regarding the travel warning was answered as follows: “The travel warning is valid for the whole of Croatia as of Monday, i.e. no Austrian traveler should travel there. Austrian tourists in Croatia should return home immediately. From Monday onwards, according to the Ministry of Health, a Covid 19 test will be mandatory for travellers to Croatia. Thus the above-mentioned message leaves no further room for interpretation.
Water sports enthusiasts: common sense is needed here
For clarification, however, it should be mentioned that this is a recommendation, hence the term “should”. Since this recommendation is directed at all Austrian holidaymakers from Croatia who are planning a holiday in Croatia or are already there, the much-cited Austrian common sense may of course also be used. Water sports enthusiasts in general and also charter guests who have planned a Croatia trip should decide for themselves where they are safer: On a ship in the Adriatic or in the hustle and bustle of a big city in Austria.