Last-minute quarantine, then last-minute exceptions? Austria extends quarantine measures until 15 June

Quarantine on return journey to Austria extended
Austrians returning from Croatia by 15 June must be placed in quarantine. German holidaymakers returning from Croatia may return home without subsequent quarantine. So much for "coordinated action" from an Austrian perspective.

The quarantine of the restrictions on entry into Austria imposed due to the COVID 19 pandemic, which was initially limited to 31 May 2020, will be extended in a “last minute action” by the Austrian Ministry of Health, as communicated on Thursday 28 May on the relevant website. For Austrians who plan to stay in the Adriatic Sea over Whitsun, for example in Slovenia or Croatia, this means a 14-day home quarantine or a PCR test for COVID-19, which virtually ends the quarantine if the result is negative.

Reliable quarantine information difficult to find

In the past, SeaHelp had repeatedly provided links to the relevant quarantine regulations that govern measures for returning from neighboring countries. These notifications were always accompanied by the information that they should be checked here accordingly. In the process, it was truly not easy for citizens to find out about the applicable regulations.

At the time of publication of this article, the regulation had not yet changed, but the amendments published in the Austrian Federal Law Gazette had. Read it for yourself:

Order Quarantine Austria

Amendment of the Quarantine Regulation (under Article 2, para. 2)

SeaHelp has asked the Austrian Ministry of Health whether there will be exceptions for individual countries with similar epidemiological results, based on various statements from circles of various government representatives (e.g. Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia) who intend to take concerted action on border openings and quarantine regulations. We will report on the result in the form of an update. It should be noted that Italy will open its borders on 3 June and waive quarantine, Slovenia by 31 May at the latest, also without quarantine, and that quarantine will also be waived on entry into Germany – Austria will continue to do so until 15 June. So much for “coordinated action”.

Quarantine or COVID 19 test

In addition, we are examining the possibility for our members to undergo PCR tests at short notice, if necessary, and will also provide further information about this here.

No Whitsun holidays for Germans in Austria

However, the “last minute extension” of the quarantine guidelines for Austria affects not only citizens of Austria who want to spend their Whitsun holidays on the Adriatic Sea, but also holidaymakers from neighbouring countries such as Germany. In particular, many residents from the German state of Bavaria, which borders on Austria and whose Pentecost holidays end on 14 June, had firmly planned their holidays in Austria in anticipation of the quarantine obligation ending on 31 May.

Bathing shoes instead of hiking boots

Not only the guests themselves, but also the numerous Austrian accommodation providers, who are already complaining about considerable financial losses, are hard hit by the cancellation. But perhaps there will be a late, if not too late, insight. Because: If, for example, a German citizen cannot spend his holidays in Austria, he will just continue on to Italy (!), Slovenia or Croatia and will not even have to unpack his suitcase again.

Update 05/28/2020 04:30 PM)

This is the answer of the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection, cabinet of the Federal Minister, to the official press enquiry:

Ad 1: Will there be exceptions to the rule in future, i.e. will entry from countries with a similar epidemiological background to Austria be permitted again?

There are already various exceptions in the current regulation on measures for entry from neighbouring countries. No additional exceptions to the existing regulation are currently planned. Austria is in constant exchange with its neighbouring countries and has announced further relaxation of the rules for travel with Germany for 15 June.

Ad 2: Explicit: Can you imagine special regulations for entries from Slovenia or Germany without domestic quarantine before the end of 15 June?

EA special regulation is not planned at present. In principle, the virological situation is the most important parameter for border openings. However, here the countries are not considered individually, but rather the neighbouring countries together, in order to find a solution that is as uniform as possible.

Ad 3: Our editors are now receiving many enquiries from Germany from holidaymakers who had expected the aforementioned regulation to be repealed. Are there any special reasons why an extension until 15 June was not officially communicated until three days before the expiry of the date mentioned (31 May)?

The virological situation – both at home and in neighbouring countries – is being monitored very closely and is still subject to fluctuations. Therefore, the lead times for prescriptions are sometimes very short. This is not otherwise possible due to the current situation in combination with the legal requirements. We are aware that this restricts the planning possibilities of individuals, but allows us to respond flexibly to current developments.

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