Austria has again tightened its rules for UK travelers, after adding the country to its ‘virus variant list’ (virusvariantgebiete) high-risk destinations.
This means that only travelers who have registered a recall, along with a negative PCR test result, will be able to avoid quarantine in the country – everyone must self-isolate for 10 days.
The new rule takes effect on Christmas Day and will mean many canceled holidays for families whose youngest members have not yet received a booster – some may not even have received their first two Covid shots .
It follows a Covid emergency summit in the country on December 22, where ministers decided to toughen entry requirements to reduce the spread of the Omicron variant.
“The UK will be classified as a viral variant region from December 25 in Austria. Anyone traveling from the UK should be quarantined for 10 days.
“Except: people who are fully vaccinated AND who have received the booster can enter Austria with a negative PCR test,” tweeted the Austrian National Tourist Board.
Meanwhile, a statement on the tourist board’s website read: “Austria reacts to expansion of Omicron variant with new entry regulations… this new regulation applies to entry of all countries (including day trips) except virus variant areas.
“Entry without vaccination or convalescence is de facto not possible for vacation purposes. “
Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands – all with high case rates of the Omicron variant – have also been added to the list and will face the same restrictions from December 25.
They join the 10 existing countries on the “virus variant list”: Angola, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The Omicron variant has been detected in Austria, but with less than 1,000 confirmed cases to date.
Austria is the second most popular ski destination for British travelers, after France – which banned all British tourists last Saturday.
British travelers now need a “core reason” to visit France, decimating many winter vacations and leaving families scrambling to cancel and recoup their travel costs.