It has been a bit of an open secret, but hundreds of Americans are still traveling freely back and forth between Europe, even without the requisite dual citizenship or family ties. Several European Union nations have made exceptions for “essential business” and loosely defined and enforced such exception. But new quarantine and test requirements come into effect on Monday in Austria which other European countries are considering. The result could make it even more difficult to enter Europe for those conducting business.
Confirmed: Austria Will Require Quarantine For Third Party Nationals, Even With Negative COVID-19 Test
Austria has announced stricter quarantine measures for third party nationals effective Monday, July 27, 2020. Starting Monday, Austrians, EU and EEA citizens, and Swiss citizens entering Austria from a high-risk area will need to present a negative PCR test (reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, a COVID-19 molecular test) no more than 72 hours old. Without such a test, a 10-day stay-at-home quarantine is required or a new negative test taken in Austria.
The big change comes for foreign nationals. They too must present a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours only. But even with a negative test, foreign nationals must self-quarantine for 10 days. That essentially defeats the business exception many have used to continue travel to Europe.
Note that an internal source has shared with Live and Let’s Fly that a self-quarantine for 14 days, not 10 days, will be required, but I am going by the published source for now.
This order impacts 32 risk areas, including:
- China – Hubei Province only
- North Macedonia
- Russian Federation
- South Africa
- United States
Note, there are still no transit restrictions and entries for family reasons (such as foreign spouses or for weddings or baptisms) will still be permitted without quarantine mandate. Medical workers, seasonal workers, and diplomats are exempt from quarantine if they can produce a negative PCR test.
Will Other EU Nations Follow?
Let me be clear: this is nothing a rumor at this point. But a European diplomatic contact informed Live and Let’s Fly that these new harsher regulations will not just come into effect in Austria, but across the European Union. At this point, I see no evidence of any similar policy in Germany or Switzerland (and since I do not speak other European languages beyond German, I could not check official sources in France, the Netherlands, or other EU nations).
While at this point we can only confirm this is an Austrian policy, we did want to bring the news to your attention to prepare you in case it is expanded across Europe.
With numbers trending in the wrong direction in many nations, Austria is further tightening entrance requirements for foreign nationals. It remains to be seen if other European Union member states will follow. For those foreign nationals planning on using the business exemption to enter Austria, you’ll need to enter by Sunday night or face a mandatory 10-day quarantine prior to conducting business.
Will this new tightened entrance policy impact you?