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Austria Imposes Further Restrictions

The UK and three other European countries have been added to Austria’s virus variant list. It comes into force on December 25th. The measures are less stringent than had been feared.

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It was reported in Austrian media on Tuesday that the health minister wanted to impose quarantine restrictions on residents arriving from the UK, Norway, Holland and Denmark –  all countries with high levels of the Omicron variant.

In the end it was not a full travel ban, rather new measures for some but not all.

Anyone travelling into Austria from the UK must quarantine for ten days, with the exception of those who are fully jabbed, boosted, and have a negative PCR test according to the Austria National Tourist Office.

Latest advice from ANTO

Latest advice from ANTO

The UK’s largest ski operator, Crystal Ski Holidays has issued a statement.

“We’re aware that the Austrian Government have announced that anyone aged 12 and over will now be required to take a PCR test within 72 hours before your flight arrival time unless you’ve had a booster jab. We’ll be in touch with customers directly to discuss their options.”

“This doesn’t apply to customers who are flying into Austria without a stopover and heading straight to their resort in Italy,” it added.

The decision was taken at a meeting attended by regional and national leaders, plus scientists and health professionals.

See here for further details on The Local, Austria.

The authorities also announced that bars and restaurants will have to close at 10pm from December 27th meaning the early closing will affect New Year’s Eve.

There has been mixed reaction from PlanetSKI readers.

Freddie Webb – Due to be in France 1st week of Feb, if nothing changes on the French stance certainly changing to Austria as they seem to be going the right way about it all! Not bad ruling at all and season is kept somewhat intact!

Julie Thomas Harrison – Great news. We are in solden this week and the conditions are fantastic

Steve G William – Not great news if you are 15 years old (and in Year 11). Too old for Ninja pass. Too young to be double vaxxed if you had covid, and you can’t get a recovery certificate through NHS. Once again children fall through the gaps and miss out….

Chris Rawes – Better news than expected. I’m more than happy to do PCR both ways. (UK needs to drop the isolation rule imo) Just wonder if BoJo will get excited and move the goal posts…..

Simon Wilkinson – Pretty sensible restrictions. It’s a shame the French didn’t do the same. 😞

Jane Duraku Fish – Dreadful if you have a double vaccinated 16 year old who isn’t eligible ( in any country) for a booster. Just cancelled a trip for 9 as we have 2 of these.. gutted!!

The UK currently has 867 confirmed cases of covid-19 per 100,000 people over the past 7-days.

In Austria the corresponding figure is 258.

The Omicron variant may be more infectious than previous strains of covid-19, but there is no evidence yet that it causes more serious illness.

St Anton

St Anton. Image c/o PlanetSKI

Just under 30% of British skiers chose to ski in Austria and it is the second most popular destination after France.

When France closed its border to UK skiers and snowboarders some people switched their holiday to Austria.

France introduced its new restrictions last week on Thursday 16th December as we reported at the time:

Germany then followed suit on Sunday 19th December:

We looked at the impact of the French ban in this PlanetSKI report direct from the slopes of Les3Vallees:

The Health minister in France, Olivier Veran,  has said the government does not have any plans to introduce new restrictions at present.

He warned that France could see 100,000 new Covid cases a day due to the spread of Omicron.

It’s predicted that Omicron will be the dominant variant in the country by early January.

In Italy the government is preparing new Covid restrictions.

These could include a return to compulsory mask wearing outdoors and the wearing of more protective FFP2 masks indoors.

The Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, also warned that the government may make vaccinations mandatory for more types of workers.

Officials are set to meet on Thursday to discuss potential measures.

There is no indication on whether there may be tighter border regulations for people arriving from the UK.

Italy currently has 277 confirmed cases of covid-19 per 100,000 people over a 7-day period.

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