After Travel Warning: Further Restrictions for Tyrol

Lifestyle & TravelHealth ♦ Published: February 9, 2021; 16:40 ♦ (Vindobona)

Austria's federal government has decided to further tighten the measures for the province of Tyrol, excluding East Tyrol. After announcing a non-binding travel warning, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has now implemented tougher measures that will try to prevent the South African Covid-19 mutation from spreading to the rest of the country.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz declared Tyrol as a restricted area from which it will only be possible to leave the province with a negative Covid-19 test. / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Andy Wenzel

Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Health Minister Rudolf Anschober and Interior Minister Karl Nehammer announced the restrictions at a press conference.

In order to leave Tyrol, one needs to provide authorities with a negative Covid-19 test result not older than 48 hours.

Excluded from the measure is East Tyrol.

Chancellor Kurz stated that Austria fights the Covid-19 virus for almost a year now.

"It has become more difficult and diffuse in recent weeks," Kurz added, referring to the mutations, first discovered in South Africa (B.1.351) and the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7), and which are more dangerous and challenging than the conventional virus.

The South African virus variant, which has been found in a number of cases in Tyrol, worries him greatly, Kurz said.

Therefore, Tyrol will be declared a restricted area for ten days for the time being.

As of Friday, February 12, 2021, and until February 22, 2021, it will only be possible to leave the province with a negative Covid-19 test, which itself needs to be no older than 48 hours.

For children there is no obligation to test.

Health Minister Anschober emphasizes the need for action with regard to the virus variant since it is known that "the mutations are stronger."

He adds that although the number of actively ill is decreasing and hospitals as well as intensive care units are less occupied, risking the mutations to become prevalent would again lead to a rise in infections.