Austria Introduces Border Controls with Czech Republic and Slovakia

Lifestyle & TravelHealth ♦ Published: January 8, 2021; 15:50 ♦ (Vindobona)

Due to high numbers of Covid-19 infection rates in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Austria's Ministry of Interior has introduced more strict border controls with both countries as of January 9, 2020. Small border crossings will be closed and at all others, every vehicle will be checked when entering Austria.

The borders controls to the Czech Republic and Slovakia will be more strict in the near future. / Picture: © BMI Bundesministerium für Inneres / Gerd Pachauer

Due to high Covid-19 infection numbers in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia, borders will be controlled more strictly again, Interior Minister Nehammer announces.

Austria will control the borders with the Czech Republic and Slovakia from midnight of Friday, January 9, 2020.

Smaller border crossings will be closed and fixed controls will replace the previous mobile controls.

According to the Interior Minister, the situation in the neighboring countries of Slovakia and the Czech Republic is currently "extremely tense."

He states that, "the Czech Republic in particular is recording massive new infections with a 7-day incidence of currently 680. To protect the people in our country, we are therefore closing the borders at this point and checking every vehicle entering Austria," Nehammer explained.

Accordingly, all persons entering Austria must continue to sign a self-commitment to quarantine in accordance with the current entry regulation of the Ministry of Health - otherwise entry could be refused.

Exceptions exist as before for the entry of commuters and goods traffic - here, in coordination with the authorities in the Czech Republic and Slovenia, the smoothest possible process is ensured, emphasized the Ministry of the Interior.

According to the current entry regulation, commuters are in the exception and do not have to make tests and quarantine.

Upon entry, they must credibly prove that they have an employer in Austria.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, more than one million police border checks have been carried out at Austria's borders since December 19, 2020.

Some 12,000 refusals of entry had been issued as a result and 73,000 people had been sent to home quarantine.

Unfortunately, the Slovakia and the Czech Republic are currently struggling with containing the Covid-19 infections.

Slovakia reported a seven-day incidence of 367 and the Czech Republic of 680 - compared to Austria's 149.

Per million inhabitants, the Czech Republic ranked first and Slovakia tenth in the world for new infections at the beginning of January.

Germany has therefore tightened the entry regulations for commuters as well.

Commuters and cross-border commuters between Germany and the Czech Republic will have to be tested for Covid-19 at least twice a week as of January 11.

This was announced by Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček and Saxony's Minister of Social Affairs Petra Köpping in a joint statement.

As soon as the infection situation allows, this rule will be relaxed again in close mutual consultation.