Updated on 01/14/2022 21:11
You can find more up-to-date information on the corona virus hereThe reclassification of Austria as a high-risk area makes it more difficult for German holidaymakers to plan their trips before the winter holidays. The regulation applies from Sunday – and has concrete consequences: Anyone who enters Germany from a high-risk area and does not have at least full basic protection with the second syringe that is usually necessary or has recovered must be in quarantine for ten days and can come to Germany after five days at the earliest get rid of a negative test. For children who have not yet reached the age of six, the isolation ends automatically five days after entry. The decision announced on Friday is likely to be a hurdle, especially for families with school-age children who do not have full vaccination protection. You run the risk that the youngsters will miss the start of the lesson again after having fun in the snow and will instead be stuck in quarantine at home. In some federal states, the winter holidays begin at the end of January, in others only at the beginning or in the middle of February. The upgrade due to the high number of corona infections affects almost all of Austria, as the Robert Koch Institute announced. Exceptions to this are the communities of Mittelberg and Jungholz near the border, as well as the Riss Valley in the community of Vomp and Eben am Achensee. This means that all nine of Germany’s neighboring countries are now on the risk list. Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands have long been designated as high-risk areas. In addition to Austria, more than 30 other countries will be on the list from Sunday, many of them in Africa and the Caribbean. In total, almost 140 of the approximately 200 countries in the world will be on the risk list. No country was removed from the list this time.
No travel ban – but a travel warning
In addition to strict quarantine requirements, the classification as a high-risk area also includes a travel warning from the Federal Foreign Office for non-essential tourist trips. It makes it easier for tourists to cancel trips that have already been booked free of charge, but does not mean a travel ban. Countries and regions with a particularly high risk of infection are classified as high-risk areas. However, it is not only the number of infections that is decisive for this. Other criteria are the speed at which the virus is spreading, the burden on the healthcare system and the lack of data on the corona situation. Austria’s Minister of Tourism Elisabeth Köstinger fears that her country’s reclassification as a high-risk area will harm the tourism industry. She criticized the German regulation, according to which unvaccinated children under the age of twelve must remain in quarantine for at least five days when returning from Austria – but pointed to a very simple solution to the problem: “Anyone who is vaccinated can always have a safe and relaxing holiday Spend your vacation in Austria,” said Köstinger.
In some ski resorts there is a stricter mask requirement
Due to high incidences, a stricter mask requirement outdoors has been introduced in the popular Tyrolean ski resorts of Kitzbühel, Ischgl and St. Anton in Austria. FFP2 masks have had to be worn in the center of Kitzbühel since Friday. The rule applies until January 23rd – the last day of the traditional men’s ski races, which are to be held in front of 1000 spectators despite the high corona numbers. A similar regulation has been in effect in Ischgl and St. Anton since Thursday. The two places are in the Landeck district, where the incidence of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week was recently around 2,900. In the district of Kitzbühel, the value was around 3400. These regions are thus well above the Austrian total, which was recently heading for the 1000 mark due to the proliferating omicron variant. (dpa/fra) Updated on January 14th, 2022, 12:09 p.m. Many had this hope: get boosters and the pandemic will finally be over. But more vaccinations could follow. How often and how long would that have to be?
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