All in all, the Austrian winter sports season could be considered a loser for Dutch ski enthusiasts. Various Austrian media have written that the Dutch must be placed in quarantine for ten days from Friday once they enter the country. This was not yet the case for the Belgians.
Sebastian Koekel, Caspar Neber
Read all about the corona virus in this file.
The Dutch travel industry association ANVR speaks of a major tragedy. “We can forget about the season now. It really is too crazy for words,” sighs Chairman Frank Osdam in conversation with our colleagues from Algemeen Dagblad (AD).
In order to slow the spread of the omikron variant, the Alpine country has tightened its entry policy. The Austrian government considers Great Britain, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands to be high-risk areas as of Friday, reports Cronin newspaper first. This means that each of those countries must be isolated for ten days, which can be shortened to five days with the PCR test.
According to Ostdam, this practically means an entry ban from the Netherlands. “Because nobody wants to do winter sports in quarantine for a long time. The season is almost over now.” This is a huge blow to the Dutch travel industry. Austria has a very large market share and is therefore very important to the Netherlands. It is very sad news. And we don’t understand either. It’s pure panic football again from the Austrian government.”
The president of the Economic Union in Tyrol and tourism spokesperson for the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) Franz Hurl, describes the imminent designation of the four countries as high-risk areas as a “slap in the face for local tourism companies”. According to him, the industry has done everything in its power to ensure the highest level of safety, while not sparing financial or regulatory resources. “The fact that thousands of businessmen and workers are being forced into de facto closures deprives the industry of any last hope for a successful start to the winter season,” he said.
According to the Austrian Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, this is a proposal from the Novel Corona Crisis Coordination Team (Gecko). The experts on this team were tasked with investigating the matter due to the rapid advancement of the Omikron variant. “The relevant recommendation will be discussed within the federal government on Wednesday and the result will be announced shortly after,” a spokeswoman said via email.
Austria already tightened entry rules for visitors from European Union countries on Monday with a 2G+ rule. This means that people can only enter the country if they are fully vaccinated or cured of corona and can show a negative PCR test that does not exceed 72 hours. Then quarantine is not necessary. Those who are already boosted do not need to be quarantined and do not have to show a PCR test result.
Insurance in Austria
Austria is now in a lockdown of more than five weeks for unvaccinated people. The 2G rule applies, among other things, to the food industry and ski areas, so a negative test is not enough to get through. The situation will be eased during the holidays for residents who have not been confirmed. During the Christmas season and the end of the year, they are allowed to gather with a maximum of ten people. A group of up to 25 people is offered to get Austrians vaccinated and cured.
Due to the strict policy, the number of new cases of corona has decreased significantly. In addition, the number of corona patients in hospitals is also declining and fewer deaths are reported. To protect the population, the government wants to introduce a vaccination commitment to everyone from the age of 14 in February. More than 69 percent of the population is currently fully vaccinated.
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