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Austria reopens borders with all neighbours except Italy

Austria will end pandemic travel restrictions vis-a-vis all neighbouring countries except Italy by Friday, the government announced on Wednesday.

Austria will end pandemic travel restrictions vis-a-vis all neighbouring countries except Italy by Friday, the government announced on Wednesday.

Health Minister Rudolf Anschober told a press briefing that he does not rule out opening the border with Italy in mid-June, given that the coronavirus situation in most Italian regions is already similar to the other countries surrounding Austria.

In a first step, checks on the borders to and from Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Switzerland and Liechtenstein will end. Quarantines or virus tests will no longer be required for travellers returning to Austria.

Austria decided to loosen restrictions now instead of mid-June as originally planned because it wanted to move in parallel with Germany, which approved the lifting of travel warnings for 29 European countries on Wednesday, according to Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

When asked about popular vacation destinations like Croatia and Greece that do not border on Austria, the chief diplomat said that the government would take decisions on additional countries next week.

The Vienna government is in talks with Rome about allowing travel to safe Italian regions.

“A regional differentiation seems to be a viable option,” Anschober said.

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