Austria Introduces PCR Test Requirement Citing COVID-19 Risks

Credit: Vienna Airport

SALZBURG, Austria—The Austrian government now requires travelers from 32 nations to get a PCR test on arrival in the country to check whether or not they have COVID-19.

After noting rising numbers of coronavirus cases in certain countries, the government introduced the measure beginning July 27 that obliges passengers from certain points of origin to get the test within 48 hours of arrival. Testing—which involves taking a swab of the throat—is available at Vienna International Airport.

Included in the list of nations, which has been introduced at the height of the summer season, are popular vacation destinations Turkey and Bulgaria. 

However, there is also some good news for the air transport industry. Vienna International noted in a statement that “with these new rules, this requirement as defined lifts the landing ban for airlines from several nations.” 

The latest landing-bans had been announced July 16 and included flights originating from Albania, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Iran, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Ukraine and the UK. 

“Currently, around 20 airlines are operating passenger services to and from Vienna,” Vienna International head of aviation development Belina Neumann told Aviation Daily.

PCR tests are now required for arrivals from the following nations: Albania; Bangladesh; Belarus; Bosnia & Herzegovina; Brazil; Bulgaria; Chile; Ecuador; Egypt; India; Indonesia; Iran; Kosovo; Mexico; Moldova; Montenegro; Nigeria; North Macedonia; Pakistan; Peru; Philippines; Portugal; Romania; Russia; Senegal; Serbia; South Africa; Sweden; Turkey; Ukraine; the U.S.; and China’s Hubei province.

Passengers who can provide a health certificate not older than 72 hours on arrival showing they tested negative for COVID-19 are exempt from the test. Passengers who refuse to be tested will be required to quarantine for 10 days.

Kurt Hofmann

Kurt Hofmann has been writing on the airline industry for 25 years. He appears frequently on Austrian, Swiss and German television and broadcasting…