Flights from the UK to Austria could be cancelled as early as Friday, upsetting the winter tourism season, as the Austrian government apparently attempts to reclassify the United Kingdom as an Omicron COVID-19 hotspot.
The Ministry of Health in Vienna is planning to reclassify the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands as “virus variant areas” as of Friday (24th December), according to local media outlets including Krone Zeitung and OE24.
This would mean that anyone entering Austria from one of these countries will have to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine, with free testing made available after five days minimum.
The information has yet to be officially confirmed by the Ministry of Health, according to Kronen Zeitung.
Alexander Klaus, a spokesman for Salzburg Airport, told OE2 that this would lead to flights from the UK disappearing from the flight plans altogether. He said: “You can assume that, because the tour operators will react to it.”
The airport had reportedly yet to receive new guidelines from the government at the time of writing.
Geneticist Ulrich Elling told the Oe1 radio station: “I think there have been 26 planes landed in Salzburg and Innsbruck alone. If there are a total of around 5,000 people on board and the incidence is currently as it is in England, then you have to assume that 15 cases are imported per day and that of course they go straight to the ski areas and hotels.”
The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is rapidly becoming the dominant variant of SARS-CoV-2 in numerous countries.
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