Austria fears new coronavirus strain spreading in Slovakia. Closes some border crossings

Changes apply to the Slovak-Ukrainian border, too.

(Source: TASR)

The regime on some border crossings is changing. Three border crossings between Slovakia and Austria are closed as of January 14 midnight. From Friday, January 15 at 7:00, operation at the borders with Ukraine will change as well.

The following border crossings are now closed:

  • Angern an der March - Záhorská Ves (road, ferryboat);
  • Schloss Hof - Devínska Nová Ves (cycling bridge);
  • Hainburg an der Donau – Devín (river border crossing at the Danube).

Alarming number of infections

Austria adopted the decision as it fears the British strain of the coronavirus quickly spreading in Slovakia, the Austrian daily Kurier reported.

The number of people infected with this mutation is “alarming” in Slovakia, said Austrian Health Minister Rudolf Anschober.

The daily also recalled a recent case when a Slovak nurse probably spread the infection in a home for seniors in Vienna, where 42 people tested positive. Whether it is the British strain has to be confirmed in a lab.

Austria is currently checking border crossings with the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Starting on January 15, it should limit or close 45 border crossings with the Czech Republic and Slovakia, according to Kurier.

Obligatory registration

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Everybody arriving in Austria has to sign a document confirming they will go into isolation. Otherwise, they will not be allowed to enter the country. The 10-day isolation can end on the fifth day with a negative test result.

Cross-border commuters and drivers of lorries are exempted. They do not have to undergo isolation or take a test. However, they have to prove that they are employed in Austria.

Moreover, from January 15, there will be a new obligation for online registration before entering the country. Incomers will have to submit a confirmation about electronic registration if checked.

Ukrainian borders

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Meanwhile, the border crossing between Veľké Slemence in Slovakia and Mali Slemenci in Ukraine remains closed.

Passenger cars and lorries can use the Ubľa – Malyj Bereznyj and Vyšné Nemecké Užhorod crossing.

These cannot be used by cyclists and walkers because of unsuitable infrastructure on the Ukrainian side.

No changes will be applied for the Čierna nad Tisou Čop and Maťovské Vojkovce – Pavlovo the railway crossings.

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