In an attempt to prevent the spread of new mutations of the coronavirus, the Czech Republic and Austria will impose stricter measures at the borders and travel to both countries.
On February 5, 2021, the Czech Republic will add a fourth category of high-risk countries to the list of green, orange, and red countries. Slovakia will belong to the fourth category, State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Ministry Martin Klus wrote on Facebook.
Austria decided to ease the local measures and lockdown from February 8, 2021, but the country is also changing the rules at the borders and the conditions for entering the country.
Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer confirmed that cross-border commuters will be obliged to register upon arrival like other travellers and they will have to show a negative PCR test result once a week, Czech newswire ČTK informed.
While the date these new rules become effective has not been specified, the Foreign Affairs Ministry assumes they will take effect on February 8.
The loosening will apply to all schools and non-essential shops including hairdressers, but not bars, cafes or restaurants. It will include switching to a nighttime curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. rather than the all-day restrictions on movement now in place.
Shop customers will have to wear FFP2 face masks – a higher standard than basic textile masks. Such masks are already required on public transport and in the essential shops that are open. Museums and zoos will also be allowed to reopen.
Kurz said Austria would also significantly tighten its “border regime” to prevent the arrival of new coronavirus variants. The so-called British and South African variants have been found there but the Brazilian variant has not.