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Sunday 21 November 2021

Austria slams doors shut to tourists

Talk about bad timing.

Just as Austrian tourism businesses were gearing up for the winter snow season, the entire European country shut down again.

Yes, it is Austria we are talking about, not Australia.

Austria has become the European nation to reimpose a national Covid lockdown. It also plans to become the first country on the continent to make Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory for all eligible people as positive test reports rise.

The decision was announced by Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg, who said that the lockdown would last for a period of 20 days from November 22 to December 13.

"We don’t want a fifth wave,” the Chancellor said.

At the same time, the country is set to impose a legal vaccination mandate from February 1, 2022, becoming the first country in the world to make vaccination mandatory. 

So bad luck ant-vaxxers who want to hit the slopes like those at Schladming (above, where I covered the world alpine skiing championships back in 1982) next year.

The lockdown means that no travel to Austria will be possible for a period of 20 days unless for essential purposes.

“In Austria, due to the current Coronavirus infection situation, a temporary lockdown will come into effect from November 22 until December 13 at the latest. Travel to Austria for touristic purposes will only be possible again after this period,” Austria’s official travel website says.

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