Austria issues travel warning for six Balkan states

A border sign and border barrier are seen at the Austrian Czech border near Schrattenberg, Austria. EPA-EFE/CHRISTIAN BRUNA

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Austria has issued travel warnings for the whole of the Western Balkans, as the European Union added two of the six states in the region to a safe list.

Several Balkan states are seeing a spike in cases, but the 27-member EU agreed that borders could be reopened to Serbia and Montenegro.

Austria said its highest travel warning was now in place for the region.

It includes Bosnia-Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo.

The category-six warning affects all travel to the Western Balkans and recommends that Austrians return from the countries involved immediately. Those coming back will either face a 14-day quarantine or must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test.

The UK, Portugal, Sweden and Turkey are also subject to Austria’s highest warning level in Europe.

Austria has seen 107 new cases in the past 24 hours and Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg told reporters that some recent Covid-19 infections had been traced back to people who had travelled from the Western Balkans. “We see, for example, in our neighbouring (EU) countries Croatia and Slovenia, an increase in clusters of people returning from travel,” he said.

Read more via BBC

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