Austria warns against travel to Spain except Balearic, Canary islands

A man wearing a protective mask walks past a closed bar, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Madrid, Spain

Austria’s foreign ministry on Thursday warned against trips to Spain except for the Balearic and Canary Islands, as concerns grow that holidaymakers could catch the coronavirus and spread it once they return.

The measure will take effect from Monday, and people returning to Austria will be required to present a negative test for COVID-19, the ministry said.

Austria’s measures are the latest blow to Spain’s tourism-dependent economy after Britain, Germany and Switzerland recently warned their citizens against summer holidays on Spanish beaches or at least in certain regions of the country.

The spread of the disease in Spain slowed after the government imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe. However, new cases have started rising again and hit a post-lockdown record of 1,772 new cases on Wednesday.

Austria has weathered the coronavirus crisis quite well so far but also saw infections increase with the summer holiday season.

The state of 8.9 million has reported 21,689 COVID-19 cases and 719 deaths as of Thursday. It counted 148 new cases on Wednesday, the highest increase since July 30.

Austria already imposed tight testing requirements for arrivals from the Balkans after it saw an increase in infections among people returning from the region.

It has travel warnings for Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia in place, as well as for European Union member states Bulgaria and Romania.

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