Coronavirus has been confirmed in Austria and Croatia - here’s the latest travel advice

Monday, 16th March 2020, 9:18 am
Updated Monday, 16th March 2020, 9:23 am

Coronavirus has continued its spread across Europe, claiming 127 lives in France and infecting more than 24,000 people in Italy, where the entire nation is now under quarantine.

Cases are now confirmed in Austria, with the virus having broken out at a hotel in a popular Alpine region, and Croatia has also reported its first case.

Here’s the latest travel advice for Austria and Croatia.

How has Austria been affected by the virus?

An Italian couple staying at the 108-room Grand Europa Hotel in the alpine tourist town of Innsbruck tested positive for the virus on Tuesday (25 February), prompting local authorities to place the hotel under quarantine.

The woman works as a receptionist at the hotel and her partner had been visiting.

The couple, both in their 20s, had driven to Innsbruck directly from their hometown near Lombardy – the Italian region at the heart of Europe’s worst coronavirus outbreak.

Guests and staff were all locked inside while 62 people were tested for the virus.

Nine of those who had been in close contact with the couple were then placed into a two-week quarantine, with a further three members of the couple’s social circle also quarantined.

At the time of writing, the number of confirmed cases in Austria stands at 959, resulting in two deaths.

Is it safe to travel to Austria?

Austria is now dealing with a serious coronavirus outbreak of its own.

In repsonse, the government has announced that it will be limiting people's movement so that only those performing essential tasks should be leaving their homes.

As of Monday 16 March, all direct air links between the UK and Austria have been cancelled, while the rail links to surrounding nations have also been halted.

Restrictions are also in place at Austria's borders.

As of Tuesday 17 March, all non-essential businesses around the country will also be closed.

How has Croatia been affected by the virus?

Croatia confirmed its first coronavirus case on Tuesday (25 February), also involving a person who had recently returned from Italy.

The country’s health minister confirmed that a Croatian man had come back from Milan showing “milder signs of the illness.”

However, he also announced that Croatia feels well prepared to deal with the virus, arguing that “It is a disease that is similar to the flu and no bigger complications are expected than in the case of the flu.”

Croatia have already taken precautionary measures against the virus – instituting airport checks for flights arriving from Italy and China, and also banning all school trips to Italy for the time being. They have also advised against any travel to the quarantined parts of northern Italy.

Nine Croatians working in a factory in Italy have also been placed under overnight quarantine after 20 of their colleagues were found to be infected.

The total of confirmed cases in Croatia is now 57, none have been fatal.

Is it safe to travel to Croatia?

On 12 March, the Croatian government announced that anyone arriving from the following countries would be placed under compulsory 14-day self-isolation: United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Austria, Netherlands, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore and Iran.

Those who refuse self-isolation will be denied entry.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, The i.