Austria starts easing strict lockdown as shops open – but British tourists may be banned until after summer – The Sun

AUSTRIA has begun lifting their strict lockdown as limited shops are allowed to re-open.

However, tourists will only be allowed back into the country by the summer – and this might not even include British holidaymakers.

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The country was one of the few in Europe to enforce the harsh lockdown very early on during the pandemic.

The first case of coronavirus was confirmed in February with a nationwide lockdown announced on March 16.

Face masks have been made mandatory when visiting supermarkets, and small shops were only allowed to open again last week.

Despite the lockdown slowly being lifted, with shopping centres and hairdressers being allowed to open from May 1, tourists won't be allowed back to the country until the summer.

However, tourists will only be allowed to come from countries which managed to keep coronavirus numbers low, such as Germany.

Austrian Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger told local media: "Freedom of travel will remain restricted in the next few months, but if countries manage the situation well, like Germany, there is a real possibility of bilateral agreements."

Germany, which has just allowed small shops to begin re-opening currently, has 147,062 cases, but just 4,862 deaths due to the high testing rates.

This is compared to the UK, which has 124,743 cases but 16,509 deaths.

British tourists may find themselves unable to visit the country until after the summer, depending on the way the virus is handled.

She added: "Without foreign tourists, we will have to bear the losses."

Another country which is considering delaying the return of British holidaymakers is Turkey, who may not open to the UK until July.


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Portugal isn't expecting tourists to return until 2021 along with Australia.

Only five per cent of countries are still allowing British tourists to enter as countries around the world close their borders.

Mexico, the Netherlands and Sweden are just some of the nine destinations which are yet to prevent UK travellers from entering.

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