Just one day after the European Union relaxed its entry rules for 15 non-Schengen states, the Austrian government announced on Wednesday, July 1, that travellers from Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo and North Macedonia will have to go into 14 days’ self-isolation or show a negative coronavirus test.

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said: “We are hereby reacting … to the circumstances, not only the situation in those countries but also the fact that we see, for example in our neighbouring countries Croatia and Slovenia, an increase in clusters of people returning from travel in the Western Balkans,” Schallenberg told a news conference. Both Croatia and Slovenia are EU members. Serbia and Montenegro appeared on the EU’s ‘safe’ list on Tuesday.

There is no indication of how long the new restrictions will last. Austria has seen 705 deaths from coronavirus since the pandemic took hold. On July 1, 107 new cases were reported.

PHOTO: Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg wearing a protective face mask attends a news conference during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Vienna, Austria, June 3, 2020. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger