Austria bans flights from Balkans


Austria on Tuesday said it was suspending passenger flights from most Balkan countries, Moldova and Egypt to lower the risk of travellers infected with coronavirus entering the country.

The measure will take effect from Thursday, the Health Ministry said. The move comes on top of the travel warnings that Austria issued for the Balkan region at the start of July.

The new ban covers arrivals from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and Egypt.

Flight bans will remain in place for Belarus, Britain, China, Iran, Portugal, Russia, Sweden and Ukraine.

Austrian health authorities have partly traced the recent increase in infections to travellers who had stayed in the Balkans.

Many people in Austria’s large community with Balkan roots spend their summer vacations in their countries of origin.

More than 600,000 people among Austria’s population of 8.9 million have roots in former Yugoslavia. In addition, some 120,000 Romanians and over 100,000 Hungarians live in Austria.