110 Brits turned away from Innsbruck Aiport in Austria over new Covid travel rules

·2-min read
The Christmas tree of Innsbruck’s closed festive market is reflected in a puddle  (AP)
The Christmas tree of Innsbruck’s closed festive market is reflected in a puddle (AP)

Innsbruck airport in Austria refused to let around 110 UK tourists into the country because they had not followed new Covid rules.

Many appeared to have been caught out by new rules imposed by the Austrian government on Saturday which required a negative PCR test within 48 hours alongside proof of booster vaccination.

One passenger described the situation as an “absolute shambles” as the new requirements were reportedly not updated on the government’s website.

Most of the tourists were flown home immediately but 40 were put up overnight in a hotel, reports the BBC.

Of those, 12 were allowed to take new PCR tests and continue with their holiday in the skiing region of Tyrol in western Austria.

Travellers from Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway were hit with the tough new rules from Christmas Day over the spread of Omicron.

Previously, a test could be up to 72 hours old, while others are believed to have been caught out by a recent rule requiring proof of a booster dose.

Opposition politician, People’s Party tourism spokesman Franz Hörl said he blamed health minister Wolfgang Mückstein, saying the relevant websites had not been updated.

One affected traveller said on Twitter: “Carnage at Innsbruck airport Austrian embassy websites and others not up to date and police rejecting hundreds of entries complete disconnect/shambles”.

Another added: “Utter chaos at Innsbruck airport!

“Although we adhered to all the travel requests from the authorities, we have landed, and they are shipping 60 so us back after 5 hours of no information”.

The Austrian embassy website appears to currently display the new rules for travellers from Britain.

The country is the latest to place tougher rules on Brits looking for skiing holidays. France has effectively banned tourism from Britain, saying travel is only allowed into the country with “compelling reason”. These do not include tourism or business.

Germany has also effectively banned travel from the UK, with some limited exemptions. German citizens and residents are still permitted to travel from the UK.

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