Austria is taking additional measures due to an outbreak of the South African corona variant in Tyrol. Travellers must show a negative corona test from Friday if they want to leave the state.
Authorities have identified nearly 300 cases of this new virus variant in the area popular with winter sports enthusiasts. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz warned that it could cost many lives if such a mutated version of the virus could spread quickly.
It is still unclear how the extra contagious South African variant could spread in Tyrol. The tightened policy will remain in force for at least ten days and does not apply in East Tyrol. Children are not required to show a negative test result.
The spread of new corona variants is being monitored with concern worldwide. South Africa announced on Sunday that it would not vaccinate with AstraZeneca’s corona vaccine for the time being because it would be less effective against the South African variant.
“Nearly 50 percent of Europeans will be vaccinated with AstraZeneca in the coming months,” Kurz said Tuesday. “If this drug is less effective, then we should be aware that these mutations are extremely dangerous for us.”