Austria warns against travel to Croatia

VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s foreign ministry on Friday joined Italy in warning against travel to Croatia, as concerns grow that vacationers could catch the coronavirus and spread it once they return.

The warning, which comes after Austria recorded 57 new cases among people returning from Croatia within the last 24 hours, is effective from Aug. 17, the ministry said.

Nearly a quarter of the people whose infections were reported within the past seven days show no symptoms, health minister Rudolf Anschober said. The average age of infected Austrians was 33.7 years.

The measure will take effect from Monday, and people returning to Austria will be required to present a negative test for COVID-19, which should not be older than 72 hours, the health ministry said.

Austria had already imposed tight testing requirements for arrivals from other Balkan states in July, after it saw an increase in infections among people returning from the region. It has travel warnings for Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia in place, as well as for European Union member states Bulgaria and Romania.

The number of daily COVID-19 cases peaked in Croatia on Friday as the country recorded 208 new cases.

So far Croatia, a country of 4 million people, has recorded 6,258 cases of COVID-19 and 163 deaths.

Austria, with 8.9 million people, has recorded 22,881 cases and 725 fatalities. As in other countries, the number of new infections has increased in the summer holiday period.

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