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Travel advice and Covid rules in Germany, Austria and Netherlands after lockdowns

Travel disruptions to Germany, Austria and the Netherlands could occur as Covid cases spike and some European countries reintroduce lockdowns and restrictions.

As we approach winter, holidaymakers will have to stay alert and adjust plans accordingly.

Worrying levels of Covid cases in Europe have brought about further restrictions though no European countries have closed their borders yet.

On Monday, Austria began a lockdown of unvaccinated people.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that Covid deaths in Europe went up by 10 per cent in the week to November 7 while other regions saw stable figures or a decline.

Will travellers face disruptions to these three European countries ahead of Christmas? Here’s what we know so far.

Germany – Covid and travel



Germany is seeing unprecedented Covid figures

Covid

A fourth wave of the virus is raging in Germany as the country registered 52,826 new cases of Covid today.

Plus, the seven-day average is 41,052 cases – the highest it has ever been during the pandemic.

Its vaccination rate lags behind western Europe at 67.7 per cent. In the UK, 68.5 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said today: “The current pandemic situation in Germany is dramatic.

“The fourth wave is hitting our country with full force.”

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Dorothea White from Stuttgart embraces her grand daughter as they are reunited upon her arrival on a flight from Frankfurt, Germany, as the US reopens air and land borders to vaccinated travellers for the first time since the Covid-19 restrictions were imposed, at Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia on November 8, 2021. - Long lines formed at border crossings as the United States reopened to foreign visitors vaccinated against Covid-19, ending 20 months of restrictions that separated families, hobbled tourism and strained diplomatic ties. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
Several states in Germany have limited entry to restaurants, bars and clubs to fully vaccinated people or those with proof of recent infection

In Germany, the UK is designated as a ‘high-incidence area’.

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated and do not meet one of the exemptions may not currently enter Germany from the UK.

Vaccine exemptions include but are not limited to: German citizens or residents, partners or children of German citizens and those with an urgent need to travel.

Several states in Germany, including Bavaria, Saxony, Thuringia, have limited entry to restaurants, bars and clubs to fully vaccinated people or those with proof they recently recovered from Covid.

Munich’s Christmas Market was cancelled yesterday, joining the axed Christmas Market in Berlin at Charlottenberg Palace.

Austria – Covid and travel



A tourist takes photos in the town center on January 16, 2019 in Hallstatt, Austria. Hallstatt, known for its picturesque beauty and its location at the base of a mountain on Hallstatter Sea lake, is struggling to cope with large influxes of tourists throughout the year.
Austria introduced a lockdown of unvaccinated people on Monday

Covid

As mentioned earlier, Austria introduced a lockdown on unvaccinated people on Monday. Unvaccinated people are only allowed to leave their homes for specific reasons like work or food shopping.

Austria is also undergoing a spike in cases of the virus as it reported 15,609 new daily infections yesterday.

The average number of new infections reached a new high, reported Reuters.

About 65 per cent of the population is vaccinated in Austria.

The country has one of the highest infection rates in Europe with a seven-day Covid rate of 971.5 per 100,000 people.

Travel



Visitors wait for hot drinks at the traditional annual Christmas Market outside of Vienna's city hall in Vienna, Austria on November 15, 2021. - Authorities began vaccinating children between 5 and 11 against coronavirus in the capital on November 15, 2021, among soaring rates that saw a country wide lockdown for some two million people who have not been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. (Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP) (Photo by JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images)
The 2G rule requires proof of vaccination or past infection to go to places like Christmas markets

From December 6, two dose vaccinations are valid for nine months after the second dose.

Masks are compulsory on on public transport and in taxis. They are also mandated in public areas like shops, museums and bakeries.

As of November 12, people in Austria will need to show proof of vaccination or past infection to go restaurants, bars or any gathering of more than 25 people – a measure called the “2G” rule.

For residents and tourists alike, the 2G rule is also in force for hotels, cinemas, theatres, gyms, Christmas markets and ski lifts.

Previously, negative tests were sufficient proof.

The Netherlands – Covid and travel



THE HAGUE NETHERLANDS - NOVEMBER 12: A flare burns on a barricade of bicycles built by antivaxxers and anti-lockdown protesters on November 12, 2021 in The Hague, Netherlands. Clashes erupt between anti-lockdown protesters and anti-riot forces as the Dutch government announce new measures to counter a new wave of Covid-19 virus infections. (Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images)
Anti-lockdown protestors came out on November 12 as the Netherlands enacted a lockdown

Covid

Like Austria, the Netherlands imposed a lockdown, although this one applies to everyone regardless of vaccination status.

The country began a three week lockdown last Friday, November 12 as cases hit a new high and “rising fast”, according to Ernst Kuipers, chair of the national acute care network LNAZ.

About 70 per cent of the population is vaccinated.

The lockdown is a bid to curb soaring infections during another wave of Covid that saw 20,168 new cases of the virus recorded today.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said last week: “We must reduce the number of contacts and infections as fast as possible

“Tonight we are bringing a very unpleasant message with very unpleasant and far-reaching measures.”

Travel



Modern gay couple enjoying the city break in late autumn or early winter in sunny Amsterdam
Amsterdam will not be the most fun destination to visit as it is currently under lockdown

For three weeks, the nation will be under lockdown from November 12.

It includes the closure of bars, restaurants and essential shops from 8pm. Non-essential retail and services such as hairdressers now close at 6pm.

Home gatherings are limited to four guests as sports events take place without audiences and home working advised.

America added the country to its highest-risk level list (Level 4) earlier this week.

Did you know you can keep up to date with the latest news by signing up to our daily newsletter?

We send a morning and lunchtime newsletter covering the latest headlines every day.

We also send coronavirus updates at 5pm on weekdays, and a round up of the week’s must-read stories on Sunday afternoons.

Signing up is simple, easy and free.

You can pop your email address into the sign up box above, hit Subscribe and we’ll do the rest.

Alternatively, you can sign up and check out the rest of our newsletters here.

The best way to keep track of local rule changes and stricter entry requirements is by checking the “coronavirus” sections on the FCDO website’s individual country by country advice.