Austria has sent home more than 100 Brits before they could even enter the country, it has emerged.
Innsbruck Airport has refused entry to 110 tourists from the UK because they had not followed Austria’s Covid rules, according to the BBC.
Many were likely caught out on Boxing Day by a new rule demanding a negative PCR test 48 hours before arrival in Austria, police said.
Most tourists were sent back to Britain straight away, 40 were put in a hotel for the night and 12 were allowed to take new PCR tests and carry on with their holidays, according to the Innsbruck local authority.
All those allowed in were reportedly families with children.
UK is a ‘virus variant area’ according to Austria
It comes as UK travellers arriving on Sunday to ski in the western Tyrol region were facing new rules in Austria for arrivals from Britain, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant.
The new rules, currently on the Austrian UK embassy website, include a third Covid jab for people over the age of 12 and a negative PCR test within 48 hours of arrival – conditions which many allegedly did not meet.
Franz Hörl, of local opposition People’s Party, said he had no problem with tougher rules for countries such as Britain, labelled “virus variant areas”.
But he told the APA news agency he had an issue with the ‘unprofessional’ and ‘inhumane’ move to take tourists to a hotel under police protection and send them home at their own expense.
France bans Brits over Covid – again
Gabriel Attal, a government spokesman, said that “even more drastic” measures were required to ensure that travellers did not bring in the virus from the UK.
“We are going to limit the reasons which allow people to come from the United Kingdom to France,” Attal said.
“[Only] French citizens, French residents and their families will be allowed. Everything involving tourism or business trips for people who are not French or European will be limited.”
A test taken less than 24 hours before arrival will be required, and travellers will be forced to self-isolate with police supervision for a week.
“The isolation can be lifted within 24 hours if a negative test, carried out in France, is presented,” Attal said.
In May, travellers from the UK had to provide “compelling reasons” to enter France as French authorities tightened restrictions to prevent the spread of the Indian variant of coronavirus.
At the time, travel to France from the UK was only be permitted for EU nationals, French residents, or those travelling for essential reasons.
Travellers entering France from outside the European Union, including the UK, also had to sign a sworn declaration that they did not have Covid symptoms and that they were not aware of being in contact with someone with the disease in the 14 days before their journey.