ZAGREB, Aug 23, 2020 – Croatia’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has expressed concern about the situation on the Slovenian-Austrian border, where there are huge traffic jams, urging the countries’ authorities to find a solution.
Minister Gordan Grlic Radman has contacted his Austrian colleague Alexander Schallenberg, the Croatian Embassy in Vienna has been in contact with Austria’s Interior Ministry and Foreign Ministry since early morning, and the Assistant Foreign Minister has spoken on the phone with the Austrian Ambassador to Croatia, the Foreign Ministry said in a press release.
Croatian officials expressed concern about the situation on the Slovenian-Austrian border and called for an urgent solution in order to enable a faster flow of vehicles and reduce the “worryingly long wait” for entry into Austria, also for transit vehicles.
On Saturday Vienna introduced strict controls on the border with Slovenia because of the coronavirus, which has resulted in traffic jams that did not clear even on Sunday morning.
“We believe that we will soon find a solution, for the benefit of all travellers, so that they reach their destinations as soon as possible, and the latest information from the Austrian Interior Ministry is on easing up the strict measures and procedures and improving the flow of vehicles entering Austria,” the Ministry said, adding they would continue monitoring the situation on the Austrian border and respond accordingly.
In recent days, Vienna has been reporting a steady increase in the number of infections in Austria, to which holidaymakers returning from Croatia have been contributing.
Last week, Austria included Croatia on the list of high-risk countries and warned against travel to Croatia, and since 17 August holidaymakers returning from Croatia have had to show a current negative test for the coronavirus or undergo testing within 48 hours and self-isolate in the meantime.
On Sunday, Austria reported 191 new cases of the coronavirus infection in the past 24 hours, underscoring that fewer tests were conducted on the weekends.
In the previous days, the number of new infections rarely dropped under 300.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, Austria has had a total of 25,253 positive cases and 732 deaths.
The situation on the Slovenian-Austrian border crossing of Karavanke was slowly getting back to normal on Sunday afternoon, the Slovenian police and traffic services said.