The Austrian National Tourist Office has confirmed that the Alpine country will be one of the first in the world to implement nationwide Covid-19 testing for anybody working in the travel and tourism industry, with a goal of 65,000 tests to have been carried out by July, Lucy Aspden reports.
The news comes as Austrian officials confirm the country will reopen its borders, to all its European neighbours except Italy, from June 8, a week earlier than planned.
The testing system has already begun, with trials taking place in popular summer destinations across the country, including Wilder Kaiser in the Tirol and Montafon in Vorarlberg. All employees with direct contact with guests will be tested on a regular basis, including hoteliers, restaurant staff and lift attendants, with costs covered by the government.
Businesses where staff have been tested will be given signage to allow tourists to know their employees are being regularly screened and the premises is ‘Covid safe.’
“Regular testing is a key aspect to the reopening of Austria’s travel industry, which will take place under close monitoring and with great care. Once we’re able to welcome visitors again – including, of course, visitors from the UK – it will be under the safest circumstances, in which they can enjoy their holiday without concern,” said Martina Jamnig, UK director at the Austrian National Tourist Office.