Austria also closed its borders on 16 March. But here the restriction on movement was much more severe than in Germany: the whole of Tirol was placed into strict quarantine, where residents were not allowed to leave their local community (you couldn`t go to the next village!).

The restrictions country-wide were very similar to Germany but seemed to be enforced and respected more rigidly, especially the 14-day quarantine obligation after entering Austria. Testing here for the virus was also given the highest priority.

As in Germany the measures imposed seemingly brought the desired results: Austria has the lowest infection and mortality rates in western Europe. All shops are now open, as are restaurants and bars with some limitation on guest numbers. The obligation to wear masks in all shops and the 14-day quarantine after entering the country remain in place. As in Germany, testing for the Covid-19 virus remains a priority.

A return to free movement between Austria, Germany and Switzerland is planned for 15 June. The border to Italy (with the highest number of deaths in Europe) is however to remain closed for the time being. Life here was initially quite tough and the severe restrictions really impacted life.

But current restrictions are less severe than in Germany and one has the overall impression that life is generally well on the way back to normality.