The Austrian government announced on Wednesday that the border will be opened on Thursday to all of its neighbours, other than the heavily hit southern neighbour of Italy.
Borders with Switzerland, Germany, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary will be opened on June 8th – a week earlier than the planned opening which was set to take place on the 15th.
While Swiss residents will now be allowed to travel into Austria, Austrians will not be given reciprocal rights until the originally agreed date of June 15th.
Despite similar geography and population size, Austria has been comparatively spared by the coronavirus than its western neighbour Switzerland.
While Switzerland has had more than 30,000 recorded infections and 1920 deaths, Austria has had 16,700 official cases and 670 deaths from the virus.
Austrian authorities said that the border with Italy will be reopened “if the numbers allow for it”.