VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria has denied entry to a train from Italy on suspicion that two travellers might be infected with the coronavirus, the interior ministry said on Sunday.
“Tonight a train on its way from Venice to Munich was stopped at the Austrian border,” the interior ministry said.
The Italian State Railways had informed Austrian train operator OBB that there were two people with fever symptoms on the train, the ministry’s statement said.
The train was now waiting at the Brenner Pass on Italian territory. “The further procedure is currently being discussed together with the Italian authorities.”
It is unclear when the train will be able to continue on its journey, an OBB spokesman said.
Italy is battling with an explosion of coronavirus cases, which rose on Saturday to more than 150, with three deaths. The government has closed off the worst-hit areas in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto.
Austria’s interior minister Karl Nehammer said earlier on Sunday that a coronavirus task force will meet on Monday to discuss whether to introduce border controls with Italy.
Such border controls could be established within an hour, said General Franz Lang, who is responsible for public security.
There have been 181 suspected coronavirus cases in Austria, with none confirmed, according to the interior minister.
Peter Kaiser, governor of the province of Carinthia which borders Northern Italy, advised against travelling to Italy on Sunday.
Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Giles Elgood and Jan Harvey
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