AUSTRIA

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Country Description: Austria is a highly developed stable democracy with a modern economy.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: A passport is required. A visa is not required for business or tourist stays up to three months. For information concerning longer stays or other entry regulations, travelers can contact the Embassy of Austria at 3524 International Court, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, tel. (202) 895-6767, or the nearest Austrian consulate in Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York.

Medical Facilities: Good medical care is widely available. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. Travelers have found that in some cases, supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage has proved to be useful. Information on specific health matters is available through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention international travelers hotline at (404) 332-4559, or by visiting CDC's Internet home page at http://www.cdc.gov.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: Austria has a low crime rate, and violent crime is rare. However, crimes involving theft of personal property have increased in recent years. Travelers can become targets of pickpockets and purse snatchers who operate where tourists tend to gather, favorite spots, including Vienna's two largest train stations. The loss or theft of a U.S. passport overseas should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens can refer to the Department of State's pamphlet "A Safe Trip Abroad" for ways to promote a more trouble-free trip. The pamphlet is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

Traffic Safety/Road Conditions: According to the Austrian Automobile Association (OAMTC), road conditions and traffic safety are very good throughout Austria. During the winter, however, road conditions in the Alpine area may change drastically due to snow and ice. On many mountain roads the use of chains is required. Highways, city streets, and major roads are cleaned of snow around the clock. Traffic information and road conditions are constantly broadcast on the English language channel "Blue Danube Radio."

Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.

Other Information: Certain Austrian Airways flights between Austria and various Middle Eastern points (usually Damascus or Amman) make en route stops in Beirut. (The State Department warns U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to or through Lebanon and that U.S. passports are not valid for such travel without special validation.)

Registration and Embassy/Consulate Location: U.S. citizens are encouraged to register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy or Consular Agency and obtain updated information on travel and security in Austria. The U.S. Embassy in Vienna is located at Boltzmanngasse 16 in the Ninth District. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy is located on the fourth floor of Gartenbaupromenade 2 in the First District. The telephone number for both the Embassy and the Consular Section is (43)(1) 31-339. There is also a Consular Agency in Salzburg at Alter Markt 1, telephone (43) (662) 84-87-76, open Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 noon. U.S. citizens in Salzburg who require assistance outside of these hours should contact the U.S. Embassy in Vienna.

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