The migrants undergo a process of registration, but then are largely left to themselves.
"What else should we do? We have no legal or moral basis to detain them," an Austrian official said and added: "It would be only fair if Germany would say that it puts an end to its culture of welcome."
However, as Germany increasingly has started to return migrants back, Austrian authorities have had difficulties to cope with the additional migrant inflow. In December alone Germany sent back 1564 refugees, according to the Austrian police.
"Germany rejects about 10 percent of 2,000 to 3,000 refugees entering the country daily," said the police spokesman. Among them are migrants who have no valid travel documents and those who want to apply for asylum in other countries, such as Sweden or Denmark.