Another Ski Instructor Course in Austria With Britons Attending Sees Outbreak of Covid-19

The outbreak happened in a group of 172 people on a course in Flachau in the Ski Amade region in Salzburg. Two Britons are among dozens on the course who have tested positive for coronavirus. All instructor courses in Salzburg have now been suspended.

109 quick tests were carried out on Thursday of which 29 were positive.

Two British nationals were among those who tested positive.

There is no indication they were the source of the spread.

PCR tests were then carried out on all 172 participants on the course and results are expected shortly from Austrian health body, AGES.

It is unclear if the outbreak is the variant B117 first identified in the south east of England in December 2020.

“We want to be certain whether the people are infected with the British variant of coronavirus,” said state medical director, Petra Juhasz.

It has been suggested the new variant spreads between 30% and 70% faster and there are fears it is about 30% more deadly in elderly people.

Scientists stress more data is needed before firm conclusions can be drawn.

The group of 172 ski instructor trainees is now isolating in Pongau in Salzburg.

Last week, a ski instructor course in Jochberg near Kitzbühel in the Tirol in Austria had an outbreak of Covid-19.

17 people, many of them British, tested positive.

The latest outbreak is reported by ORF

Ski instructor courses are defined as vocational training and are legal during the current lockdown in Austria.

After the latest outbreak the governor, Wilfried Haslauer, has held talks with the Salzburg Professional Ski and Snowboard Instructor Association, SBSSV, and temporarily closed down courses.

There are courses in Obertauern and Maria Alm currently underway and they have been suspended.

“I would like to emphasize that all legal requirements and prescribed measures for holding ski instructor training have been meticulously adhered to,” said the SBSSV chairman, Gerhard Sint.

More than 1,000 participants have completed the basic, advanced and advanced training courses of the SBSSV since the first lockdown in March 2020 without incident.

Altogether there are currently 260 ski instructor students mainly from Northern Europe in Salzburg alone.

Courses are taking place in other parts of Austria.

Ski instructor courses are also running in Switzerland, where resorts remain open, with British trainees taking part.