Tirol May Go Into Quarantine as Variant Virus Cases Rise
5th February 2021
Last modified on February 8th, 2021
The Austrian province has seen worrying increases in the mutations and concerns are mounting. The authorities are studying the data and will make a decision shortly. Ski resorts and alpine areas are watching closely. UPDATED
A decision was to have been made on Sunday, but it has been postponed until Monday.
The Federal government has said there is an “acute and serious” situation regarding the South African variant in the western part of the Tirol.
There have been 75 cases, plus 21 of the UK variant.
More checks are being carried out.
The authorities are considering putting the region under quarantine which would likely mean the ski resorts would have to close.
They are currently open but for locals only.
The Health Minister, Rudolf Anschober, said he had spoken to Tirol’s regional government and is satisfied that they were aware that “this is an acute situation, a serious situation”.
“We will review the data on Sunday and decide… if extra measures are necessary,” he added.
Mass testing in certain districts and sequencing of test samples has been stepped up.
The province is set to offer 50,000 tests per day.
All people are being asked to have tests and the head of the local coronavirus task force, Elmar Rizzoli, said it is for people’s “own protection and the protection of others, and thus to contain the spread”.
The virologist, Dorothee von Laer, who has advised the government on the crisis, said her recommendation would be for the province to be sealed off for a month.
The opposition Social Democrats have also demanded tougher action in the Tirol.
The lockdown in Austria is being partially relaxed on Monday, with schools, shops and museums due to re-open.
“We take the infection situation very seriously especially the occurence of virus mutations and their potential danger,” said the governor of the Tirol, Günther Platter.
Ski resorts in the Tirol remain open but are for locals only.
The authorities have recently cracked down:
- Austria cracks down on foreigners staying and skiing in resorts illegally
- Police carry out checks on foreigners in St Anton with 96 in breach of Covid-19 rules
The South Tirol province, in Northern Italy, will go into a “hard lockdown” for three weeks from Monday because of a surge in cases.
Shops will shut, schools will go online and there will be a ban on moving between towns.
Here on PlanetSKI we will be keeping a close eye on the situation in the Tirol and reporting as soon as decisions have been taken.
It had been hoped a decision would be made at the weekend.