Dhe Austrian liberalism in skiing is always blooming. Most recently it became known that a few dozen young people who love sport and partying, mainly from Northern Europe, have taken advantage of the gaps to stay in Tyrol over the winter. The government in Vienna is now trying to make the rules a little tighter. However, skiing as an outdoor sport for the local population should continue to be possible for the time being. How things will go with the closings in Austria will be decided next week.
It was the mayor of St. Anton am Arlberg who sounded the alarm about the hustle and bustle: British, Danes and Swedes who had found quarters and celebrated après-ski parties with canned beer from the supermarket at hay barn in the ski area. In the “third lockdown”, the tourism businesses in Austria had to close as well as all shops except those for basic supplies. Restaurants, hotels and other commercial accommodations are closed. There are also exit restrictions: You may only leave the apartment for work, necessary activities such as shopping or visiting the doctor, as well as for personal relaxation.
Where is the loophole?
The loophole, however, is the employment exemption. Where possible, employers and employees are encouraged to work from home. But sometimes travel is unavoidable, and then a room can be booked. And apparently the foreign residents entered the country on the grounds of starting a job. They even officially registered on site for this purpose.
“A lot of people have registered second homes and say they have a job prospect. But there are currently no jobs in tourism ”, the mayor of St. Anton, Helmut Mall, is quoted as saying. The newspaper “Kurier” reported that around twenty people had arrived last week and had brought the required entry form with them.
It is doubtful that these people came up with this idea on their own. “Apparently tips are circulating on the Internet on how to bypass bans and get to St. Anton unmolested, namely by train from Zurich,” says Mayor Mall. There are photos where “thirty to forty party guests can be seen”. There are black sheep among the landlords. The mayor sent out an information sheet by post. “Such facts and facts” cannot be tolerated. The village could be seriously damaged. The police have already been charged with rigorous checks, for example in accordance with the Registration and Residence Act.
Now the Austrian Ministry of Health has announced a “clarification”. If someone enters the country on the grounds of starting a job or having an interview, he has to prove this. Otherwise, entry for professional purposes is not possible. The opposition heavily criticized the ÖVP-Green governments, in the federal government and especially in the state of Tyrol. “First Ischgl got into the headlines as a corona hotspot due to the turquoise-green management by Chaos, now the corona clusters are piling up in Tyrol and at the same time you hear about lavish après-ski parties, ski tourists and vacations despite the lockdown,” said the Federal managing director of the social democratic SPÖ, Christian Deutsch. It must be acted quickly and not appeased, otherwise there is a threat of “fatal effects on the population” in terms of compliance with the lockdown.
The Tyrolean governor Günter Platter (ÖVP) was “angry” about the violations, but also warned that the mood in the population “changes” if steps are not taken. He also complained about “Tyrol bashing” because every “little thing” is pointed to his state.
Mutant brought in from South Africa?
There were also waves of reports about a vacation that individual hoteliers from the Tyrolean Zillertal had taken to South Africa at the turn of the year. In the meantime, seven positive corona cases with the South African mutant have become known in Tyrol, five of them in the Schwaz district with reference to a “cluster” among employees of the Hochfügen mountain railway in the Zillertal, the other two with connections to this area.