Austria on Thursday will issue the updated set of rules regarding ski resorts, particularly, ban of all apres-ski parties. As health experts say, those events create COVID-19 hotspots. The warnings earlier this year and issued travel warnings for Paris, Prague and other destinations.
Austria, the Alpine nation, is fighting against another wave of the coronavirus. While infections are rapidly rising again, authorities are adamant that Austria will still open in the coming winter season. For the EU country, its world-famous ski resorts used to generate a huge amount of tourist revenue. But not this year.
On Thursday, Austria will issue new travel warnings for Paris, Prague, Israel and a number of other destinations, but removed Sweden, Australia, Japan and others from the list.
In March when the COVID-19 has visited Europe for the first time, thousands of tourists from all over the world became infected at tightly-packed ski-slope Alpine bars. To avoid that mistake, strict social distancing and hygiene measures will be enforced, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said. “Ski fun yes, but no apres-ski,” he added.
Tourists must maintain at least one metre apart at all times, wear masks in cable cars and gondolas, and bars and restaurants will serve drink and food to seated customers only.
“Standing shoulder-to-shoulder, dancing, singing in small bars or outdoor bars are potential centres of infection,” Tourism Minister Elisabeth Koestinger said.
Austria is going to open its Christmas markets despite virus
Austria has also introduced rules requiring travellers from regions with high infection rates to show negative coronavirus tests or undergo self-isolation.
The famous Austrian country’s Christmas markets will also be allowed to open this year, on condition they comply with safety guidelines like masks and one-metre distancing.
Austria is heavily reliant on tourism, and recent travel warnings for parts of the country, including from neighbouring Germany, have hit the industry hard.
As of Tuesday, Austria with a population of nearly nine million has recorded more than 41,000 cases and 783 deaths from the novel pathogen.
Last Wednesday, a consumer watchdog said it was suing the government for coronavirus outbreaks in the country’s ski resorts.