Rising numbers of corona at the Zillertal Cluster. Brazen party guests in St. Anton am Arlberg are coming into focus as the cause.
Innsbruck – In Tyrol’s winter sports strongholds, the lockdown seems to work only to a limited extent. In the Zillertal, where a cluster originating from the Hochfügen ski resort became known at the weekend – at least 16 cable car employees were infected there – more and more positive cases are being discovered in the course of the ordered mass tests. As of Monday evening, there were 29 positive results. The cluster is now also spreading to a retirement home in Münster, where 18 residents and staff have tested positive.
The authorities are registering the cases with great concern, as the South African virus mutation B.1.351 has been detected in at least seven cases in Zillertal, Innsbruck-Land and Innsbruck. A further 21 suspected cases are still being investigated. The mutant is more contagious and there are fears that the vaccination could offer less protection against it, which is why some manufacturers have already reacted and want to adapt the vaccine.
German guests in the Zillertal
It is still unclear how the virus mutation came to Tyrol. Ski tourism, which continues despite the lockdown, could play a role. In the Zillertal, both the mayor and the district governor admitted that many owners of leisure residences are circumventing the travel restrictions. Locals report numerous day visitors to ski resorts with German licence plates on their cars.
However, on request, Tyrol states that since the opening of the ski lifts in the Zillertal, compliance with the Corona measures has been checked “proactively and sometimes several times a day”. So far, “no noteworthy violations” have been detected.
Britons and Scandinavians on the Arlberg
The situation is different in St. Anton am Arlberg. Here, mayor ‘Helmut Mall’ points out the obvious lockdown criminals and complains that he lacks the means to deal with them. Dozens of young Scandinavians and Britons have taken up residence in the village for skiing and partying. “Renting out hotel rooms would not be allowed. But unfortunately there are a few businesses in town that give them accommodation by registering a second home there and pretending to be here to look for work,” the mayor explains the brazen practice.
In reality, however, the young people are only in town to party and ski. “There are no jobs at the moment,” Mall says, annoyed at the black sheep among the hoteliers who play along. As mayor, he lacks the means to stop them, but he is counting on the police and the district administration to put a stop to the goings-on. The Mayor has no sympathy for this circumvention of the Corona regulations: “The buck stops with us again, although the vast majority abide by the regulations.”
The mayor hopes that these loopholes that allow party-goers to enter and stay will be quickly closed by local ordinances. He has already addressed the public through the municipal newsletter, calling for such evasions not to be allowed. There is great resentment among the people of St. Anton, says the Mayor.
Source + Photo: Der Standard