Austria In Hot Water Over Ischgl As Iceland Has Emails

The Austrians are in even more hot water over the Ischgl coronavirus scandal as it emerges that Iceland had emailed the authorities its concerns as early as 5th March and named specific hotels.

Ischgl is now widely regarded as one of the European hotspots for the virus that allowed it to spread to the UK and to Iceland, as well as Sweden and Denmark, via tourists who stayed there, some upon returning from other holidays across the border in Italy.

According to news magazine Profil, the Icelandic authorities informed the Ministry of Health in Vienna about how its citizens returning from Austria were testing positive for coronavirus and in another email sent a few hours later on 5th March, about which hotels they had stayed in.

Credit: Newsflash/Sebastian Reinfeldt
Webcam footage from 11.03 at 11am showing the service still in full swing at the Ischgl Idalp

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This information about the five hotels the Icelandic citizens had stayed in was then passed on by the Ministry of Health to the State of Tyrol, reports say.

A day later, “contact people” in the hotels in question were identified but it is currently unclear how many were tested for the virus. Only one hotel operator reported that one employee who had the “most” dealings with the Icelandic guests had been tested. She tested negative.

In contrast, just a week earlier, Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung says that the case of a sick receptionist in an Innsbruck hotel was taken far more seriously. The hotel, in that case, had been cordoned off for hours and all guests who had been in contact with the woman, not just those presenting symptoms, had been tested. After that, some were put into quarantine.

The causes behind the authorities in Ischgl acting apparently so slowly and so little are set to be investigated by a special committee that the Tyrolean state parliament is setting up.

The committee is said to be in the process of being formed and should be operational shortly according to Kronen Zeitung.

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Story By: Joseph GolderSub-EditorMichael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash

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