The Austrian ski region suspected of spreading the COVID-19 virus to many European countries has had its own complete quarantine lifted.
Residents of most of the area will now be able to carry out essential work, go to the supermarket, help others, and carry out brief exercise outside like in the rest of the country.
Instead of total lockdown, the province of Tyrol will now only have to follow the Austria-wide quarantine restrictions which are less restrictive than the restrictions that had been imposed on the region.
Regional governor of Tyrol Guenther Platter from the conservative People’s Party (OeVP) said that quarantine for the 279 local councils in the Austrian province would be lifted as of today (Tuesday).
He rejected criticism of the regional governments handling of the pandemic saying: “We in Tyrol were the first that closed down resorts and ski lifts and ended the winter season.”
He added that they were also tougher on the measures that were introduced in other regions in the country.
The lifting of the quarantine rules means that people in Tyrol will now be able to cross into other districts as well which was previously banned. The only exception of the regions of St. Anton, the Paznauntal and Soelden where for the time being the tougher restrictions will remain in place pending an evaluation later this week.
The infamous ‘Ibiza in the Alps’ resort of Ischgl will remain under the stricter quarantine rules.
The restrictions also saw the closure of the wars with Italy Switzerland and Germany, with special permission needed for holidaymakers to get home, and people also not allowed to enter the province. Police were also empowered to stop people and question them as to why they were not at home.
It had been expected that the lockdown that was imposed on 19th of March would continue until Easter Monday, 13th April.
Platter added a comment on the eased restrictions saying: “In all activities, however, social distancing needs to be carried out.”
Platter also appealed to locals to not consider getting back into sports, in particular skiing which is still possible in high mountain areas as well as mountain biking and climbing.
This was because of the risk of infection and also because of the difficulties in organising rescues where groups would need to come together to carry out any action.
Tyrol will now only be governed by the same restrictions that apply to the rest of Austria.
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Story By: Michael Leidig, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
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