Last Monday, Austria introduced a controversial lockdown for the unvaccinated, but just three days later announced that the lockdown will be extended to the whole population. The decision came just as ski resorts were beginning to open with optimism for a good season after being closed to tourists last season.
It was originally thought that the lockdown would mean ski resorts would be forced to close. However, it has since been confirmed that skiing is classed as ‘outdoor recreation’ and will be allowed under the lockdown regulations. Guests will need proof of vaccination or recovery from covid-19 to access the lifts and slopes.
Most resorts have announced that they will remain closed, but a small few will be reopening. Stubai in the Tirol will reopen today, Tuesday 23rd.
Wir haben ab morgen geöffnet! 😍
Nach kurzer Pause sind wir ab 23.11.2021 mit eingeschränktem Skibetrieb wieder für euch…
Austria is the first country in Western Europe to reimpose a total coronavirus lockdown to tackle rising infection rates that are amongst the highest in Europe. They have a seven-day incidence of 991 per 100,000 people.
During the announcement, the Austrian government also announced that it would require its whole population to get vaccinated by February. The chancellor said on Friday that those who refused to be vaccinated would face fines. Details will be finalized in the coming weeks.
The new measures mean people will not be allowed to leave their houses with few exceptions such as shopping for essentials and exercising. The lockdown will initially last for twenty days, and ski resorts will prepare to reopen on December 13th when it ends.
About two-thirds of Austria’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the second-lowest rate in Europe. Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg blames those refusing to be vaccinated for an “attack on the health system” and said, “it hurts that such measures still have to be taken.”
Austria’s neighbor Germany, Europe’s largest economy, has plunged into a ‘national emergency’. Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Friday while urging people to reduce their social contacts, and warning that vaccinations alone would not lower case numbers.
Hungary, which also neighbors Austria, is making wearing masks indoors compulsory, and the Netherlands has reimposed a partial lockdown, with bars and restaurants closing at 8 pm.