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Ischgl was the secret virus hub in Europe (Important Info)t

 Poster: A snowHead
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@hawkesbaynz, Gasteinertal is in lockdown. So is flachau (where I was last week) - we have had a letter to self isolate.
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@holidayloverxx, who did you get your letter from?
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@hawkesbaynz, the whole of the Tirol is in quarantine. If you have been there (or any other Austrian ski resort) in the past 3 weeks you need to assume you have been infected and act appropriately. Many, perhaps most, people have few, if any, symptoms. However you can still spread the virus, certainly go nowhere near a gym until any symptoms have gone anyway and you are sure there is no possibility of still having the virus. If you want a positive note, having had the virus is probably (though we cant be sure) the best defense against getting it again until a proper vaccine is developed.
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Sitter wrote:
PeterGee wrote:
So this explains the Ischgl rapid close. However, what was the St Anton trigger? I know it is close, but surely there is not much flow between the 2?


There is more flow between the two than people sometimes realise. Both are easily reached from Landeck so you do get people staying there and visiting both resorts. Both resorts are also accessed by the same rail line and use the same airports. Reports from friends living in St Anton is that there are more and more people coming down with it, and the numbers are increasing in Lech now too (that side of the Arlberg is now quarantined off).


This really does not make a lot of sense to me. Yes I know how the resorts can be reached, I've done it myself. However, I'm not convinced there is a massive interflow between the resorts. Many tourists I doubt would know how to easily get between the two, it more than a train. (Also the bus from Landeck) also as it is not on the same pass. And indeed if that were the case, why was Lech not impacted by the emergency lockdown where there is a large interflow between St Anton and Lech.

The Austrian authorities, deliberately or not, downplayed the Iscghl outbreak. On the Thursday 10th all of Tirol was declared to close from Sunday. At some stage on Friday, only St Anton and Ischgl made a dramatic decision to close lockdown immediately. (In fairness Ischgl was definitely harsher, everybody out by 7 PM. However, St Anton was really not that far behind. Yes the resorts closed on Sunday and have since been locked down, but locking down St Anton in the way they did was very dramatic. As the Austrian authorities downplayed Ischgl, I'm assuming there is missing information about infections in St Anton.

I'm very fond of Austria and would continue to ski in Austria by preference. However, really do think there should be a little more transparency about what happened on 11 March.
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Hells Bells wrote:
@holidayloverxx, who did you get your letter from?


from the Flachau Tourist Info. It was sent to all registered owners from the Gemeinde. The idea is that they will send a template to forward onto guests.
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@PeterGee, I've taught a couple of people this season who have skied both places during one trip, and even one person staying in Kappl but skiing round in St Anton as they couldn't get weekend accommodation in St A and didn't want to ski Ischgl. And it's not uncommon for visitor from Australia or the States for instance to do longer trips and visit a couple of ski areas. I've also noticed an increasing number of weekenders this season, can't fail to notice the car parks full at the weekend. It's not inconceivable to imagine that some of these have skied both places either in the same weekend, or consecutive weekends given the number of cars with plates from southern Germany or around Zurich.

I'm not sure you've quite understood how things work in Austria, each state is relatively autonomous, hence the differing approaches between the two side of the Arlberg.

The closure of Ischgl was announced before anywhere else in Tirol (IIRC it was the Wednesday) the closure of the rest of the Tirol resorts was announced Thursday 12th in the evening (with other states following suit in the following hours). The quarantine of St Anton and Paznaun was taken out of the hands local authorities, it wasn't until it was announced by Kurz (Austrian chancellor) during his speech shortly after 14:00 on Friday 13th that people in the affected areas were aware of of it, indeed some where still out skiing, completely oblivious as to what was going on and why the lifts had suddenly stopped early in the afternoon. Watching the speech live on TV with others who have been living/working in the Arlberg, the shock was palpable.
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@holidayloverxx, very good of them to do that.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Hells Bells, the mayor is taking it very seriously. flachau in lockdown with roadblocks. food will be delivered to vulnerable people
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PeterGee wrote:
The Austrian authorities, deliberately or not, downplayed the Iscghl outbreak. On the Thursday 10th all of Tirol was declared to close from Sunday. At some stage on Friday, only St Anton and Ischgl made a dramatic decision to close lockdown immediately. (In fairness Ischgl was definitely harsher, everybody out by 7 PM. However, St Anton was really not that far behind. Yes the resorts closed on Sunday and have since been locked down, but locking down St Anton in the way they did was very dramatic. As the Austrian authorities downplayed Ischgl, I'm assuming there is missing information about infections in St Anton.

I'm very fond of Austria and would continue to ski in Austria by preference. However, really do think there should be a little more transparency about what happened on 11 March.

The handling of the situation in St Anton and Ischgl has been an absolute sh!tshow, which the relevant authorities are now being highly criticised for in the Austrian and I think German and Scandi media. It should have been announced or even closed earlier to allow an orderly and managed retreat by tourists, many of whom were forced to stop a night or two in hotels in other areas because they couldn't get a flight, thus risking further spread outside the quarantined areas. This is probably the reason that we are now all in quarantine.

Check those Austrian/German websites if you want more info (some links already posted, some in English).
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Sitter wrote:
@PeterGee, I've taught a couple of people this season who have skied both places during one trip, and even one person staying in Kappl but skiing round in St Anton as they couldn't get weekend accommodation in St A and didn't want to ski Ischgl. And it's not uncommon for visitor from Australia or the States for instance to do longer trips and visit a couple of ski areas. I've also noticed an increasing number of weekenders this season, can't fail to notice the car parks full at the weekend. It's not inconceivable to imagine that some of these have skied both places either in the same weekend, or consecutive weekends given the number of cars with plates from southern Germany or around Zurich.

I'm not sure you've quite understood how things work in Austria, each state is relatively autonomous, hence the differing approaches between the two side of the Arlberg.

The closure of Ischgl was announced before anywhere else in Tirol (IIRC it was the Wednesday) the closure of the rest of the Tirol resorts was announced Thursday 12th in the evening (with other states following suit in the following hours). The quarantine of St Anton and Paznaun was taken out of the hands local authorities, it wasn't until it was announced by Kurz (Austrian chancellor) during his speech shortly after 14:00 on Friday 13th that people in the affected areas were aware of of it, indeed some where still out skiing, completely oblivious as to what was going on and why the lifts had suddenly stopped early in the afternoon. Watching the speech live on TV with others who have been living/working in the Arlberg, the shock was palpable.


I do understand the difference between Lech and St Anton. I was also skiing on the 11th when the decree was made.

I get why the lech announcement was later. However, Kurtz made the close now decision, that was not a state level decision.

If StAnton was closed only due to proximity, surely Kurtz would also have ordered Lech closed? Also why not other resorts similarly close, like Solden??

I am expecting there is more to the St Anton closure than has been shared!
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The first confirmed case in St Anton was somebody from one of the apres bars which may go some way to explaining it. People from Lech tend to only come over to ski and spend considerably less time in the apres bars, which is how it seems to have been spreading. Indeed, a number of the people I know who have it have either visited or work in bars in St Anton.
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Scarlet wrote:
PeterGee wrote:
The Austrian authorities, deliberately or not, downplayed the Iscghl outbreak. On the Thursday 10th all of Tirol was declared to close from Sunday. At some stage on Friday, only St Anton and Ischgl made a dramatic decision to close lockdown immediately. (In fairness Ischgl was definitely harsher, everybody out by 7 PM. However, St Anton was really not that far behind. Yes the resorts closed on Sunday and have since been locked down, but locking down St Anton in the way they did was very dramatic. As the Austrian authorities downplayed Ischgl, I'm assuming there is missing information about infections in St Anton.

I'm very fond of Austria and would continue to ski in Austria by preference. However, really do think there should be a little more transparency about what happened on 11 March.

The handling of the situation in St Anton and Ischgl has been an absolute sh!tshow, which the relevant authorities are now being highly criticised for in the Austrian and I think German and Scandi media. It should have been announced or even closed earlier to allow an orderly and managed retreat by tourists, many of whom were forced to stop a night or two in hotels in other areas because they couldn't get a flight, thus risking further spread outside the quarantined areas. This is probably the reason that we are now all in quarantine.

Check those Austrian/German websites if you want more info (some links already posted, some in English).


Yup, tourists weren't really given any choice/time to think through their options bar just getting out of resort, which naturally would mean overnighting somewhere to sort out onward travel. In St Anton the tourist office/geminde didn't seem to have been aware until the announcement on the 13th which didn't help as they would usually be people's first port of call yet they were still trying to get their heads around it. Things should hopefully all come out in the wash once this has all blown over and hopefully things looked in to properly.
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Scarlet wrote:
PeterGee wrote:
The Austrian authorities, deliberately or not, downplayed the Iscghl outbreak. On the Thursday 10th all of Tirol was declared to close from Sunday. At some stage on Friday, only St Anton and Ischgl made a dramatic decision to close lockdown immediately. (In fairness Ischgl was definitely harsher, everybody out by 7 PM. However, St Anton was really not that far behind. Yes the resorts closed on Sunday and have since been locked down, but locking down St Anton in the way they did was very dramatic. As the Austrian authorities downplayed Ischgl, I'm assuming there is missing information about infections in St Anton.

I'm very fond of Austria and would continue to ski in Austria by preference. However, really do think there should be a little more transparency about what happened on 11 March.

The handling of the situation in St Anton and Ischgl has been an absolute sh!tshow, which the relevant authorities are now being highly criticised for in the Austrian and I think German and Scandi media. It should have been announced or even closed earlier to allow an orderly and managed retreat by tourists, many of whom were forced to stop a night or two in hotels in other areas because they couldn't get a flight, thus risking further spread outside the quarantined areas. This is probably the reason that we are now all in quarantine.

Check those Austrian/German websites if you want more info (some links already posted, some in English).
Absolute shitshow. My friend who lives in Axams is now in total quarantine after his son and girfriend picked up the virus in St.Anton. They must have known that the virus was around, but nothing was said.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@PeterGee, there is now considerable evidence that people returning from St Anton who had never been to Ischgl were carrying the infection too (look at the St Anton thread). It became clear over a period mid to late last week that apres ski bars were a major risk in transmission of the virus. This triggered the reaction from the authorities, who then acted immediately (no doubt then concerned about criticism that they had been too slow to react previously). Clearly this caused a lot of chaos but in the circumstances was probably the only course of action left open. More cases started to be confirmed in other resorts (Sölden, Mayrhofen, Flachau etc) hence the decision to "quarantine" the whole of Tirol.

No one in Austria wants to see a situation like that currently happening in northern Italy where the undertakers cannot cope with the number of bodies and relatives are banned from seeing their dying loved ones, unfortunately this is something that is going to be repeated in too many other parts of the world in the near future.

No doubt once this is all over there will be many investigations and reports. I am sure many many mistakes were made but it is very easy to be wise after the event. The economic implications of all of this is almost unprecedented, certainly outside of war time and it was very difficult (perhaps impossible) for those making decisions to shut down the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people without very good reason.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
https://www.politico.eu/article/the-austrian-ski-town-that-spread-coronavirus-across-the-continent/
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Hey Folks

lots of upto date info (In Dutch) of Resorts & Apres Ski you may of visited and maybe unwittingly carrying the Virus....

https://skiinformatie.nl/liveblog-coronavirus-wintersport/
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Irrwitz (Madness) Ischgl: ORF-"Schauplatz" über das "Ibiza der Alpen"

Tonight 21.05 hr (CET) ORF 2

https://www.derstandard.at/story/2000116373219/ausnahmezustand-ischgl-orf-schauplatz-von-ed-moschitz-ueber-das-ibiza
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Really looking forward to going back to Galtur/Ischgl next season. I was there when they closed the resort, a great days skiing on Friday 12th as most had left.
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Thursdays TV Documentry "Schauplatz" über das "Ibiza der Alpen"


http://youtube.com/v/8aEcgtSPd2Y
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Tonight. ZDF Frontal21

Livestream: 07.04.2020, 21:15 - 21:50 Datum: 07.04.2020


Infection accelerator Ischgl, chaos in corona tests, small and medium-sized businesses struggling to survive,
seasonal workers in the corona crisis.

Frontal21 shows the log of the failure in Ischgl and how the winter sports resort became
an infection accelerator for Europe.


Livestream: 07.04.2020, 21:15 - 21:50 Datum: 07.04.2020


https://www.zdf.de/politik/frontal-21/frontal-21-vom-7-april-2020-100.html
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A somewhat less conspiratorial take on how the virus spreads https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/09/the-cluster-effect-how-social-gatherings-were-rocket-fuel-for-coronavirus . Ischgl does get a mention but only in passing. There were lots of social gatherings where the virus was passed around, booze is not necessary either, the cases in France seem to have been centered on a religious gathering in Alsace. Singing might well be a risk.
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5000 people are now signed. Lawsuit against the State of Tirol. It is probably going to
be moved to Vienna because they think action in the Tirol State will be drawn out for years.

Online Questionnaire

Class Action: Coronavirus-Tyrol

https://www.umfrageonline.com/s/f1fb254

Facts to The Claim.

https://www.semiosis.at/

Dr Peter Kolba VSV (Consumer Protection Association)

https://www.verbraucherschutzverein.at/Corona-Virus-Tirol/

If you were at the ski resorts of Ischgl, Paznauntal, St. Anton am Arlberg, Sölden or Zillertal on 5 March 2020
or later, and shortly afterwards were diagnosed with the coronavirus, then you may be entitled to claim damages
against the Tyrolean authorities and also against the Republic of Austria, provided we can produce evidence for
negligence through relevant reports or in criminal proceedings.

Our aim is to put together a list of persons – at no cost for you whatsoever -
who feel that they have been harmed and offer you regular information updates via newsletter.
Once we have sufficient evidence for filing a lawsuit, we will make you a corresponding offer.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

#Ischglgate

https://twitter.com/search?q=%23ischglgate&src=recent_search_click&f=live

https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/vector-spread-from-austrian-ski-town-was-toxic-mix-of-business-and-politics-35161

https://www.globaldomainsnews.com/danish-corona-infected-ask-for-help

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/class-action-lawsuit-launched-over-covid-19-ski-resort-1.4235393
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Austrian 'Ibiza of the alps' vows to ditch party tourism after Covid-19 lockdown
Ski resort that became European coronavirus hotspot plans to switch to a more ‘upmarket apres-ski culture’

Reuters

Fri 24 Apr 2020 01.10 BST

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Ischgl, in Austria’s Paznaun Valley,
Ischgl, in Austria’s Paznaun Valley, plans to change its partying ways after the Covid-19 crisis. Photograph: imageBROKER/Alamy
The Alpine ski resort of Ischgl, at the centre of Austria’s biggest cluster of coronavirus infections, has said it wants to move away from “party tourism” as it emerged from more than a month under quarantine.

Ischgl is near the point where Austria, Italy and Switzerland meet and has described itself as the “Ibiza of the Alps”. It is now clear that more than 800 cases spread across Austria can be traced back to the resort and the surrounding Paznaun valley.

In February and early March the virus found a breeding ground in crowded apres-ski bars. Hundreds of foreign tourists were infected in Ischgl and then unwittingly took the virus home with them.


“We will question developments of the past years and, where necessary, make corrections,” Ischgl’s mayor, Werner Kurz, said in a statement issued by the tourism authority for his town and the Paznaun Valley, which on Thursday came out of a quarantine imposed on 13 March.

Kurz said the town’s image as a party destination was unfair because that was just a small part of its offering, but he said he would work with local businesses to make changes.


Austrian police officers block a road into Paznaun valley, after the government announced a coronavirus quarantine of the Paznaun valley. Photograph: Reuters
“That means more quality and less party tourism, prioritising skiers and fewer day-trippers on buses who only come to party,” the tourism authority said. “We are also thinking with all businesses about what an upmarket apres-ski culture can look like.”


Iceland declared Ischgl a risk area on 5 March after tourists returning from the resort were found to have been infected, but the provincial government of Tyrol, which includes Ischgl, responded by saying they probably caught the virus on the plane home.

The first concrete measure was taken on 9 March, when a bar was closed after one of its barmen became the first person in the town to test positive, on 7 March. The resort remained open until 13 March.

Tyrol’s Governor, Guenther Platter, has acknowledged that mistakes were made, and the national government has said there would be a review of what went wrong. Kurz said his town followed the instructions of “the authorities”.

An Austrian consumer rights group preparing a potential class action lawsuit over one or more ski resorts in Tyrol says thousands of people across Europe have signed up, most of them in Germany and relating to Ischgl.
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hmm.... Can't see the bars and hotels being so keen on the reduced punters an "upmarket apres-ski culture" can bring. While it would be no great loss to all but the saddest of blokes to have fewer scantily clad bored looking girls gyrating on the bars, I had always thought Ischgl's USP was pissed up gangs of Germans spending on booze like they'd just escaped prohibition.

Also anyone get a little sick in their mouths at the concept of "upmarket apres-ski culture"? What even is it? Reclining on deep (wipe clean) leather sofas while having your feet massaged at a safe social distance drinking 1k bottles of Krug while being serenaded by a string quartet? Now all that sounds nice (bar the champers - orrible stuff give me a nice Weissbier) but even with money to burn wouldn't be my idea of a fun apres time. Or does is just mean classier strippers?


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Fri 24-04-20 11:28; edited 1 time in total
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Hilarious how anyone can think that an "upmarket après-ski culture" would have prevented anything. People drinking Crystal dance just as close to each other as people drinking beer and Jagermeister.
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Kurz said his town followed the instructions of “the authorities”.


Hmmm, "only following orders" , where have I heard that before?
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Lots of evidence that Ischgl, St Anton, Verbier and Chamonix were all virus hubs. Unsurprising : holidaymakers jetting in every week to shared accommodation. Tourism (particularly skiing as it is winter based) going to be one of the last things that will return to normal
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
hmm.... Can't see the bars and hotels being so keen on the reduced punters an "upmarket apres-ski culture" can bring. While it would be no great loss to all but the saddest of blokes to have fewer scantily clad bored looking girls gyrating on the bars, I had always thought Ischgl's USP was pissed up gangs of Germans spending on booze like they'd just escaped prohibition.

Also anyone get a little sick in their mouths at the concept of "upmarket apres-ski culture"? What even is it? Reclining on deep (wipe clean) leather sofas while having your feet massaged at a safe social distance drinking 1k bottles of Krug while being serenaded by a string quartet? Now all that sounds nice (bar the champers - orrible stuff give me a nice Weissbier) but even with money to burn wouldn't be my idea of a fun apres time. Or does is just mean classier strippers?


It will mean more VIP areas full of Russians drinking champagne. It was already going down that route, and I'd already decided a couple of years back I wouldn't be returning.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Not sure where the concerned millionaire owners of Ischgl think they can find folk to replace their current clientele to fill their upmarket apres ski spots. I doubt very much that the tacky money machines will be closing down any time soon (it might be politic to rename the Kitzloch and I doubt many places will be selling Corona beer!).

I am sure Herr Kurz knows his theme park better than I do but from my brief observations it does not attract a significant day trip market. Unlike places such as Scheffau, Kaltenbach or the Silvaretta resorts it is simply too far a drive to be attractive for much of that market. Anyone who has looked at going in recent years will very quickly see that booking less than week blocks in hotels and apartments is not encouraged.

A little bit ironic that Colonel Kurz is presiding over his own Heart of Darkness at the end of a remote valley in the alps Madeye-Smiley
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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Ld wrote:
Hilarious how anyone can think that an "upmarket après-ski culture" would have prevented anything. People drinking Crystal dance just as close to each other as people drinking beer and Jagermeister.


Cristal dahling!
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 Poster: A snowHead
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eblunt wrote:


It will mean more VIP areas full of Russians drinking champagne. It was already going down that route, and I'd already decided a couple of years back I wouldn't be returning.


Ahh so classier strippers and more expensive hookers then...no offence intended to the Russians who sit in VIP areas listening to Shostakovich and reading the collected works of Tolstoy.
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[quote="Dave of the Marmottes"]
eblunt wrote:


Russians who sit in VIP areas listening to Shostakovich and reading the collected works of Tolstoy.


those ones dont make it to Ischgl Very Happy
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I’ve only attended a couple of Ischgl’s end of season gigs and it’s a long way from being one of my favourite ski resorts, but I find it a little unfair to lay the boot in to the whole place (mis-management of the virus, court cases etc aside).

Yes it sells itself on its party culture but there are plenty of places who do that around the world. What we (two couples) found during those trips was friendly locals, some nice family-run bars/cafes and some pretty good skiing (especially for late April). Although the village (town?) was full of partying people we never once saw any acts of aggression or even the threat of it, very different to where I’m from (England). Plenty of families and older people joining in the fun.

When it comes down to it, all big ski resorts are theme parks of sorts – not to single out your comments
@munich_irish, as you put some great content on this forum and I've shamelessly used some of it to my advantage when booking trips in the past!
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@Valluga, Yes a lot of skiing sells itself on a ski hard/party hard theme. But it's hard to imagine the world successfully rebranding to carefully curated personal premium experiences i..e only so many people have the budget for somewhere like Lech. And group trips with the ladz/girlz/mates etc are a staple. It might be something that is forced on Ischgl because of its so obvious role in spreading the virus in Europe, although I'd argue that that is just sheer random luck, with the only culpability being if parties avoided notification for commercial reasons.
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Valluga wrote:
I find it a little unfair to lay the boot in to the whole place (mis-management of the virus, court cases etc aside).


The "Place" and mis management are all interlinked ... The whole "Place" is run by Four extremely wealthy local individuals & their extended families. Some have links to members of the political establishment in Vienna.

What is at the heart of this an alleged Cover Up at the top of the Regine by Prioritizing Business/Economics over Health.


In any other Business what happened would amount to Corporate Negligence..

It is not known at this stage if any Covid 19 Deaths are linked back to Ischgl, Solden St Anton,etc.

but in any other business it could be Corporate Manslaughter ..



http://youtube.com/v/1baDAGHs-YY


http://youtube.com/v/G93Lm5k5OY4

What Austria should learn from dealing with the Covid 19 outbreak in the Tyrolean ski center. Paticipants between Jakob Wolf (ÖVP Tirol), Britta Hilpert (ZDF), Peter Kolba (consumer protection association) and Johann Skocek (FALTER author).


http://youtube.com/v/8JXl5f3Ppw8
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@stanton, perhaps best stay down that crevasse. No doubt the few rich families that run Ischgl are pretty loathsome but corporate negligence seems more to do with some of the wilder shores of conspiracy theory favoured by the current incumbent of the White House than to what actually happened. Whilst we must await the result of the inquiry it seems unlikely that the authorities in Ischgl/Innsbruck/Vienna were any more cupbable than those who allowed the Cheltenham Gold Cup / various football matches / a number of religious meetings to go ahead. There were a large number of loci for the spread of the virus around Europe, it was not understood at the time (and we still dont really understand) just how widespread the virus was. Of course mistakes were made but that is simple part of being human. As much as I would like to blame the unpleasant grasping bunch who own Ischgl for the whole catastrophe that is simply not reasonable or helpful to understand what has happened.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Dave of the Marmottes,
You make it sound like Ischgl is a cheap place.
You might want to check hotelprices. Ischgl is not that far behind Lech.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
ischgl has great slopes great uplift great mountain restaurants and yes a great apres ski scene , why change it has something for everyone
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Langerzug wrote:
@Dave of the Marmottes,
You make it sound like Ischgl is a cheap place.
You might want to check hotelprices. Ischgl is not that far behind Lech.


I know it's not cheap. I'm just saying people are prepared to pay in Ischgl because they like the apres scene. And you can say many superlative things about Lech but banging nightlife is not one of them.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
It will be interesting to see what transpires with any legal action, could set a precedent for action against any ski area who where aware of the risk.
So I guess anywhere who was open after say 1st week on March.

The lawyers are already starting to count their fees Toofy Grin
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