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What is the current situation regarding travel to Austria

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Pastorius, Absolutely!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
skitow wrote:
@Pastorius, That's come out wrong. I didn't write that @NickYoung, did.


Oops, my mistake!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@DB, it did originate in the UK....we are saying “South African” “Brazilian” etc. I don’t take offence from the tag. However governments will use it to deflect from their own inadequate response and that bothers me more.

I have given up on this ski season and hopefully by the next we will have all been vaccinated in Europe and we can get on with a more normal life. If I can ski a couple of mornings at Hintertux over the spring I will be very happy.
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@Matrix, I don't think the point is the name, more that these “British” mutations in Austria haven't actually be confirmed as such – people find someone who has a British passport and coronavirus, and add those things together and get mutation B117 or whatever it is. Until the relevant PCR tests have been sequenced (next week), it's all speculation. As @DB said, the speculation is what is confirmed Laughing
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@Scarlet, I see. Maybe we will start calling it the Jochberg variant....

Probably we will see the UK variant all over Europe though, so we just have to accept it.
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@Matrix, everything has to originate somewhere, and likewise it has to be detected somewhere. The two are not necessarily the same, and in the case of the B117 strain it was detected in the UK first. That maybe means that it originated here, but it may also mean that it came in from somewhere else, and only detailed forensic genetic analysis of all known samples will confirm that, so it isn't going to happen.

The increasing cases across Europe happened before B117 was identified. If those countries had been doing the basic genetics to the same level as the UK, they may have spotted it before us, in which case it would have been the French variant, or the Spanish variant.

Anyone pinning a flag on a virus is a little dim, just like Trump calling it the Chinese virus. Could be, might not be, but actually who cares where it was first detected - it's here, and we have to cope with it. With borders as porous as they are across Europe, and with flights and trains and truck drivers passing untested from Turkey to Ireland and Sweden to Greece, there are no barriers and every variant will spread quickly.

Whenever anything threatens people, they look for a scapegoat. The Ischgl outbreak was pinned on an Italian - after all, it couldn't possibly have been an Austrian, and probably not a German, so in Ischgl that doesn't leave many options. In Switzerland, it was definitely British visitors, and couldn't have been in the community already. And so on. rolling eyes
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@ousekjarr, yes that is how it goes. At least we can all blame our leaders on the response/action pre Christmas, shrug our shoulders and hope no long standing hatred emerges.

I have been talking to European clients this week who bemoan the lack of vaccine plans and provision in Europe. The news that Germany had mopped up those vaccines declined by other countries was taken as Germany cheating by my French and Dutch clients. I didn’t speak to any Austrian clients...
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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!
So called 'Spanish' flu that spread around the world post WW1, causing the deaths of millions, probably originated, as has been widely referenced, in the U.S. army in the U.S. before embarking for Europe.
Infected troops arriving in Europe then spread the disease. Spain was eventually particularly badly hit in terms of deaths, this is probably when the flu became known as 'Spanish'. But Spain wasn't the source.
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Quote:

this is probably when the flu became known as 'Spanish'. But Spain wasn't the source.

I'd heard that it was deliberate misinformation towards the end of the war. It was already becoming quite an epidemic amongst the allies .. they censored reports of the flu amongst the allies but freely reported the outbreaks in neutral Spain
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A lot of people getting touchy about it being called the British variant. I lived in the UK for approx. 3 decades and have lived in Austria for the last 2. The differences between either the people or the way the press works aren‘t that different. My last post was to demonstrate that esp. where the press is concerned.
To be honest I believe if it was the other way round the UK press would be much worse. The Austrian press (or it’s people) are not being vindictive as I would expect the UK press to be. It’s merely a name, the Austrians in general like the British, and I’m sure they are looking forward to seeing us Brits again when this COVID crwaäp is over.
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FWIW we are waiting for a decision this weekend (/early next week) as to the lockdown, however rumour suggests that there is as much chance of further restrictions as there is of new openings - and the only relaxations being seriously suggested are schools and shops, both under strict rules...

https://www.tt.com/artikel/30773633/verschaerfung-statt-oeffnung-warten-auf-lockdown-entscheidung-in-oesterreich?pk_vid=5ff177a80f1211f51610781562dc1831

There is also some talk of stricter rules along the lines of what is in Germany, ie staying within 15kms of your house, but not from official sources as far as I'm aware - so I hope not. I think that would be difficult to implement given public opinion... Apparently they are expecting 30k anti-lockdown protestors in Vienna tomorrow.

However I do get the feeling that tourism most likely won't be opening at the end of Jan now. And if they push that back to end of February, as in Germany, that might well be too late for this ski season. Several resorts are now currently opening only at weekends, and if the hotels stay closed, probably more would follow (and/or stop spinning lifts, who knows).
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
First case of the B117 variant in Austria confirmed.
https://orf.at/stories/3197515/
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@clarky999, yes it seems unlikely that the borders, hotels and gastro will open any time soon. Ski areas are threatening to close at the end of February if that's the case. I was out skiing yesterday and there were very few people about. Weekends are generally better so maybe ski areas will consider staying open at weekends through March.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Well today would have been day 1 of our 2 week Arlberg trip, first week Lech and week 2 Anton. Looking at the snow it’d have been perfect timing in normal times, looking at the Covid situation though clearly not. If you are out there and live locally enjoy, and be careful, high av risk.

Cancelled our planned March trip to Anton earlier this week......for us its a season write off, booked 2 weeks end August as normal for hiking/ biking, just hope some sort of normality back by then and we can drive out and stay in our favourite place.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Given the newly imposed UK restrictions on international travel, combined with Austria's own, I doubt my Easter holiday is going ahead.

@Markymark29, ... https://www.skiarlberg.at/en/regions/bahnen-und-skiabfahrten?region=1&show=waiting-times - some great webcams of some great skiing conditions right across the Arlberg.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@clarky999, Salzburg24 are reporting another 2 to 3 weeks of this lockdown, and say that a restriction in movements is not neccessary, I guess we will all be a little wiser tomorrow.
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Around various news sites today, there are suggestions that 17-20% of new infections may be the new variant. Official reports on the extent of the variant are due next week, I gather.

Seems that tighter lockdown will come into effect from 25th Jan for at least 2 weeks.

FFP-2 masks may well become mandatory in all supermarkets, pharmacies etc.

It sounds as though the Winter season is being “written off”.

I guess all the details will come out tomorrow following the government announcements.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Shops opening from 8 Feb with use of FfP2 masks, 2 meter rule again.
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Hotels and gastronomy remain closed until at least the end of Feb.
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Ski resorts likely to remain open for locals and day trippers....I suspect some will be open at weekends only and some will continue with restricted operations i.e. limited pistes and lifts open (as our local area is).

It’s reported that c30,000 people gathered in Vienna to protest against the government and the current measures....no social distancing or many masks in evidence. Whilst I respect the democratic right to protest, the right to life and health overrides this. Rant over, sorry for the slightly off-topic personal views.
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queenie pretty please wrote:
Hotels and gastronomy remain closed until at least the end of Feb.


Sad
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Key points from the chancellors announcement, doesn’t look like any of us will be renting out our apartments until March, personally I don’t think it will happen.

Link to Die Presse:
https://www.diepresse.com/5923834/lockdown-bis-7-februar-verlangert-ffp2-maskenpflicht-kommt


Lockdown continues until 7 February

From January 25th, the distance rule will be extended from one to two meters . This applies to people who do not live in the same household.

FFP-2 masks are required to be worn on public transport and for customers in retail . These are to be offered in food retailers at cost price; People with low incomes should receive them for free.

The first steps should be taken from February 8th: If the seven-day incidence drops to a maximum of 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants (corresponds to almost 700 new infections per day), retailers , body-related services and museums should be allowed to open subject to conditions. Opening is then only allowed in combination with wearing FFP2 masks and maintaining a minimum distance of two meters.

Gastronomy, hotels and organizers have to be patient until the end of February at least, they will not open in February: In mid-February, an evaluation should be made and a decision made as to whether an opening is possible in March. 

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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I’d be very surprised if hotels/accommodation and gastronomy open until Easter.
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Looks like that's the death knell for this season then. Hopefully Summer will reap a partial reward from frustrated Mountain lovers.
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Quote:

Hopefully Summer will reap a partial reward from frustrated Mountain lovers.

Interesting that a couple of major apres-ski bars hereabouts have announced in the last day or two that they have regretfully decided not to open during the winter season, but (unusually) will be open in the summer.
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Yes I think the mountains will be busier than usual this summer as people will want to go for the mountain scenery perhaps even if they don’t usually go in summer
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@VolklAttivaS5, last summer didn't feel any less busy than usual, although the news reports suggested that the city tourism in places like Salzburg and Vienna did suffer a downturn.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
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VolklAttivaS5 wrote:
Yes I think the mountains will be busier than usual this summer as people will want to go for the mountain scenery perhaps even if they don’t usually go in summer


We are talking about Austria for the summer. Probably Zell am See. On the basis that if just masks are still required in some places then mediterranean heat would be pretty intolerable. Won't book anything for a while yet though and for the same reasons as not booking a skiing holiday in that if life is still full of restrictions I'm not going to pay to endure them abroad when I can suffer for free at home.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@robboj, we have been told to expect a “normal” summer, though how much of that is like BJ's “It'll be over by Christmas” remains to be seen. FWIW, there weren't many restrictions last summer from a holiday perspective, the problem was more that the restrictions were constantly changing Confused Wise not to book yet though, things may be a little clearer after Easter.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Scarlet, Only restriction last summer was that the transport corridors didn't include UK visitors, and we couldn't travel. We were due to travel end August to Arlberg and couldn't, then changed our plans to Bavaria, and that was then banned. Hoping this summer will be better, planning 2 weeks end August.
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@Markymark29, Yeah, sorry. I can't remember who was allowed in and when, but for those who made it, there weren't that many restrictions once here. Not enough for some of the German visitors, I seem to remember, who were complaining about the lack of restrictions rolling eyes
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Quote:

last summer didn't feel any less busy than usual

Over the many years we’ve been in Saalbach/Zell am See area during the summer, it has become gradually busier. Our perception was that last summer was the busiest yet (although obviously not on the same scale as the winter season). I assume that many of the visitors were Austrian, German and Dutch, who would normally have been sunning themselves on Mediterranean beaches.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Scarlet wrote:
@robboj, we have been told to expect a “normal” summer, though how much of that is like BJ's “It'll be over by Christmas” remains to be seen. FWIW, there weren't many restrictions last summer from a holiday perspective, the problem was more that the restrictions were constantly changing Confused Wise not to book yet though, things may be a little clearer after Easter.


Thank you, that's hopeful news although I take your point about their expectation management. I don't know if it's been any better in Austria than here.
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tatmanstours wrote:
I assume that many of the visitors were Austrian, German and Dutch, who would normally have been sunning themselves on Mediterranean beaches.

Well, it didn’t take you long to find us by looking for “the English couple” Laughing
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@Scarlet, didn’t need to ask - Brits are generally instantly recognisable wink
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robboj wrote:
VolklAttivaS5 wrote:
Yes I think the mountains will be busier than usual this summer as people will want to go for the mountain scenery perhaps even if they don’t usually go in summer


We are talking about Austria for the summer. Probably Zell am See. On the basis that if just masks are still required in some places then mediterranean heat would be pretty intolerable. Won't book anything for a while yet though and for the same reasons as not booking a skiing holiday in that if life is still full of restrictions I'm not going to pay to endure them abroad when I can suffer for free at home.


I have booked Mayrhofen for 5th June with free cancellation and no money to pay upfront through booking.com. That way I can do some hiking and get the bus to Hintertux for some skiing too. I’ve done a bit of hiking in Mayrhofen one August when I went to Hintertux to do my BASI Level 2 ages ago and it was really nice. I’ve been meaning to go again so this is an opportunity to do that. I’ve got a flight booked for 6th March to Innsbruck which doesn’t sound like it’s going to be a goer so I can move it to June instead but I will wait a bit before I do that to see where the land lies.
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tatmanstours wrote:
@Scarlet, didn’t need to ask - Brits are generally instantly recognisable wink


Suave, collected, effortlessly cool. Spot them a mile off.
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Don't shoot the messenger ...


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Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Tue 19-01-21 16:17; edited 1 time in total
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@DB, Cool Toofy Grin
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Feel that the next bit is a bit irrelevant as none of us is likely to be travelling anytime soon.

The Austrian embassy in London have tidied up their site, making it clearer what the requirements are from 15 January.

https://www.bmeia.gv.at/en/austrian-embassy-london/
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