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What is the current situation regarding travel to Austria

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@radar, thanks thats helpful
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
radar wrote:
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/


Interesting, still not requiring negative test result like many other EU countries...i cant fathom out why, surely that the safest way to ensure infected people dont enter?
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@shiva_71, it's because there is a mandatory 10-day quarantine requirement.
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Can't see that 10 day requirement going any time soon, imagine that'll be in place until the rates are down very low.
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152 ski instructors in quarantine in Pongau

https://www.derstandard.at/story/2000123491749/152-skilehrer-im-salzburger-pongau-nach-kurs-in-quarantaene
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For anyone who was asking about whether resorts in Austria are making any money this season, short answer: no, use is 90% down. Some numbers here: https://www.tt.com/artikel/17763181/trotz-massiver-verluste-tiroler-seilbahnen-bleiben-offen
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radar wrote:
152 ski instructors in quarantine in Pongau


Not the activity but the environment that causes the spread. More than 1 in 4 of the tests returned positive. Can't blame the kids though. SIA has a bunch of 18-20 somethings living in shared accomodation and Ski Instructor courses have never been renowned for encouraging social distancing off the slopes.
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@Scarlet, there was an article here that lift pass income in Salzburg is 70% down, which would make sense as Salzburg is a bit more accessible to day trippers from places further east. I assume there is some government support in place for the lift companies but I expect it's really just a subsistence level.

@RedandWhiteFlachau, it's an instructor course in Flachau and as a result all instructor courses for the rest of the season have been cancelled. There's been a big public and media backlash about it here. People are asking why ski instructor training courses are going ahead at all (preparation for next season of course), especially when British and Dutch people are arriving to take part. Personally I think putting them all in the same lodgings with multi-occupancy rooms was probably a fundamental mistake, as was not insisting on negative tests on entry, plus 5 days' quarantine and a further negative test before the training began.
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https://www.marketscreener.com/news/latest/Sharp-decline-in-bed-occupancy-in-the-tourism-year-2019-20--32252145/
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South african variant found in Zillertal:
https://www.derstandard.at/story/2000123550006/suedafrika-mutation-bei-mindestens-fuenf-faellen-im-zillertal-nachgewiesen
It seems even with the "no hotels open therefore only locals" thing isnt working. Wouldnt be surprised if resorts start closing...
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@shiva_71, this cluster was from January, so only shortly after the second (or was it third) total lockdown. Unfortunately the sequencing has been very late to get started. However it doesn't seem to have spread massively, so clearly the lockdown of gastronomy and tourism is helping to control these clusters. All reports seem to agree that having ski lifts open is not contributing to the spread of the virus and that clusters remain centred around homes and workplaces.

Of course the lift companies are losing money daily, so the season will probably end early at some point in March.
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Update from HM Gov

Updated information on landing ban between UK and Austria; the ban has now been extended until 7 February 2021 (‘Summary’ and ‘Entry requirements’ pages)

Time updated:
12:47pm, 25 January 2021
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When do people think the latest date will be that Austrian slopes will have to make the call about whether to open up at all?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
BA have just cancelled my APRIL flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck. Was at least hoping to get 8 days in Obergurgl.

There are Saturday to Saturday EasyJet flights still available but with ski gear it is over £600 return

Looks like nothing is going to happen this year (though have booked Obergurgl for December - surely that'll be OK?!)
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@Pastorius, slopes are open now? Or do you mean hotels?
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@Pastorius, it seems unlikely that tourism and gastronomy will open this season. Nothing official yet beyond mid-February, but nothing much has changed with regards to infection numbers either in Austria or elsewhere. Ski areas are open, but for locals and day-trippers from elsewhere in Austria only. There have been a handful of well-publicised cases of "illegal tourists", so I expect more checks will arise as a result of this.
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There is no chance that the Austrian ski resorts will admit tourists this season: as Queenie says the rules permit only „Tagesreisende“ (i.e. day-trips). These rules will undoubtedly not be relaxed before the end of this season.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
...to be practical also - the normal tourist hotels have been closed for the season so far and are running on skeleton staff: they haven‘t engaged their normal seasonal workers as they would normally do in November and it would not be feasible to get them on board, visas arranged etc before the season end. So even if the rules relaxed tomorrow there would be no way of accommodating tourists..
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I don't think they will even open hotels for austrian residents before the end of the ski season.
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Snowboming have cancelled their festival for April 2021 - As expected but it must be tough for them to weather the cost 2 years in a row.
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The end dates and restrictions have changed several times; it would be a brave business owner that would start buying in stock and hiring staff in anticipation of a scheduled end date. The date could well change again leaving the business with expenses it cannot recoup. This would be particularly true of the larger hotels and bigger hospitality businesses.

Given the current restart date for hospitality in Austria is the start of March, there cannot be much time left before a restart is no longer financially or logistically feasible.

This is a long-winded way of saying that I think season 2020/21 is shot for tourists. Some resorts will continue to limp along, likely on reduced service, where they have local catchment area providing enough day-trippers.
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Are hotels/businesses getting govt support? Will there be anything left for us when we finally can travel?
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@dharnett, in theory, they should be getting around 50% govt support. In reality, there are lots of complaints that the money isn’t flowing, such as the hotelier planning a hunger strike next week to raise awareness of the situation (sorry, the website isn’t working for me so I can’t find the story). Will there be anything left? Who knows Sad
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ulmerhutte wrote:
The end dates and restrictions have changed several times; it would be a brave business owner that would start buying in stock and hiring staff in anticipation of a scheduled end date. The date could well change again leaving the business with expenses it cannot recoup. This would be particularly true of the larger hotels and bigger hospitality businesses.

Given the current restart date for hospitality in Austria is the start of March, there cannot be much time left before a restart is no longer financially or logistically feasible.

This is a long-winded way of saying that I think season 2020/21 is shot for tourists. Some resorts will continue to limp along, likely on reduced service, where they have local catchment area providing enough day-trippers.


I was surprised the other day to hear - from reliable sources - that many hotels in resorts around Innsbruck would still open if it were permitted at the start of March (I had assumed that would already be too late for them), but that mid-March would definitely be a no go.

dharnett wrote:
Are hotels/businesses getting govt support? Will there be anything left for us when we finally can travel?


Yes, as I understand it there's a pretty high level of financial support. However the seasonal staff, many of whom come from eastern Europe and might not even be in Austria right now, may well be in a much more difficult position. And I don't many seasonnaire kids by that, but people in it for the long haul as a career.
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dharnett wrote:
Are hotels/businesses getting govt support? Will there be anything left for us when we finally can travel?


What the crisis in Austria has revealed, possibly to the government, is how large the Privat Vermieten accommodation mix is, in comparison to the overall accommodation options here.

So much so, that the National body responsible for this part of the sector lobbied successfully for some government support for those providing Privat Vermieten services. That said, and whilst any support is helpful, the assistance is low in terms of loss of business.

Re opening for any accommodation provider: I would be surprised if it happens before Easter. Mainly to discourage large numbers travelling and further spreading Covid. The numbers really don’t seem to be falling, given we have been in lockdown (as an accommodation provider) since end October....3 months!
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The 7 day index levels for the different Austrian regions seem to be bottoming out at around the 100 mark but I think the target before they open up again is 50.

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@DB, is that per 100,000? Why so high in Salzburg?
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Markymark29 wrote:
@DB, is that per 100,000? Why so high in Salzburg?


Yes I believe the figures are per 1000,000.
Not sure why Salzburg was so high but it has tended to be the regions with ski areas that have spiked. The Salzburg area also gets a lot of international traffic from Italy & Germany.
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Quote:

Not sure but it has tended to be the regions with ski areas that have spiked.

@DB, Tirol looks OK compared with SZB though....interesting that, wonder if it's because there's folks hopping over the border from the east posing as locals that shouldn't be?
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@DB, @Markymark29, the only international traffic right now is freight on the motorway. There have been a number of local infection spikes in Salzburg, but as before they are all based in home or office settings. That seems to be where this virus likes to party. Other than the bunch of trainee ski instructors in Flachau (who were all sleeping/drinking in the same accommodation) the infection hotspots are mainly away from the ski areas.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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The trains back from Salzburg in the evenings have been pretty busy which suggests to me a lot of people are still going to work. Me included.
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the URL takes you to the current status in Salzburgland, you can drill all the way down to specific towns, you will see it's as mentioned by @queenie pretty please, not necessarily ski resorts https://www.salzburg.gv.at/api5/datalinq/report/kribe@offentlichuebersicht@offentlichuebersicht
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queenie pretty please wrote:
@DB, @Markymark29, the only international traffic right now is freight on the motorway. There have been a number of local infection spikes in Salzburg, but as before they are all based in home or office settings. That seems to be where this virus likes to party. Other than the bunch of trainee ski instructors in Flachau (who were all sleeping/drinking in the same accommodation) the infection hotspots are mainly away from the ski areas.


It's strange why some areas have spiked more than others. (e.g. over 800 in Upper Austria/OÖ around 13.11.2020)
I guess it somehow gets into the community and spreads.
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@DB, the ski instructor training group in Flachau yielded 79 positive cases, so that had quite an impact on our local numbers. Luckily none of them seem to be seriously ill.
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@queenie pretty please, has it been contained so far?
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@holidayloverxx, last weekend they did some mass testing in Flachau, I think c.560 people were tested, all negative. At the moment there are 21 registered active cases in Flachau, which has fallen from last week.
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@DB, AGES put out a statement today or yesterday saying that skiing was associated with fewer cases than expected, ie. hardly any at all. No one in Tirol is even remotely suggesting that ski areas are a problem.

As for the figures, they’re chasing ghosts now unless there are more restrictions on people going to work rolling eyes
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@Scarlet,

Yes I think their next hope is that the vaccine brings the index down but that probably isn't going to happen before the end of the season, unfortunately.
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We had a booking over new year in the Jufa hotel at Riesneralm. We've moved the booking twice now, with most recent booking supposed to be this weekend. Obviously that didn't happen. Anyway, when we once again looked at bumping it back a few weeks, Jufa have informed us that the hotel will be closed until June. Not sure if this applies to the whole group, or just Jufa Riesneralm.
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https://news.sky.com/story/austria-ski-resort-finds-96-foreigners-in-breach-of-coronavirus-rules-12203068

Austria has found 96 foreigners - including British people - at a top ski resort in breach of travel and lockdown rules.

A total of 15 police officers, together with representatives of local health authorities checked 44 hotels and lodges and found 133 people, of which 96 were given "notices."
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