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Austrian tracks avoid lockdown restrictions

Austria’s ski slopes have been allowed to remain open while the rest of the country languishes under a 20-day lockdown.

As Austria entered another nationwide lockdown, forcing bars, restaurants, cinemas, pubs, gymnasiums and all non-essential stores to close, ski resorts across the country will be allowed to continue welcoming elites to their homes. tracks.

The Austrians have been largely homebound since Monday and are only allowed to leave to buy food and exercise during the 20-day lockdown.

According to a report by The telegraph, skiing is considered a recreational outdoor exercise and, as such, the trails have been allowed to remain open.

Ski lifts and cable cars were also allowed to continue to operate, as they were defined as essential services. Austrian authorities have cited safety reasons to justify the move, saying ski lifts are needed to prevent skiers from getting stuck on top of the mountains.

While the tracks have managed to dodge the lockdown order, new restrictions have been put in place that stations will be legally forced to adhere to.

Only those vaccinated will be allowed to use the slopes, as well as the ski lifts, with access to the unvaccinated to be denied, which is perhaps not surprising given the government’s announcement that vaccination will become compulsory from February 1st. Those who refuse the jab will face possible fines and even jail time.

The enthusiastic publication PlanetSKI reported that passengers will be required to wear FFP2 masks on cable cars and gondolas.

The slopes will also not be open to tourists, with hotels across the country closed during the last lockdown. Bars and restaurants attached to the resorts will also remain closed.

The move comes around 20 months after an investigation into possible negligence was opened at an Austrian ski resort in the town of Ischgl. It was believed that the ski resort may have been one of the first epicenters of the Chinese coronavirus in Europe, with the hypothesis being that the UK’s first case originated from the resort.

The Austrian government is used to making interesting decisions around which businesses would be allowed to escape lockdown restrictions, including allowing prostitutes to operate in February, while bars and nightclubs remained closed.

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