8th September 2021
The Austria Health Minister has submitted a proposal to restrict nightclubs and apres ski venues only to those who have been vaccinated. The measure could be in place next month as a handful of resorts are open in October. NEW
The plan has been submitted by the Green Party minister, Wolfgang Mückstein, to his coalition partners, the Austrian People’s Party.
Currently people in Austria going to bars, gyms, restaurants and other indoor areas are required to be vaccinated, have recently recovered from the virus or have tested negative.
Nightclubs are only allowed to admit people who have been vaccinated or who have had a recent negative PCR test.
The health minister said the new measures were necessary to protect people from the virus, even if the unvaccinated didn’t have the sense to protect themselves.
A negative test would no longer be enough to go into an apres ski bar.
The apres ski bars and clubs in some Austrian ski resorts were seen to have been super spreaders of Covid-19 when the virus was detected to be transmitting in February and March 2020.
It was a similar situation in many other ski resorts across the Alps at the start of the pandemic as we reported at the time:
Last winter Austrian ski resorts did open, but they were for locals only with apres ski bars, restaurants and hotels closed.
See here for the full story in The Local, Austria.
“One area is night catering, but also stand-up parties like après-ski.,” said Wolfgang Mückstein to Austrian media.
“We need to protect the unvaccinated.
“That means that the unvaccinated should not be allowed into these high-risk areas for their own protection.”
If the proposal is approved, it will be implemented in October ahead of the approaching winter ski season.
A number of resorts in Austria plan to be open in October including Hintertux, Stubai, Soelden and Pitztal.
See here for further details of resort opening across the Alps:
Another part of the plan is to require masks indoors across the country.
Austria is currently lagging behind in the vaccination rate compared to the rest of Europe.
Historically Austria is more sceptical about vaccinations than some other European countries.
Another factor is Austria’s far right FPÖ party does not support vaccinations.
In the mountain regions of Carinthia, Upper Austria and the Tirol there are areas where less than a third of the population has been fully vaccinated.
Austria is also seeing a growing number of Covid-19 cases with 123 per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period.
A month ago the figure was 37.
Here are the figures for the other ski nations in Europe with the number from a month ago (August 5th) in brackets:
In the Alps Switzerland is on 173 (66), France stands at 140 (228) and Italy 68 (65).
In the Pyrenees Spain is on 97 (316) and Andorra 38 (272).
In Scandinavia Norway has 189 cases, Finland is on 72 and Sweden 68.
The UK remains at 371 confirmed cases of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period.
The new proposals in Austria are now under consideration at the highest level of government.
However, there are questions if such measures are even legal.
A number of legal experts have indicated they feel the law would survive a constitutional challenge if it was put in place.
Here at PlanetSKI we’ll keep you updated…