The Austrian ski resort town of Ischgl is under investigation for an alleged cover-up after the town failed to close the resort despite evidence that the area had become a Coronavirus hotspot.
Ischgl, known as the “Ibiza of the Alps,” has a reputation as having the most ludicrous party scene in the ski world. It’s not uncommon for games of beer pong to begin well before noon and for nightclubs to rage into the early hours of the morning.
Now the town faces a mass lawsuit on behalf of more than 5,000 ski tourists as prosecutors try to determine if there was criminal negligence by locals who knew of the outbreak of coronavirus, but kept the resort open so that the town would not miss the most lucrative time of year.
The prosecutor’s case against the town has gained a valuable piece of evidence that shows town officials knew the resort had become a coronavirus hotspot days before closing the resort.
An email from Icelandic authorities to the Austrian Ministry of Health on March 4 informed them that 14 tourists had tested positive for coronavirus after returning to Iceland from Ischgl.
The Icelandic emails included details of the hotels where the guests stayed in late February, helping to identify the virus’s epicenter in Ischgl.
The email will strengthen the case that locals were aware of the spread of the virus days before they took meaningful action to stop its spread.
The resort finally closed on March 13 when the Tyrol government quarantine the entire valley around Ischgl.