Austria: huge rush at ski areas – operators pull emergency brakes

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The ski areas in Austria attract countless visitors over the festive season. Now some operators are closing their systems.

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The rush is also great in Austria. In the picture a ski area in Hinterstoder.

Reader reporter / heute.at

The Bodental in Carinthia, which offers winter hiking and cross-country skiing, remained closed on Sunday after the rush on Saturday.

The Bodental in Carinthia, which offers winter hiking and cross-country skiing, remained closed on Sunday after the rush on Saturday.

Getty Images

Many ski areas are open in Austria, but only for residents.  (Symbol image)

Many ski areas are open in Austria, but only for residents. (Symbol image)

Getty Images/RooM RF

  • Many ski areas are open in Austria.

  • The rush over the holidays was huge.

  • Individual areas had to be closed.

At the weekend there were sometimes so great traffic jams in bright sunshine that some pulled the emergency brake and blocked entry. The Bodental in Carinthia, which offers winter hiking and cross-country skiing, remained closed on Sunday after the rush on Saturday, as did the toboggan meadows in Semmering around 100 kilometers southwest of Vienna.

The Hinterstoder, Wurzeralm and Kasberg ski areas in Upper Austria were full on Sunday afternoon, Aotos were turned away at the valley entrance. On Saturday, a large crowd had to be broken up in Damüls in Vorarlberg around 70 kilometers south of Lindau on Lake Constance.

Half as many guests because of distance rules

Many ski areas are open in Austria, but only for residents. There is a ten-day quarantine requirement for those arriving from abroad, which discourages most tourists. In addition, the particularly effective FFP2 masks as mouth and nose protection are mandatory for all skiers over 14 years of age who use gondolas or lifts or have to queue. The mountain railways sometimes only carry half as many guests as they can to keep distance rules. Tickets should be booked online.

The crowd in Damüls was due to the lack of snow in neighboring areas, said Andreas Gapp, head of the Vorarlberg cable cars, on Sunday. “We have learned from this and will adapt our concepts as soon as possible.” Otherwise he drew a positive balance of the Christmas days. “People wear the FFP2 mask, keep their distance and accept the catering rules,” he said.

Access obstructed by ambulance

In the Bodental and Semmering areas, authorities were alerted by “loads of vehicles parked on the roadside”. It was said that the access of fire engines or ambulances was partially disabled. Hundreds of day trippers were then on the way and the corona distance rules could no longer be guaranteed. On Christmas Day Semmering tried in vain to limit the number of tobogganers with barriers. Both parishes closed the driveways completely on Sunday.

The Salzburg mountains are well attended, but the situation is relaxed, reported the spokesman for the Salzburg cable cars, Erich Egger. They are mainly day trippers. There were around 3,000 guests on Sunday at Schmittehöhe, compared with up to 16,000 guests a day in previous years.

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(DPA)





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