It has been announced that all ski areas in the two main Austrian ski provinces of Salzburgerland and Tirol are closing early this winter due to the Coronavirus.
In the case of Tirol all ski resorts and hotels in the famous Austrian ski province will close from Sunday 15th March, according to an announcement on Austrian TV.
The province is home to many of Austria and the world’s best-known ski resorts including Innsbruck, St Anton, Solden, Kitzbuhel, Westendorf, Soll, Ellmau, Serfaus, Mayrhofen and Obergurgl as well as dozens of other ski areas.
One of the region’s leading resorts, Ischgl, had already announced yesterday that it would end its season early, on Saturday.
“The health of our guests, employees and the Tyrolean population is our top priority. This decision was not an easy one for us, but we take responsibility for all Tyroleans and for everyone who is in Tyrol,” said Tyrol’s Governor Günther Platter.
He said the decision was made in line with the region’s “Epidemic Act”
Further details on Austrian ski areas closing will be announced at a press conference to be delivered at 10am on Friday morning. The region has a web page with information on the impact of the virus there.
Resorts in Salzburgerland began announcing they would also be closing from this weekend. The two provinces account for the majority of leading Austrian ski areas. Resorts in Salzburgerland include Badgastein, Kaprun, Obertauern, Saalbach Hinterglemm and Zell am See.
Saalbach issued this statement on Thursday evening,
“The health of our guests, employees and the local population has absolute priority in these challenging times. With a heavy heart, we must therefore inform you that the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn – like all other ski resorts in Tyrol, Vorarlberg, Carinthia and Salzburg – will cease operations for this winter on March 15th, 2020. The coming Sunday, March 15th, 2020 is therefore the last skiing day of this winter.”
As of Thursday afternoon Austria knows of 361 coronavirus-infected people, 110 of them in Tyrol, and the country reported its first death from the virus today.