Austria has found 96 foreigners – including British people – at a top ski resort in breach of travel and lockdown rules.
The local mayor of St Anton am Arlberg said dozens of young tourists had come to the town, circumventing lockdown rules under which ski lifts are open but hotels are closed to tourists.
A statement from the police force in the western province of Tyrol said: “Among others, Britons, Danes, Swedes, Romanians, Germans, Australians, Irish people and Poles were checked and fined.”
A total of 15 police officers, together with representatives of local health authorities checked 44 hotels and lodges and found 133 people, of which 96 were given “notices.” Some were ordered to take a COVID PCR test.
They all face fine of up to 2,180 euros (£1,900) under the Epidemic Act.
District Police Commander Obstlt Christoph Patigler, said “circumvention” of regulations “will not be tolerated”.
He added: “Anyone who tries to circumvent the strict legal situation must expect that they will meet the full severity of the law.
Austria went into its third national lockdown on Boxing Day, with stricter border measures in place that demand arrivals go into quarantine. These restrictions were largely brought in to discourage people entering Austria for skiing breaks.
Hotels are now only open to business travellers – but St Anton’s mayor Helmut Mall said some new arrivals have registered a local business address saying they are looking for work, even though there are no jobs available.
Just after Christmas, hundreds of British tourists fled the upmarket ski resort of Verbier in Switzerland after being told they must quarantine if they wanted to stay.