Fears raised over Covid variant in Salzburg after British ski instructor trainees test positive

Fears raised over Covid variant in Salzburg after British ski instructor trainees test positive
A sign saying entrance to the ski area is forbidden. Photo: Ina FASSBENDER / AFP
Fears were raised in Salzburg over the spread of the British Covid-19 variant after Britons were among dozens on a ski instructor course who have tested positive for coronavirus.

Ski instructor courses have been shut down in Salzburg after a group of trainees were forced into quarantine following positive coronavirus tests,  ORF reports.

The group of 152 ski instructor trainees are now isolating in Pongau in Salzburg after six positive cases of coronavirus were detected with a rapid antigen test.

Following the positive rapid antigen tests, PCR tests were carried out on all 152 participants on the course on Thursday afternoon.

Skiing in Austria: What does the coronavirus lockdown mean for winter sports? 

A further 109 quick tests were carried out on the same day, 29 of which were positive, according to reports. 

Two British nationals are among those who tested positive, and the samples are being sent to the Austrian health body AGES for genetic sequencing.

State medical director Petra Juhasz told Der Standard, “We want to be certain whether the people are infected with the British variant of coronavirus.”

The paper reports the virus mutation B.117 has already been detected when sewage was tested in the Salzach-Pongau area. The mutant was found in 54 percent of positive samples examined at the beginning of January.

Last week, a ski instructor course in Jochberg in the Kitzbühel district made headlines after 17 participants were suspected of being infected with the British strain of the coronavirus.

The British nationals were in Jochberg for a private ski course. The Tyrolean authorities are investigating. 

Ski instructor courses come under vocational training, and are legal during the current lockdown in Austria.

 

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