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Three cases of India Covid variant confirmed in Austria

Three suspected cases of the Indian Covid variant have been confirmed by Austria's AGES organisation in the state of Burgenland, while another case is suspected in Tyrol.

Medical staff care for a patient infected with Covid-19. (Photo by BERTRAND GUAY / AFP)
Medical staff care for a patient infected with Covid-19. (Photo by BERTRAND GUAY / AFP)

Three members of a family in Burgenland have been diagnosed with the Indian Covid variant, Austria’s AGES organisation has confirmed.

The family have been put in quarantine and it is believed the chain of infection has been interrupted, the APA agency reports. 

The three cases occurred in a family of four in Nickelsdorf, which is close to the Hungarian border. It is not known where the people were infected with the Indian mutation as none of the infected people had recently been to India or had contact with people returning from there.

Suspected mutation in Tyrol

There is now a suspected case of the Indian mutation in Tyrol for the first time. The person affected fell ill in India and was brought back to Tyrol on a secured ambulance flight, the state announced on Tuesday.

The infected person has not had any contacts with people not wearing protective clothing, it is reported. 

Upon arrival from India, the patient was brought to the Innsbruck clinic by means of an infection transport. They are now undergoing hospital treatment in isolation on a normal ward.

A positive PCR test has suggested an infection with the the Indian Covid variant and the sample has been sent to AGES for sequencing.

Last week it was officially confirmed that two people in Salzburg had been infected with the variant after coming to Austria from India.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the coronavirus variant first found in India last year as a “variant of global concern”.

Preliminary studies show the B.1.617 mutation spreads more easily than other variants.

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Discover Austria: How to make the most of 24 hours in Innsbruck

Looking for a short break in Austria that combines city life with the great outdoors? Then make your way to Innsbruck, where you can explore the mountains by day and the city by night.

Discover Austria: How to make the most of 24 hours in Innsbruck

Innsbruck is a small city nestled in the heart of the Austrian Alps in Tyrol.

It’s surrounded by mountains and has a strong connection with nature. But at the same time it has a strong arts and culture scene and a vibrant nightlife.

Here’s how to make the most of both worlds with The Local’s guide to 24 hours in Innsbruck.

FOR MEMBERS: UPDATED: The best websites for cross-Europe train travel

Outdoor adventures

When it comes to outdoor adventures in Innsbruck, exploring the Nordkette mountain range is a must-do.

The Nordkette (or North Chain) is located just north of the city and is part of the stunning Karwendel Nature Park – Austria’s largest nature park covering 727 sqm.

This mountain range is easily accessible from the city centre with the Nordkettenbahn (Nordkette cable car). In just eight minutes, visitors can go from Congress Station on Rennweg (near the Golden Roof – see more below) to the Hungerburg Station via the Hungerburgbahn. 

From there, you can visit Hermann Buhl Square to find out more about the famous Austrian mountaineer. Or simply take in the panoramic views across the city.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can then head to the Seegrube Panorama Trail or to the Seegrube Restaurant to try Tyrolean cuisine like homemade soups and Gröstl (a bacon, onion and potato fry up).

The cable car runs every 15 minutes from 7.15am to 7.15pm, Monday to Friday. On Saturday, Sunday and public holidays, the operating hours are 8am to 7.15pm.

Tickets for the Hungerburgbahn start at €10.90.

READ MORE: Discover Austria: 19 ways to make the most of autumn this year

History and culture

The Goldenes Dachl (or Golden Roof) is a landmark structure. It’s located in the Old Town (Altstadt) and is considered Innsbruck’s most important and historic symbol.

The building was completed in 1500 and finished with 2,657 fire-gilt copper tiles on the roof, which give the effect of a roof made from gold (hence the name). It was built for Emperor Maximilian I.

Visitors can take in the structure from outside for free – or from the comfort of one the nearby cafes if you can get a seat on the terrace. Alternatively, you can pay a fee to go inside and explore the museum, depending on how much time you have.

From October to April, the Goldenes Dachl is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

While you’re at the Goldenes Dachl, it’s also worth taking some time to wander around the Old Town and then down to the river. There is a pretty view across the water of different coloured houses, all of which have stunning mountains as the backdrop.

READ ALSO: How to keep safe and avoid problems when hiking in the Austrian Alps

(Photo by Harold Wainwright on Unsplash)

Food and drink

If you’re on a budget, or just want to sample some local and seasonal produce while you’re in Innsbruck, then add the Markthalle (market hall) to your itinerary.

The Markthalle has more than 40 vendors and sells everything from Speck (cured ham) to Austrian cheeses and fruit and vegetables. 

On the weekend, the Markthalle is only open from 7am to 1pm on Saturday and is closed on Sunday. But it’s open from 7am to 6.30pm from Monday to Friday.

For craft beer fans, add Tribaun bar to your list of things to do in Innsbruck.

Tribaun is centrally located on Museumstrasse (about a five-minute walk from the Goldenes Dachl). It has around 16 different craft beers on tap, as well as a food menu with pizzas and burgers. 

Tribaun is open Monday to Saturday from 6pm and customers can book a 90 minute beer tasting for the full experience.

Another recommendation for food is burrito hotspot, Machete, on Anichstrasse, where you can sample Mexican cuisine while sipping on cocktails.

Unfortunately, Machete does not take bookings, so it’s worth arriving early if you really want to get a table. Machete is open from 11.30am to 1am from Tuesday to Saturday, and from 11.30am to 12am on Sunday. 

READ NEXT: Schwammerl season: What is it and when does it start in Austria?

Shopping

Maria-Theresian-Strasse is the main shopping street in Innsbruck. It is home to Kaufhaus Tyrol and the RathausGalerien, both indoor centres with shops and cafes.

All the usual high street shops can be found on Maria-Theresian-Strasse. As well as some Austrian favourites, like Swarovski, and stores selling traditional dirndls and lederhosen.

If you want an alternative to high street stores then stroll through the Old Town where there are many small, independent shops selling jewellery, souvenirs and local food. This is the place to go to pick up some Tyrolean gifts.

READ ALSO: One day in Vienna: How to spend 24 hours in the Austrian capital

And just outside of the city centre there is the DEZ shopping centre, where you can find stores like H&M, Zara, Humanic and even IKEA.

Got a recommendation for our 24 hours in Innsbruck guide? Let us know in the comments section below or email [email protected].

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