Public prosecutor’s office dismisses investigation into corona outbreak Ischgl

The Innsbruck prosecutor’s office has closed the criminal investigation into the Ischgl case. Austrian media report this. There is no evidence of negligence, the prosecutor said.

At the beginning of the corona pandemic, there was a major outbreak of the corona virus in the Austrian ski resort of Ischgl. At the beginning of March 2020, the first infections were identified, mainly looking at the après-ski bars. Many Belgians also became infected.

Crisis management has been heavily criticized. The authorities were accused of acting too late and that their measures were insufficient. The investigation focused on the role of five people, including the mayor of Ischgl and two employees of the district administration. The court examined, among other things, when they took which measures and how they were followed up. In the study, 27 people were questioned.

An expert report previously spoke of an incorrect assessment by the authorities. But no evidence of pressure from the tourism sector has been found.

The public prosecutor has therefore closed the criminal investigation. “There is no evidence that anyone has acted negligently or engaged in anything that would have increased the risk of infection,” the attorney said in a statement.

There are still several civil lawsuits pending. In September, the lawsuit of the widow of a man who died after an infection in Ischgl against the state started. There are also Belgians who litigate.

Austria entered its fourth lockdown on Monday, but the Austrian ski lifts may remain open for vaccinated people for the time being. Restaurants, cafes, theaters and non-essential shops must close for at least ten days. Only 65.5 percent of the population has been vaccinated twice. Vaccination is compulsory in Austria from February.