Austria’s response to the coronavirus pandemic

HEPL blog series: Country Responses to the Covid19 Pandemic

The corona pandemic started in Austria on February 25, 2020, when the first two cases of the illness were reported from Innsbruck, the capital of the federal state Tyrol. This region has a long border with Northern Italy. Health authorities there were informed about contagion early. For example, warnings came from other authorities who claimed that infections were imported from people who enjoyed skiing holidays in Tyrol. Currently, Tyrol is nationally and more often internationally criticised for the spread of the virus in Europe. Lobbies of skiing tourism and authorities are alleged to have collided. Authorities and politicians are indicted to have delayed the reporting of COVID-19 cases to federal authorities. A while before the federal level dealt with the pressure coming from Tyrol, the Austrian Chancellor said in a newspaper interview that he was warned by Benjamin Netanjahu in a phone call early on. He said that this had pushed him to act swiftly and to phase in measures.


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