Austria Covid: Brits among 96 skiers breaking rules in St Anton

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image captionUnder Covid-19 rules only locals are allowed to ski at Austria's resorts

Austrian police say 96 foreigners, including Britons, have been caught breaching Covid-19 lockdown restrictions by taking a skiing holiday.

They are suspected of using loopholes to stay at the St Anton am Arlberg resort. Some registered local addresses or said they were seeking work.

Each could now face a fine of up to €2,180 (£1,921; $2,633).

Austrian ski slopes remain open for locals, but not for foreign tourists.

Police said the foreigners included Danes, Swedes, Germans, Irish, Romanians, Poles and Australians. All of them must also show coronavirus PCR tests.

The police checks took place at 44 hotels and chalets in the resort on Friday.

Austria has imposed quarantines and strict rules on entering the country, in large part to discourage skiers, the BBC's Bethany Bell reports from Vienna.

Commenting on the police operation, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said "whoever fails to obey the Covid-19 rules and stays in our country without justification must be fined".

Tyrol regional governor Günther Platter said there would be "zero tolerance" for violators of the rules.

media captionItaly's Foppolo ski resort lost its all-important Christmas ski season

Elsewhere in the Tyrol, avalanches killed four people over the weekend, AFP news agency reports.

A man and woman - both Austrians - were buried in one on Saturday in the Sellrain area. The other two fatalities were a 16-year-old German boy in the Kühtai area and an Austrian man near Axamer Lizum.

CORRECTION 2 February 2021:Our initial report said all 96 foreigners had been placed in quarantine. We now understand this was not the case.

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