Speaking at a press conference Friday, Tyrol Governor Guenther Platter said, "Due to the continued existence of infection chains, on the advice of medical experts, we have no choice but to extend the quarantines for the Paznaun Valley and St. Anton for a further two weeks until April 26."
Alpine lockdown: The Alpine ski resorts of St. Anton am Arlberg and Ischgl, as well as the Paznaun valley surrounding Ischgl, have been on lockdown since March 13, when it became apparent that the resorts were a breeding ground for coronavirus infections.
Authorities in Tyrol are accused of having reacted too late to the first signs of the coronavirus outbreak in Tyrol -- particularly in Ischgl --- contributing to the spread of the virus in Europe and beyond.
He said the extended lockdown measures were "very dramatic" for those affected, who already lived isolated from the outside world for about four weeks, but it is now essential to prevent the virus from spreading at all costs.
Austria to lift lockdown: Earlier this week, the Austrian government said it would gradually begin to reopen shops after Easter, making it the first country in Europe to do so.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Austria has reached 13,561 and the death toll stood at 319, the country's health ministry said Saturday. The Alpine province of Tyrol accounts for almost 25% of coronavirus cases in the country.