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Austrian Resort Town Reports Sudden COVID-19 Surge

A pleasure boat is seen on Wolfgangsee Lake in St. Wolfgang, Austria, July 27, 2020.
A pleasure boat is seen on Wolfgangsee Lake in St. Wolfgang, Austria, July 27, 2020.

Austria's tourism industry received a blow after 53 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed since last week in the popular resort town of St. Wolfgang.

The lakeside resort shortened bar opening hours after a coronavirus outbreak was detected on Friday. The local tourism office said at least 50 of those new cases were seasonal workers from abroad in the hospitality industry.

In an interview Monday, Health Minister Christine Haberlander said more than 1,000 additional COVID-19 tests were conducted by the Austrian authorities in St. Wolfgang. The provincial government said guests who stayed in town from July 15 will be informed about the outbreak.

Tourism officials say news of the outbreak already caused many to cancel hotel reservations over the weekend. Two of the hotels there have closed. Many of the town's businesses reportedly are worried that visitors will stay away for the rest of the season.

St. Wolfgang, situated on Wolfgangsee Lake, one of Austria's best-known lakes, was once a favorite vacation spot of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

Austria's coronavirus outbreak has been relatively limited compared to other Western European countries. It has recorded 20,510 cases and 713 deaths, though infections have accelerated in the past month.

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