Hotels in quarantine after Covid variant outbreak in upmarket Swiss ski resort

All residents of St Moritz were being asked to be tested on Tuesday.

Exterior view of the hotel Badrutt’s Palace, centre, in St Moritz, Switzerland (Giancarlo Cattaneo/AP)
Exterior view of the hotel Badrutt’s Palace, centre, in St Moritz, Switzerland (Giancarlo Cattaneo/AP)

Swiss authorities say they have placed two hotels under quarantine and ordered all guests and employees to be tested after a new variant of coronavirus was detected among them in the upmarket skiing resort of St Moritz.

Local authorities said they have also closed down skiing schools, regular schools and kindergartens.

Officials did not reveal the names of the two affected facilities, but Swiss media said both were luxury hotels.

In addition to tests at the hotels, all residents of St Moritz were being asked to be tested on Tuesday.

The Hotel Kempinski with police guards in front is pictured in S. Moritz (Giancarlo Cattaneo/AP)
The Hotel Kempinski with police guards in front is pictured in St Moritz (Giancarlo Cattaneo/AP)

Authorities ordered all residents to wear protective masks, and asked people to reduce their contacts to prevent the further spread of the virus.

“The health office is concerned,” authorities of the Graubuenden canton said in their statement.

“The variant of the virus is clearly more contagious than the one that’s currently predominant globally.”

Swiss media reported that the variant of the virus detected in St Moritz was the one first found in South Africa.

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