New coronavirus variant hits posh Swiss resort of St Moritz

Reuters

Posted at Jan 18 2021 03:30 PM

The word "COVID-19" is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration taken November 9, 2020. Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters File Photo

ZURICH - Health authorities quarantined two hotels and closed ski schools in the posh Swiss resort of St Moritz on Monday to try to curb an outbreak of the highly infections new coronavirus variant.

The eastern canton of Grisons ordered everyone to wear masks in the town of 5,200 that prides itself as a birthplace of modern winter sports. Mass testing of residents will take place on Tuesday.

"About a dozen cases are currently known in two hotels. To protect the health of the population and guests, the health department has quarantined the two hotels and ordered corona tests for their employees and guests," the canton said in a statement. It did not give the guests' nationalities or reveal which new coronavirus variant had been detected. Authorities could not immediately be reached for further information.

While closing restaurants, bars, theatres and recreational venues to limit spread of the disease, Switzerland has left ski lifts open as long as they maintain strict regimens to protect public health. (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

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