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Fear of infection – suspected coronavirus: trains from Italy stopped at the Brenner

Vienna / Bozen (dpa) – For fear of coronavirus infections, two trains on the central Brenner route between Italy and Austria were stopped on Sunday evening.

Around 500 passengers had to wait for hours before the authorities in Austria gave the go-ahead shortly before midnight. At this time, according to the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB), all passengers on Eurocity (EC) 86 from Venice to Munich had already switched to the subsequent EC 1228 with the destination Munich.

The Austrian authorities had insisted that two doctors go on board. The forced stop was triggered by two feverish women on board, who, however, were tested negative for the virus, according to the Austrian Interior Ministry. The train passengers were catered for by the ÖBB during the waiting period.

The Italian state railway company had previously informed ÖBB about the possible cases. At this point, part of the train had already been isolated. The long-term blockage of train traffic via the Brenner also affected a long-distance train from Nice to Moscow. According to the ÖBB, it was rerouted via another route. A regional express from Austria to Italy returned in the evening. The Brenner is the most important railway line from Italy to Germany.

Italy had previously announced that it would use drastic measures such as restricted areas to stop the rapid spread of the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus. Several municipalities in northern Italy have been cordoned off to prevent the virus from spreading to the economic metropolis of Milan, the tourist center of Venice and other regions.

The Venice Carnival and all sporting events will be canceled, museums and schools in the entire Veneto region will remain closed until March 1st, announced regional president Luca Zaia. The carnival should have run until Tuesday. Meanwhile, three infected people died in Italy – the country with the highest number of confirmed sick people in Europe.


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