British skiers filmed partying at epicentre of Austrian coronavirus outbreak

Horrifying footage shows British skiers unwittingly partying in a bar at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in Austria more than a month after the disease was first caught there.

The film, obtained by MailOnline, show holidaymakers being served shots in the Kitzloch bar, Ischgl, in late February, where a 36-year-old German barman is believed to have fallen ill with Covid-19 that same week.

Other exclusive videos show revellers dancing in nearby Schatzi bar in March in the crucial few days when the Austrian authorities were said to have known about a possible outbreak.

They were reportedly alerted to the risk of coronavirus in Ischgl during the first week of March by Icelandic officials but did not close down the resort until the 13th. 

Holidaymakers who filmed the exclusive footage told MailOnline that many people in the resort were suffering from a dry cough, which they put down to the altitude. There was no sense of alarm at the time. 

Scott Phiminster, 45, filmed his friends partying in Ischgl in the crucial few days when the Austrian authorities were reportedly told about the risk of a coronavirus outbreak but had not closed the resort

Scott Phiminster, 45, filmed his friends partying in Ischgl in the crucial few days when the Austrian authorities were reportedly told about the risk of a coronavirus outbreak but had not closed the resort

Mr Phiminster, bottom right, and his friends enjoy some beers unaware of the Covid-19 threat

Mr Phiminster, bottom right, and his friends enjoy some beers unaware of the Covid-19 threat

Mr Phiminster, fourth from the left, poses with his friends at the popular ski resort

Mr Phiminster, fourth from the left, poses with his friends at the popular ski resort

The Kitzloch bar in Ischgl is at the centre of the investigation after a barman tested positive on March 7 after reportedly falling ill in late February

The Kitzloch bar in Ischgl is at the centre of the investigation after a barman tested positive on March 7 after reportedly falling ill in late February

Ischgl, dubbed the 'Ibiza of the Alps', is now at the centre of a criminal investigation after hundreds of infections in Germany, Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Britain were traced there.

A leaked text message appeared to show that local politicians knew about the outbreak in Ischgl on March 9, but told tourist businesses to hush it up. 

It comes as Daren Bland, 50, of Maresfield, East Sussex, is understood to have infected his wife Sarah and children after returning from Ischgl in mid-January.

He joined three friends there from January 15 to 19. Two of them later went home to Denmark and one to Minnesota in the United States. All were unwell. 

Holidaymakers who filmed the exclusive footage told MailOnline of their anger that they may have unknowingly contracted the deadly virus.

‘I organised a lad’s skiing trip for nine of us aged between 32 and 52,’ said Scott Phimister, 45. ‘A cough was going round and we chatted with other skiing groups about it.

‘We all decided it was just because of the dry air and the altitude. There were a lot of elderly people there on holiday and they were really suffering with it.

'Later, most of us became unwell. If the authorities had acted responsibly, we might have avoided it.’

Mr Phimister’s videos, which show crowds of revellers drinking and dancing in the Schatzi bar, were taken between March 8 and March 11.

Local politicians are believed to have known about the virus on March 9.  

Mr Phimister and his eight friends all came down with coronavirus symptoms after returning from Ischgl.

‘I had a fever for three days solid,’ the father-of-two from Paisley said. ‘I sweated so much that my T-shirt would have stuck to the window.

‘I self-isolated and am feeling better now, though I still have a niggling pain in my chest when I breathe heavily.

‘Now my wife is unwell and my 13-year-old daughter has come down with a sore throat.’

Daren Bland, 50, from Maresfield, East Sussex, is understood to have infected his wife Sarah (pictured) and children after returning from Ischgl in mid January

Mr Phiminster's friends pose at the bottom of a ski slope in Ischgl, unaware of the virus threat

Mr Phiminster's friends pose at the bottom of a ski slope in Ischgl, unaware of the virus threat

Police enforce a roadblock near Ischgl, thought to be the epicentre of the outbreak in Europe

Police enforce a roadblock near Ischgl, thought to be the epicentre of the outbreak in Europe

An investigation has been launched over whether an outbreak of the disease was covered up to protect trade around the time of local elections. Pictured: police outside Ischgl

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An investigation has been launched over whether an outbreak of the disease was covered up

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