Two Irish people have joined a class action lawsuit against the Austrian ski resort of Ischgl, which became a hotspot of Covid-19 infection.

The Austrian lawyer who is organising the suit confirmed to RTÉ News that in total 15 Irish people have contacted him.

Peter Kolba told RTÉ News that the authorities did not act quickly enough following health warnings and confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the village.

At least 5,000 people have contacted him in relation to the class action suit from Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Ireland, Iceland, the United States, Signapore, and Israel.

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So far, Mr Kolba said around 500 people have given him power of attorney in this suit, including two Irish people.

Mr Kolba said he is aware of 11 people who have died with Covid-19, who had either been to the resort of Ischgl, or had contact with someone who had.

He said that 2% of the people he is representing or who have contacted him needed treatment in Intensive Care Units.

On 5 March, Iceland warned Austrian authorities that skiers that had returned from the village had tested positive for Covid-19.

However the provincial government of Tyrol, which includes Ischgl, responded by saying they probably caught the virus on the plane home.

On 7 March, a bar worker at the après-ski venue Kitzloch tested positive for Covid-19.

A press release from the provincial Health Department at the time stated that "a transmission of the coronavirus to guests of the bar is rather unlikely from a medical point of view".

The bar was closed on 9 March.

In the following days further restrictions were put in place, but the resort remained open until 13 March.

Mr Kolba said for those he is representing it is not primarily an issue of money: "They are very, very angry that the authorities do not apologise and do not accept that they are responsible for this [Covid-19] hotspot [in] Ischgl."

"It is the second step to ask if there is a possibility to claim damages, and I say yes there is a possibility to claim damages against the Austrian state and we will do it," Mr Kolba said.

In a statement the mayor of Ischgl, Werner Kurz, spoke of how the virus "snowballed all of us".

"Such a pandemic was unimaginable, and that's why comprehensive preparations for it were also lacking... this was a completely new and unforeseeable situation for us," Mr Kurz said.