Britain's patient zero? Sussex IT worker, 50, 'caught coronavirus in party bar at Austria's "Ibiza of the Alps" ski resort that's accused of covering up infections and started spreading it here in JANUARY'

A ski resort known as Austria's 'Ibiza of the Alps' has been accused of covering up coronavirus infections and started spreading it to Britain weeks earlier than was thought.
Daren Bland, 50, of Maresfield, East Sussex, is understood to have infected his wife Sarah and children after returning from Ischgl in mid January where he attended a party.
A video emerged of a party at the resort where a group of people were singing and dancing to Highway to Hell by AC/DC - showing how close they were together, increasing the chances of the virus spreading.
Mr Bland joined three friends there from January 15 to 19, with the others travelling home - two to Denmark and one to Minnesota in the US - sick. Prosecutors are now investigating the destination for possible negligence due to hundreds of foreigners leaving with the illness.
Mr Bland told the Telegraph: 'We visited the Kitzloch [bar] and it was rammed, with people singing and dancing on the tables. People were hot and sweaty from skiing and waiters were delivering shots to tables in their hundreds.
'You couldn't have a better home for a virus. I was ill for 10 days. It was like wading through treacle. I couldn't get up, I couldn't work, it knocked me for six. I was breathless.'
However it has not yet been confirmed whether or not Mr Bland and his family contracted coronavirus.
A video emerged of a party at the ski resort where a group of people were singing and dancing to Highway to Hell by AC/DC
A video emerged of a party at the ski resort where a group of people were singing and dancing to Highway to Hell by AC/DC
Daren Bland, 50, from Maresfield, East Sussex, fears he infected his wife Sarah (pictured) and children after returning from Ischgl in mid January
Daren Bland, 50, from Maresfield, East Sussex, fears he infected his wife Sarah (pictured) and children after returning from Ischgl in mid January
The 50-year-old had been there with three friends from January 15 to 19, with the others travelling back to their native Denmark and Minnesota in the US sick
Mr Bland
The 50-year-old (left and right) had been there with three friends from January 15 to 19, with the others travelling back to their native Denmark and Minnesota in the US sick
The popular Ischgl resort, in the province of Tyrol, Austria has been blamed for hundreds of coronavirus cases in Europe
The popular Ischgl resort, in the province of Tyrol, Austria has been blamed for hundreds of coronavirus cases in Europe
Mr Bland said he passed the sickness on to his family - with his youngest daughter off school for two weeks - before symptoms spread through his neighbourhood ahead of half term.
The Bland family have not been tested for coronavirus, but if their results came back positive it means the infection hit the UK a month earlier than thought.
Officially the first recorded case in the UK was on January 31, with the first transmission on February 28.
The virus has since spread across the four countries, racking up 465 deaths and 9,529 cases.
Mrs Bland, 49, has called for the family to be tested to try to help authorities understand how the bug has swept across Britain.
Ischgl, dubbed 'Ibiza of the Alps', faces tough questions over how revellers are feared to have been transmitting the illness across Europe.
Austrian officials have launched a probe into whether the popular resort in Tyrol province purposefully chose not to report cases because it would hurt the tourist industry around the time of a key local election.
Leader of the opposition Dominik Oberhofer said questions need to be asked about the relationship between hoteliers and politicians who were in charge of overseeing the coronavirus response.
An investigation has been launched over whether an outbreak of the disease was covered up to protect trade around the time of local elections
An investigation has been launched over whether an outbreak of the disease was covered up to protect trade around the time of local elections

The inquiry centres around reports a 36-year-old German barman at the popular Kitzloch pub who fell ill with COVID-19 in February.
The resort has been linked to hundreds of cases in Austria, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark.
Despite concerns the virus was running rampant there, the slopes and bars were allowed to stay open for weeks.
German media has branded Ischgl 'the breeding ground' of coronavirus, while Norway believes almost half of the country's cases were imported from Ischgl.
The number of infections in Ischgl - a small town of about 1,500 people - is double that of Vienna, the country's capital, which has a population of 2million.
There have been at least 1,020 confirmed infections in the town, compared to 456 in the capital.
Europe has become the new epicentre of the pandemic, with more than 100,000 people confirmed to have been infected across the Continent. Italy makes up more than half of cases.
Reports say a German barman at the Kitzloch pub fell ill with coronavirus symptoms at the end of February, although it has not been officially confirmed.
Tourists from Scandinavia, Germany and other parts of Austria all started testing positive for the illness after returning from Ischgl in early March.
German media described the resort as a 'breeding ground' for the virus, but local authorities played down concerns.
Werner Kurz, the mayor of Ischgl, told German newspaper Der Spiegel the shut down was 'a catastrophe' for the town, saying: 'We implemented all regulations in a timely manner'.
The number of infections in Ischgl  is double that of Vienna, the country's capital, which has a population of 2 million
The number of infections in Ischgl  is double that of Vienna, the country's capital, which has a population of 2 million
Police at a roadblock outside the Ischgl, which has now been put on total lockdown
Police at a roadblock outside the Ischgl, which has now been put on total lockdown 
Austria's Health Minister Rudolf Anschober announced the number of tests would 'massively' rise, with more regular checks for hospital staff.
'The number of tests is increasing and will continue to increase dramatically over the next two to three weeks,' he said in a statement.
It comes after Austria announced it was mobilising its military for the first time since the Second World War.
Soldiers will be deployed to fight the outbreak by helping with food supplies, medical support and police operations.
Austria still has compulsory military service. Men must serve six months in the army or nine months in a civilian service when they reach 18.
Around 3,000 soldiers - 10 per cent of the reserves - will for three months take over coronavirus-related tasks from soldiers whose military service expires in May.
 

Is it working? UK records 43 coronavirus deaths in past 24 hours compared to 87 yesterday... and new infections level out

  • Footage shows police dispersing members of the public intent on flouting the government's lockdown rules
  • Police dispersed members of the public soaking up the sun in Shepherd's Bush in West London  
  • Groups of people were  pictured enjoying the good weather in part of Cheltenham on Wednesday
  • It comes as a Twitter user whose grandmother has died from the virus pleaded with people to stay indoors
  • On Monday,  Boris Johnson addressed the nation and ordered a lockdown for at least three weeks
  • Shoppers have also  been pictured continuing to squeeze together at supermarkets across the country
  • The Prince of Wales has tested positive and is in self-isolation at his home on the Balmoral estate, Scotland 
The UK has recorded 43 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours compared to 87 on Tuesday, but new infections have increased by a record 1,452 to 9,529 as Britons continued to flout the lockdown.
Twenty-eight more patients died overnight in England. Six more patients died in Scotland, five in Wales and four in Northern Ireland - bringing the total death toll to 465 in Britain.
They included a 47-year-old who did not have an underlying health condition. The others who died, including one person aged 93, did have underlying health conditions. 
In contrast, eighty-seven infected Brits died the day before. Despite the death rate falling by half, the country saw a record spike in cases on Wednesday, with 1,452 more patients known to have caught the deadly virus, bringing the total number of cases to 9,529.
The Department of Health and Social Care late on Wednesday evening confirmed a total of 97,019 people have been tested with found 87,490 negative. The update said that 463 people had been killed by the virus, but they said the data did not cover a 24 hour period.
The update for the death toll on Tuesday was at 1pm, so the data only covers from then until 9am Wednesday, which would explain the slight difference in the death rate.
Scotland only announced two deaths yesterday, while Wales confirmed just one. Both countries have now had 22 coronavirus victims.
Northern Ireland this afternoon announced two more fatalities as well as two last night, taking their total to seven deaths. 
The true size of the outbreak is being hidden because of the Government's controversial decision to only test patients in hospital. The true size of the outbreak is likely to be closer to the 400,000 mark.
Despite clear government guidance members of the public are continuing to the rules by heading out to sunbathe on the second day of the coronavirus lockdown.
Footage has emerged showing police dispersing Britons gathering in parks and other public places, with people gathering despite strict advice to stay at home yo avoid the outbreak overwhelming the NHS.
In Shepherd's Bush in West London, people soaked up the sun, seemingly oblivious to the tight restrictions imposed by the government on Monday. Police were seen telling the sun worshipers to leave and go home.
Others were seen enjoying the weather at Battersea Park in South West London, on the beach in Portsmouth and in the sea off Eastbourne today despite the Prime Minister urging people to stay at home. 
Meanwhile in Manchester, officers today dispersed groups, some of which greeted each other with a hug, along with sunbathers in Piccadilly Gardens. Police also used megaphones to tell people to stay at home unless absolutely necessary, saying 'this is serious, we need to beat corona.'  
It comes as:
  • The Prince of Wales has tested positive for coronavirus but is only displaying mild symptoms, Clarence House announced. 
  • The Foreign Office announced that Steven Dick, 37, the deputy head of mission at the British Embassy in Budapest, had died after contracting coronavirus.
  • NHS England's medical director said hundreds of thousands of tests for Covid-19 per day could become a reality within weeks.
  • Boris Johnson urged London Mayor Sadiq Khan to 'get more Tubes on the line' but resisted calls to ban non-essential construction workers from heading to building sites.
  • Parliament is set to adjourn for an early Easter break after emergency legislation to tackle Covid-19 is approved.
  • The Prime Minister confirmed that ministers are considering asking black taxi drivers to act as a transport service for NHS workers.
  • Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London, yesterday told MPs that he is confident the health service will remain 'within capacity'.
Professor James Naismith, director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute, University of Oxford, said: 'Every one of the deaths is, for the families and friends, a tragedy. That the number of deaths is less than yesterday is a relief.
'However, just as the headlines of death toll 'worse than Italy' were misguided and based on over-interpretation of a single day, a lower number today on its own is not a reliable guide. The Government's measures will take time both to have their effect and to be confirmed as working.
'I would urge people neither to panic nor celebrate on the basis of the numbers on any single day, rather we all need to focus on social distancing and kindness. We have the best epidemiologists in the world, only their complex mathematical analysis of the data can tell us what is happening.
'No-one has ever claimed that the virus would leave apparently healthy younger people completely untouched, the sad death of the 47-year-old confirms what the Chinese data had told us - no-one is entirely safe. We must all follow the Government advice on social distancing, not just for the benefit of the vulnerable but for all our sakes.'
In Westminster, the Prime Minister insisted the Government is 'working as fast as we possibly can' on a package of support to help the self-employed despite 'particular complexities' amid growing political pressure.
It comes after an expert government adviser said NHS hospitals are expected to just about cope with the thousands of coronavirus patients, even at the peak of the outbreak, according to an expert government adviser.
Despite fears over a lack of intensive care beds and staff going off sick, Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London, yesterday told MPs that he is confident the health service will remain 'within capacity'.
That is because of the current lockdown, which could also mean the worst of the outbreak in intensive care units is likely to be over in two-and-a-half to three weeks' time. 
Deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries agreed yesterday that the peak of the virus could be finished by Easter. 
Earlier this month Professor Ferguson, a key member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), produced a report suggesting more than 20,000 people might die from coronavirus.
But yesterday he told the Commons science and technology committee the death toll could be 'substantially lower than that'.
In even more hopeful news, Andrew Pollard, professor of paediatric infection and immunity at the University of Oxford, who was also called before the committee, said a vaccine could potentially be available within six months.
Last week, the Government announced an unprecedented plan to underwrite the wages of millions of workers who face being laid off as activity dries up - but it has been criticised for doing nothing for the country's five million freelancers, contractors and other self-employed workers. 
FULL STATEMENT: Boris Johnson tightens coronavirus measures in uk
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People enjoy the sun in Battersea Park in South West London while the UK is in a coronavirus lockdown
People enjoy the sun in Battersea Park in South West London while the UK is in a coronavirus lockdown
On Monday the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson addressed the nation and told Britain's 66million people they must stay at home unless they are front-line workers, need to shop infrequently to buy food or medicine or are helping a vulnerable person. 
He also said one form of exercise was permitted each day, such as dog-walking - but not sunbathing or merely sitting outside. 
Mr Johnson ordered the immediate closure of all non-essential shops and threatened people with fines or even arrest if they did not 'stay at home'.
The Prime Minister's shutdown will last for a minimum of three weeks and the UK's new state of emergency is unprecedented in modern history. 
Police descend on Shepherd's Bush as people sunbathe
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Gatherings of more than two people are banned in the most dramatic curbs on freedom ever seen in Britain in time of peace or war, as the government goes all out to stop the spread of the killer disease.
The footage showing brazen sunbathers comes as families who have lost loved ones after testing positive for coronavirus have appealed on social media for people to stay inside as the outbreak tightens its grip across the UK.
Twitter user, @mollyacejay, paid tribute to her grandmother on Tuesday and urged members of the public to stay indoors.    
'please please please stay indoors. I will forever be grateful for the love my grandma had for all of us, for the kindness she showed. we sadly lost her to covid19 earlier today. please stay inside,' she wrote. 
Underneath her Tweet @mollyacejay retweeted a message her grandmother had sent her earlier in the year.
'my grandma crocheted a pride blanket for me after I finally spoke to her about being gay at christmas. lucky, blessed, loved.' 
The UK's coronavirus death toll stood at 437 on Wednesday with more than 8,200 cases.   
Mark Foran took to Twitter to pay tribute to his dad who was one of those who died yesterday. 
'After suffering a brain hemorrhage back in November and being in hospital ever since fighting to survive, our Dad got diagnosed with Covid-19 last week and he sadly passed away today. Rest In Peace Dad x'
The humanitarian cost of the pandemic continues to mount globally as more than 415,000 people have been infected with the deadly disease, and more than 18,000 have been killed. 
Meanwhile Prince Charles has tested positive for coronavirus and is self-isolating at his home on the Balmoral estate, it was revealed today.
The Prince of Wales, 71, has a 'mild' form of the illness and is with his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, who has tested negative and is without any symptoms of the virus, which has killed 435 and infected 8,000 more in the UK so far.
A royal source said Charles' doctor's most conservative estimate was that the prince was contagious on March 13 - 24 hours after 'briefly' meeting his 93-year-old mother the Queen.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman has said: 'Her Majesty remains in good health. The Queen is following all the appropriate advice with regard to her welfare'.
Manchester police informs people to stay home during lockdown
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Shoppers have also been pictured squeezing together at supermarkets Wednesday morning, ignoring social distancing rules and raising fears that stores could become the new superspreaders of coronavirus.
Under government guidelines, people are supposed to stay 6ft apart from others if they have to go outside, but shoppers at several supermarkets all over the UK this morning have been flouting the rules while stocking up on essentials.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday ordered Brits to stay at home to halt the spread of the virus, imposing curbs on everyday life without precedent in peacetime.
However, people are still allowed to leave their homes to shop for basic necessities, leading to supermarkets being flooded with customers and fears that they will become hotbeds of the virus.   
Several major chains are now introducing new measures to try and enforce social distancing and protect staff.
Morrisons, Lidl, Aldi, Iceland and Sainsbury's have brought in protective screens for staff, and Waitrose - which is introducing 'two-metre marshalls' who will manage queues outside shops - has ordered screens and visors for its workers.
Waitrose calls its policies 'a set of strong, new measures' to help its customers shop safely.
The company said the number of customers allowed in at any one time will be limited so that social distancing can be observed, and a 'one in, one out' policy will be operated when it is judged that the shop is at capacity.
West Sussex mum leads neighbourhood fitness class in lockdown
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Customers coming to Waitrose will see marshals who will help to manage queues outside shops and if necessary remind people to respect the two-metre social distancing rule.
Waitrose will also dedicate the first opening hour to elderly and vulnerable customers and those caring for them, while NHS staff will continue to be given priority checkout service.
There will also be 'safe distance' floor signage, protective screens at checkouts, and additional security.
Morrisons, which has already put up perspex screens, is introducing signage in stores to support social distancing, including floor stickers, posters and banners which will ask customers to keep one trolley distance apart, as well as giving guidance on where to wait and where to queue. 
Asda has also announced similar measures, saying it will introduce floor markers and directional barriers to help customers keep their distance, and will install perspex screens at its checkouts.
Hand sanitiser will be available for customers to use when entering and departing.
A number of self-service machine will also be shut in order to enforce the two-metre rule, a spokesperson told MailOnline.
Sainsbury's said it is 'working through the detail' but expects to restrict the number of people allowed in stores at any one time, and will also be introducing barriers outside to ensure people queue at a safe distance when waiting to get in.
The supermarket said it will also have reminders to keep two metres apart displayed throughout stores, screens at manned checkouts, and will close every other payment point to help keep people apart.
On Tuesday afternoon, Marks & Spencer said its 31 outlet stores selling only clothing and homeware will be temporarily closed.
M&S said when customers arrive at its food stores, they will see a 'greeter' who will ensure the number of customers in the store at any one time is managed.
Lombardy, Italy, replaced Wuhan in China, as the most badly impacted region in the world, with authorities in the European country announcing that 743 more people had died in the country on Tuesday, bringing the total dead to 6,820.
Italian authorities believe some of the restrictive measures taken may be beginning to have an impact after officially registered new infections rose by just eight percent, the same percentage increase as Monday- the lowest level since Italy registered its first death on February 21.
The trajectory of the rapidly spreading virus shows that Madrid and London could become the next hotspots of the disease, with deaths now doubling every two days in the respective capital cities.  
In the UK, 87 more patients died overnight in England, including 21 at the one NHS trust in London. The UK's death toll has risen almost six-fold in the space of a week, with just 71 fatalities recorded last Tuesday.
And in Spain the armed forces asked NATO for humanitarian assistance to fight the novel coronavirus as the national death toll touched 2,700 and infections soared towards 40,000.
The Madrid region has suffered the brunt of the epidemic with 12,352 infections - just under a third of the total - and 1,535 deaths, or 57 percent of the national figure.
Outside of Europe, in the United States, the death toll has risen quite slowly compared to other nations so far, but the trajectory for New York's mortality curve is much steeper, suggesting it could overtake Madrid.
More than 12,000 people have tested positive in the city and 125 have died. A state-wide lockdown took effect on Sunday night.
Britain's patient zero? Sussex IT worker, 50, 'caught coronavirus in party bar at Austria's "Ibiza of the Alps" ski resort that's accused of covering up infections and started spreading it here in JANUARY' Britain's patient zero? Sussex IT worker, 50, 'caught coronavirus in party bar at Austria's "Ibiza of the Alps" ski resort that's accused of covering up infections and started spreading it here in JANUARY' Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:49 Rating: 5

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