Prosecutors in Austria have opened a criminal investigation against four people on suspicion of failing to take action to stop the spread of the coronavirus in a ski resort that became one of the main centres of the European outbreak.
Britons are among more than 6000 people from 45 different countries believed to have been infected with the virus in Ischgl during the spring.
Local authorities are already facing a class action lawsuit brought by tourists who allege they covered up the scale of the outbreak in Ischgl and deliberately kept the resort open for several days.
Four people now also face possible criminal prosecution for negligent endangerment of the population.
Prosecutors have not named those under investigation but Werner Kurz, the mayor of Ischgl, came forward to confirm he is one of them. The others are believed to be local officials.
"We have narrowed investigations to four suspects after examining over 10,000 pages of evidence," Hansjörg Mar, a spokesman for prosecutors, said.
"In particular we are investigating the implementation of traffic restrictions in Ischgl and quarantine regulations in Paznaun valley."
The investigation is believed to be focusing on the delay in ordering the closure of transport links to Ischgl, which lies in the Paznaun valley.
The resort remained open for a full week after Iceland first warned the Austrian government it was seeing multiple cases in skiers returning home in March.
And it remained open for several days after a barman at Kitzloch, a popular apres ski venue, tested positive for the virus.
The resort was only closed on March 13, when Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian chancellor, placed the entire valley under quarantine and announced tourists had an hour to leave.
The announcement caused a panicked exodus with hundreds of holidaymakers crammed together on the last buses out of town.
The 18-mile journey down from the mountains took up to seven hours, and tourists described buses packed with coughing passengers.
Prosecutors are believed to be investigating allegations that local officials knew of the impending closure several days in advance but chose to keep it secret in order to keep the resort open.
Tourists were only allowed to leave after signing forms pledging to return home directly and not stop anywhere, but none were tested and it is now believed they may have spread the virus across Europe.
Ischgl, which was known as the "Ibiza of the Alps", was notorious for its raucous apres ski scene.
It is thought thousands of people may have been infected in Kitzloch, the venue where a barman tested positive for the virus.
The bar was known for "beer pong", a game in which people passed a ping pong ball from glass to glass using their mouths, and video has emerged of it packed with revellers singing along to the song Highway to Hell.
"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," Daren Bland, a British IT consultant who visited Ischgl in January told the Telegraph.