Skiers face a high avalanche risk in Austria, Germany and Italy after at least seven people died in the Alps during a weekend of heavy snow.

The second-highest avalanche warning level is now in force across the Austrian Tyrol and in much of the Bavarian Alps.

Skiers have been warned to avoid any off-piste skiing, and many mountain roads have been closed because of the avalanche risk, the BBC reported.

The heavy snow has forced many schools to close temporarily across Bavaria, and has disrupted some train services.

More heavy falls are expected in the coming days with as much as 4ft of fresh snow in Austria by Thursday.

Two separate avalanches killed two German skiers in Austria’s Vorarlberg mountains. A third skier died in Pongau district, near Salzburg.

A skier died when a tree collapsed near Bad Tölz in Bavaria. An avalanche killed a young woman in Bavaria’s Teisenberg mountains.

Two climbers died in the Italian Alps.

A mountain rescue team found their bodies in the area of 9,186ft Mt Cristalliera, in the Alps north of Turin.

Rescuers are searching for several missing people elsewhere in the Alps.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in an updated travel advisory: “According to local reports, there is heavy snowfall and a high risk of avalanches in southern Germany at present. Due to heavy snowfall in Bavaria and more expected, the infrastructure has been affected. You should check your journey before travelling.”