Austria Travel Update: 5th July 2020


Holidays to Austria – 2020 / 2021

What is the current Travel situation in Austria?

Austria has seen a relaxing of its lockdown measures since the start of May and bars and restaurants have been open since the middle of May with social distancing and restrictions on numbers at tables and in bars. Hotels opened in late May for the summer season and most resorts have their lifts operating for glacier skiing, hiking and biking and the Summer Season in the Austrian Alps is underway although visitor numbers are expected to be lower than usual.

Summer 2020 : Who can travel?

As of 1st July, Austria has opened all of its borders and EU-Wide travel us now poossible. For more details on Europe re-opening  >> https://reopen.europa.eu/en.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise for Austria and Germany changed on 3rd July and there are now no restrictions on visitors from this country travelling to Austria and currently no requirement for UK residents to quarantine for 14 days on return to the UK. For the latest travel advice : https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Summer: What measures are Austrian Hotels putting in place?

Social distancing is in place with people required to keep at least 1-metre apart. Hand sanitizers are available and common areas such as dining rooms, lobby, bar and Spa Areas are being spaced out to allow extra space. Guests and staff are expected to maintain hand-washing hygiene and staff will be routinely tested for Coronavirus to ensure a Hotel COVID19-Secure status. Serving personnel are required to wear facemasks (relaxed in bars from 1st July). 

Summer: What measures are there on the lifts and on the mountain?

Current stipulations are to keep the minimum 1-metre distance, to use the hand sanitizer provided, to wear a facemask in public places (this includes in the Gondolas which are well-ventilated), to not gather in groups and to use contactless payment where possible

Looking ahead – Winter 2020/21

To caveat, we do not know exactly what the coming Winter Season will look like….However, we are increasingly positive that there will be a ski season to look forward to albeit, in the absence of a vaccine, a different experience to years gone by. We will update as and when we have more certainty and, here we take a look into our Crystal Ball at what skiing could possibly look like in Austria…

Getting there

Flying looks set to remain the most popular option of getting to Austria (some guests are already indicating they may well prefer to self-drive or take the train) and, when airports re-open, social distancing, increased hygiene measures and thermal imaging cameras will be the norm. Expect there to be less services at the airport, to wear a facemask through the airport and on the flight, and for check-in and security to take longer. 

Airlines will have deep cleaning procedures in place, face-masked cabin crew, less on-board services and more space for passengers where possible. Air filtration systems already filter the air effectively every few minutes on board. 

Getting to resort

Private transfers will be the most effective and safest way to reach your resort and most of our guests already avail of this service we offer. Expect drivers and guests to be asked to wear facemasks.

At your Hotel

As with this Summer season, we can expect social distancing, increased hygiene measures, the possible removal of some buffet food services, fewer tables in public areas (dining, bars, spa and wellness areas) to allow more space and different sittings for dinner when taking half board. The use of the pool and spa may need to be booked ahead to keep numbers within a safe limit and all staff will be routinely tested for Coronavirus to ensure a COVID19-Secure status.

On the lifts

Goggles and gloves are naturally an excellent barrier and facemasks will most likely be required on the lifts. There could be a limit on numbers on lifts where there are confined spaces (Gondolas as opposed to chairlifts). Overall skier numbers could be possibly limited within the ski area. 

On the mountain

The Great Outdoors and the bit we all came here for! Masses of space, gloves, goggles, fresh air and exercise. Taste the freedom and enjoy!!

Eating & Drinking 

All restaurants (on the mountain and in resort) will most likely continue to limit the numbers on each table, employ social distancing and waiting staff will be required to wear masks. Table service for food and beverages is already the norm in Austria. Contactless payment will be encouraged. 

Apres-ski looks to be a different animal from previous years and, whilst the virus is still in circulation, we just cannot foresee large groups partying in the bars post-skiing in close proximity. Call us party-poopers but the focus may well shift back to the Sport (why not try some ski-touring or get some technique private instruction?) and away from excessive evenings. 

CONTACT US

If you’d like to discuss any of the above, need any further information or would like to enquire for this coming Winter, get in touch on 01905 731269 or via email at skiandboard@snowscape.co.uk.

Stay safe and keep dreaming!

Image : Hintertux 29.5.20