Ski Austria 2020/21 & Covid-19


SKIING IN THE NEW NORMAL - Winter 20/21   

Last updated 24th August 2020

Since the abrupt end to Winter 19/20, we have been keeping a very close eye on how Austria is managing its Summer Tourism and the plans that are being put in place for this coming Winter Ski Season. 

The first and very positive thing to note is that there will be a Ski Season in Austria this coming Winter and Winter Sports offer masses of space, spectacular scenery and fresh air in which to escape, recharge and savour the sheer joy of this wonderful sport. Skiing is simply good for the body and soul!

In the absence of a vaccine this Autumn (most likely scenario right now), this winter will be a socially distanced one with extra measures in place to ensure the health and safety of visitors, locals and resort employees. Here we take a look at how things are shaping up for the coming Winter Season in Austria and we believe this offers a great deal of reassurance for visitors and locals alike.

SUMMER 2020 - Review

Austria opened its hospitality and hotel sector at the end of May and has enjoyed a good Summer season with social distancing (minimum 1 metre in Austria), enhanced hygiene measures and face-covering requirements in place. Local infection rates have remained very low and have been efficiently managed with local testing and tracing.

GETTING TO AUSTRIA

Flying remains the most popular option of getting to Austria and the aviation sector has been operating successfully and safely since late June. You are currently required to wear a face covering throughout the airport and on your flight and additional deep cleaning measures are in place. Refer to your airline for the latest advice.

GETTING TO RESORT

Most of our guests book Private Airport Transfers which are the most effective and safest way to reach your resort and will keep your party within their own social bubble. We also offer shared shuttle services. Expect drivers and guests to wear face coverings. 

HOTELS

Hotel safety measures include social distancing, contactless check-in and payments, increased hygiene and cleaning measures, hand sanitizing stations, temperature screening, frequent testing of staff to ensure a Covid19-secure status, fewer tables and more space in public areas (dining, lobby, bars, spa and wellness areas). The use of the pool and spa may need to be booked ahead to keep numbers within a safe limit. Some resorts aim to provide free testing.

GONDOLAS & LIFTS

Gondola loading, lift queues and après-ski are three key areas that have fallen under the spotlight. Gondolas have been operating successfully over the Summer and you can expect to wear a face-covering / buff  (FFP : filtering face piece – some resorts plan to provide these FOC when you purchase a lift pass) when in enclosed spaces (in the Gondola), to have limits on capacity within the lifts (staying within your bubble) and to socially distance from other groups. Gondolas and Ski Buses will be ventilated and regularly fogged / disinfected and lift queue management systems will be in place. 

SKIING & SNOWBOARDING

Goggles and gloves are naturally an excellent barrier on and off the lifts and, once off the lift, it will seem like those good old pre-Covid days! If you happen to get within 1 metre of another skier then one of you is skiing dangerously - Get out there and enjoy the fresh air, exercise and freedom of the great outdoors!

MOUNTAIN RESTAURANTS

Restaurant Areas are subject to the rules for Gastronomy in Austria and there will be social distancing in place, hand sanitizing stations, screening and partitioning, digital menus, contactless payment, limits on numbers in restaurants and enhanced cleaning regimes. Table service is already the norm in Austria.

APRES, APRES, APRES-SKI !!

Nothing beats a cold beer or gluhwein at the end of a long day’s skiing however, whilst the virus is still in circulation, we just cannot foresee large groups in close proximity partying in the bars post-skiing. It is no secret that some of the larger, party ski resorts of Austria emerged as Coronavirus Hotspots earlier this year and image make-overs are underway. The Austrian Authorities are currently looking at how après-ski could possibly work (Outdoors only, limited numbers, early closing times, etc) and we should have an update early Autumn.

For now, this looks like the Winter to shift the focus back to the sport and away from excessive evenings. Why not try some ski-touring or get some private technical instruction? Or, just enjoy a massage, wellness treatment and fine food!

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, speak to us on 01905 731269 or drop us an email at skiandboard@snowscape.co.uk.

Stay safe and keep dreaming!