A number of Austrian ski resorts are reporting to be preparing to offer skiers a free ‘Buff’ style bandanna with their lift passes, to use as face masks on the slopes.
Ischgl is reported to have ordered 600,000 of the ‘Buffs’ ready to distribute to guests.
A second Austrian resort, Obertauern in Salzburgerland, has also said its guests will receive a free face covering too.
“Obertauern is a ski-in ski-out ski resort, so our guests don’t need to wait for a gondola to come. There are 26 lifts, most of them chairlifts, and 10 different base stations directly in resort so it won’t get too crowded. Despite that, we will offer a buff/bandanna for every ski pass sold free of charge,” said Lisa Walcher from the resort.
Obertauern (pictured below) will be one of the first non-glacier resorts in the world to open for the season each Autumn, this year targeting Thursday, November 19th as opening day.
Austria is the first country where ski resorts are confirming there will be no limit on the number of people sitting on chairlift chairs or in gondolas, in line with the country’s policy for other enclosed public transport.
Lifts will be regularly sanitised, windows kept open on cabin lifts, and those using lifts will need to wear face coverings and gloves in any queue and on the lift.
Ischgl aims to open for the season just over a week after Obertauern, on November 26th, and explains its lift operating plans on its site:
“A reduction of the highest number of persons allowed in the cable car cabins or the chairlifts is not legally mandatory. Permitted capacities will, however, not be fully utilised if the ridership is accordingly low,” a resort statement says.