As European ski nations grapple with rising pandemic cases, ski resorts appear to be increasingly taking the view that the benefits of skiing to mental and physical health may outweigh the risks of virus infection.
The message coming from most resorts in their pre-season publicity does not say that specifically, but has been one of being out in the mountains being good for you.
A statement from Austria’s Kaunertal glacier, one of around 20 ski areas already open in the Alps, put it like this.
“Exercise in the fresh air boosts your immune system and is known to make you happy.”
Matters have come to a head in Italy over the past few days where the country’s national government have ordered a four-week ‘fire-break’ style lockdown to 24th November, which is supposed to include the closure of the four ski resorts that had already opened. The hope is that the lockdown will quell rising infection numbers and allow things to operate in the main winter season.
So far though, two of the four areas have decided to stay open. One of them, the Val Senales glacier (pictured), issued this statement today,
“We’re being asked a lot if we’re still open, the answer is yes. We take the current situation very seriously: that’s why we have developed a safety plan and ask our visitors to respect our safety regulations on site. Especially at this particular time we want to keep giving you the opportunity to enjoy winter sports, walk outdoors and breathe in the fresh mountain air. This year we have learned that circumstances can change at any time: if this happens, we will keep you informed on our website. In the meantime, we wish you an exciting ski season – with safety and awareness!”