More and more countries are announcing their intention to allow ski resorts to open this winter, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that the approach will remain very cautious compared to England with pandemic opening procedures remaining in place.
It is also becoming clear that being able to show you are fully vaccinated will make life a lot easier in resort. More and more countries and/or individual resorts are saying they’ll need to see a vaccine passport in order to buy lift passes, ride lifts, enter restaurants and so on.
But at the same time tourism bosses in ski destinations are battling to keep things as straightforward as possible,
“The ski industry is already working on ways to make sure that the checks in resorts can be done smoothly and not disturb holidaymakers. The exact measures will be announced by the French government in mid-October,” a statement from L’Agence Savoie Mont Blanc which represents 112 ski resorts in the famous French ski region, including several of the world’s best known centres such as Val d’Isère, Méribel, Morzine-Avoriaz and Chamonix, explains.
The Question of Younger Teen Vaccination
In terms of vaccination certification, some countries say this requirement will go down to children as young as age 12 and crucially, that whilst the UK is only delivering single jabs to teens aged 12 to 15, other European nations are delivering double jabs to this age group and may not treat those with one jab as qualifying as being “fully vaccinated”.
If there’s no evidence of double-jab vaccination then most countries will accept evidence of a recent negative COVID 19 test result and/or evidence of a recent coronavirus infection now cured. However it appears that that means taking multiple virus tests during your stay in resort in order for results to remain ‘recent’ through the week. But it’s a fluid situation with the rules evolving daily.
It’s also not yet clear whether skiers arriving from the UK will be able to use British evidence of vaccine or will need to sign up for the scheme in the country they’re visiting. In fact, in some cases it’s still being determined exactly how things will work,
“With nearly 12 weeks until the season really gets going, there’s plenty of time for these wrinkles to get ironed out. We’ve met a number of national tourist boards over the last week or so and they really looking at all possible ways to make the ski experience for families as frictionless as possible,” said Craig Burton, boss of specialist travel agency Ski Solutions, who added, “There’s a steely assuredness from the resorts around opening this season which is reassuring, albeit with Covid control measures in place.”
Other measures set to continue in most ski resorts include social distancing and mask wearing, although most countries are going to allow lifts to run at or near full capacity on the understanding everyone is vaccinated or has recently tested negative/had the virus.
More and more resorts and in some cases whole countries, such as Italy, are also announcing that they are requiring all resort staff to be fully vaccinated ahead of the start of the season in order to be allowed to work in a ski area.
Announcements are coming in from different resorts and countries each day.