We bring you all the latest news on Covid-19 and its effect on the snowsports community. PlanetSKI reports.

Government coronavirus advice

Government coronavirus advice

We have been updating our blog on a daily basis here on PlanetSKI with all the news on how it impacts on the world we live in and the one we love – skiing and snowboarding.

See here for last week’s offering:



In recent days close to 3,000 tests have been carried out in Ischgl, St Anton and Soelden.

That is more than a third of  the towns’ combined population of roughly 8,100.

Roughly two-thirds of those tests have been assessed so far.

19% of those tested in Ischgl have the virus and 13% in St Anton.

In Soelden 40%  of the test results are not yet available.

All other areas in the Tirol had full quarantine lifted this week as we reported in this earlier story.

It is unclear when the resorts may have their quarantine lifted.

“The picture we have is quite clear: In roughly 19% (of those tests) in Ischgl and roughly 13% in St Anton the presence of elements of the coronavirus could be proved,” said the authorities.

A study has found that just 0.33% of Austria’s population as a whole is infected.

“From a medical point of view it would therefore be irresponsible to open these areas from next week,” it added, quoting Guenter Weiss, Innsbruck University Clinic’s director of internal medicine.

A decision on whether Soelden might lift the quarantine is due this weekend, once more test results become available.

Tirol, Austria


It has already sourced 500,000 KN 95 respirator masks from China as we reported lower down this rolling blog on Thursday 9th April.

Now it has started a production effort to manufacture medical face shields for local healthcare workers at its research and development facility in Burlington, Vermont.

It is aiming to produce 500 face shields per week this month.

They will be distributed to the University of Vermont Medical Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Centre and Boston Children’s Hospital employees.

Burton’s helmet and goggle division, is working with GogglesforDocs to provide snow goggles to medical professionals in need of eye protection.

To date, they have donated over 1,300 goggles.

Burton has also set up a bin outside of Burton HQ in Burlington for people to drop off goggles.

They go through a quarantine process before being distributed.


As the daily death toll in the UK hits its highest level, 980, the people of Zermatt show their solidarity.

The UK’s total number of deaths is 8,958.

The union flag has been projected on to the east face of the iconic mountain.

“Dear friends from the United Kingdom, Zermatt is deeply connected to you through its history.

British mountaineers first brought tourism to Zermatt, and to this day, Zermatt can welcome many visitors from the UK.

Unfortunately, travelling is not possible right now.

We send you a sign of hope from the Matterhorn instead.”

The UK’s daily count is now higher than the largest daily number in Italy or Spain.

Italy’s highest death toll was 969; Spain’s 950.

The next week or so looks to be grim as people ask whether a lockdown should have come earlier and whether there should have been, and should be, far more testing.


“Dear citizens of Spain,

You are severely affected by the coronavirus. We wish you much perseverance and good health.”

Spain has had 157,022 recorded cases and 15,843 deaths.

The MatterhornThe Swiss resort has been beaming message of support and hope for several weeks and it has caught the imagination of people across the world and been reported by the BBC, CNN and newspapers across the globe.

Plus, of course PlanetSKI..



“It is with great sadness that we share the news of the death of one of our volunteers, John Sellwood.

“John was a great supporter of our clubs and events, helping out in many capacities and always willing to get involved.

“John’s children Ellen & Tom were both active competitors until a few years ago.”

He took up skiing after his children started competing.

“Our sincere condolences go out to his wife Jane and his children Tom and Ellen.

He will be greatly missed by many,” the statement added.


Seventy people who were among around 100 at a birthday party in Sweden in early March fell ill, according to the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

The country currently has no lockdown in place.

The majority of ski resorts in Sweden closed earlier this week as we reported at the time

Skiing finally ends in Sweden

Two resorts remain open and  are thought to be the only ones in Europe still operating.

Open ski resorts in Sweden

Open ski resorts in Sweden

Coronavirus deaths in Sweden are sharply ahead of its Scandinavian neighbours, Norway and Finland, that both have lockdowns in place.

As of Friday 9th April  Sweden has had 807 deaths from a population of 10m.

Norway and Finland have populations of around 5m with deaths of 105 and 40 (Source: Johns Hopkins University).

Sweden also admits that its totals are likely higher as there has been a delay in reporting.



Dear Snow-Camp Community,

We hope that this email finds you as well as can be expected during these challenging times. Our thoughts are with you and your families.

We are writing to you today to give you an update on how Covid-19 is impacting Snow-Camp.

As many of you already know, we sadly had to postpone the final stages of our 2019/20 programme year.

This included our instructor training programme Excel run at indoor snow centres across the country, our annual residential to the mountains (which was meant to take place this week!) and opportunities for our youth volunteers and apprentices to gain work experience with GB Snowsport in Tignes.

In line with Government advice we have closed our offices and all staff, including our apprentices, are working from home.

Our staff team are working around the clock to make sure our young people are still supported, engaged and continuing to learn and develop with us.

Our apprentices and volunteers are also helping us to deliver online coursework sessions, mental health workshops, ski and snowboard technical workshops and young people ‘meet-ups’ via video calling.

We are doing all we can to keep up the levels of support we can provide for young people as we move forward.

Snow-Camp Patron, Chemmy Alcott sent a wonderful message to our young people:

“It’s like we’re in a movie and for the first time in our lives someone has figured out how to press pause. And that’s how you need to think about it. A pause. Not a stop. Not a reset. Just a time out…Think back to who you were at the beginning of your Snow-Camp journey. You have come so far!”

At this moment in time, we are unsure whether our summer holiday First Tracks Programme will be able to go ahead, and we are working on a contingency plan with our partners just in case.

We are very much guided by the Government and we will continue to follow their advice.

We were fortunate that many of our alpine fundraising challenges, such as our AJ Bell Courmayeur Classicevent, were able to take place in January before the resorts were closed.

However, all our spring and summer fundraising activities have either been cancelled or are hanging in the balance.

This does mean that the charity will lose a significant percentage of its income this year.

Our fundraising events contribute to nearly 20% of our total income, so this will have a big impact.

Snow-Camp’s founder, Dan Charlish said:

“Since Snow-Camp was founded 16 years ago, we have built a community of amazing supporters, friends and funders whose collective belief in our work and support for our programmes enables us to work with young people across the country each year.

“Despite the huge challenges being faced by charities everywhere right now, the staff at Snow-Camp have been greatly encouraged by the wonderful messages of support we have received from our community.

“We know you are behind us at this time and we are so thankful that we have your support, we need it more than ever right now.

“Personally, I am also grateful for the amazing team we have here at Snow-Camp, who have all adapted to the challenges of the new situation so effectively and who have retained throughout their focus on simply doing all we can for the young people we support.

“I have full confidence we will come out of this together and stronger than before.”

Please do follow us on social media to see regular updates on how we’re supporting young people.

You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Thank you once again for your continued support.

Stay safe and speak soon.

Team Snow-Camp x



A Message of Hope

Stay Home Today – To Ski With Us Tomorrow A Message of Hope and Positivity from your Norwegian Ski Family – Welcome Home to Norway #inthistogether #skinorway #visitnorway #ourplanet #naturalbeauty #norway #ski #travel #tourism #snow #❤️#🇳🇴

Posted by Norway – Home of skiing on Thursday, 9 April 2020



The resort has announced that the new Kumme gondola lift and work on the Matterhorn glacier ride II 3S cableway project will go ahead.

It comes as other ski resorts mothball projects to preserve funds with the coronavirus pandemic.

“With our investments and the resumption of construction work we mean to underscore our leading role in and around the Zermatt-Matterhorn resort and demonstrate that we can meet even this challenge head on together,” said the CEO of the lift company, Zermatt Bergbahnen AG, Markus Hasler.

“We want to indicate to our service partners and visitors and to the local economy that we believe in the future and despite the difficult conditions remain willing to invest in modern facilities and services”

Zermatt Bergbahnen AG  has said it realised the covid-19  crisis will also lead to a drop in sales at and will affect profitability.

It has held meetings with the banks and is sticking to the planned investment amounts and projects.

The new Kumme lift will be the first gondola anywhere in Switzerland to carry passengers without the presence of an attendant at the station.

It is planned to start operating at the beginning of the 2020/21 season,

It will have 56 ten-seater cabins carrying 1500 passengers an hour along the 3.2-kilometre route from Tufternkehr to the Unterrothorn via an intermediary station at Wyss Gufer.


They will be going to front line healthcare workers in the North East of the USA.

The KN95 respirator masks come from China.

48,000 have already been distributed to hospitals across Vermont where Burton has its HQ.

Some have also gone to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire, where the late Jake Burton spent two months of his life in the ICU battling Miller Fisher Syndrome in 2015.

The remaining masks are expected to be delivered in coming weeks.

Burton worked with its snowboard binding factory partner, Fudakin, to source the masks from China and UPS Express to move them to the USA.

“It is a national disgrace that the medical supply chain in this country has not been federalised and that states are competing for desperately needed supplies,” said Jake’s widow, Donna Carpenter, who is Chair of the Board at Burton.

“This fundamental failure of federal leadership in our greatest hour of need will inevitably cause more pain, suffering and loss of precious life.

“That being said, it’s an honour to be able to quickly mobilize Burton’s supply chain to help the doctors, nurses and other selfless professionals who are saving lives right here in the Northeast.”

“Jake and I both grew up just outside of New York City, and to hear the stories about lack of personal protective equipment available to frontline workers in those areas is heartbreaking.

“I wish we could do more, but I’m glad we could make a bit of a difference right here in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York by donating half a million KN95 masks.”



Urs Lehmann is running for president of the International Ski Federation, FIS.

The Swiss Ski Federation has nominated Lehmann, who is currently the national body’s president.

He won his world title in 1993.

The election has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, and a new date has not been set.

FIS it will likely not be held before September.

FIS has had just four presidents in its 96-year history.

Two of them have been Swiss leaders, Marc Hodler and the now-retiring Gian Franco Kasper.

The billionaire chief executive of ski brand Head, Johan Eliasch, has put his name forward.

He is being backed by GB Snowsport.


The Olympics are now set to take place from July 23 to August 8 next year, while the Paralympics are scheduled for August 24 to September 5.

This leaves just five months between Tokyo 2020 and the Beijing Winter Olympics, due to be held from February 4 to 20.

The Winter Paralympics are then set for March 4 to 13.

Despite the close proximity between the Games, Beijing 2022 revealed they are prepared for such a “special situation”.

Organisers of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics have claimed they are ready for the “special situation” of back-to-back Games, following the postponement of Tokyo 2020 to next year.

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Tokyo 2020 and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) postponed the upcoming Summer Games to 2021.

The Olympics are now set to take place from July 23 to August 8 next year, while the Paralympics are scheduled for August 24 to September 5.

This leaves just five months between Tokyo 2020 and the Beijing Winter Olympics, due to be held from February 4 to 20.

The Winter Paralympics are then set for March 4 to 13.

Despite the close proximity between the Games, Beijing 2022 revealed they are prepared for such a “special situation”.

“We will have a detailed assessment of how the new dates of Tokyo 2020 will affect the Beijing 2022 Games,” reported a Beijing 2022 official in the Chinese newspaper, Xinhua.

“In the meantime, we will keep close communication with the IOC and the Olympic family to handle the situation properly and push forward our preparation in all aspects.”

Preparations for Beijing 2022 are reportedly back on track as we reported in this earlier article on PlanetSKI.

The Summer and Winter Games were held in the same year until 1992, when the IOC decided to separate the two events and place them in alternating even-numbered years.

The Summer Games were held in Barcelona, Spain and the Winter Olympics in Albertville in France.



EasyJet expects to boost its cash reserves to around £2.3 billion after securing £600 million from the Covid Corporate Financing Facility.

The airline is popular with skiers and snowboarders and serves many gateway airports to ski resorts in Europe.

The airline has grounded its entire fleet and its flight crew and training instructors have been furloughed.

“We remain absolutely focused on ensuring the long-term future of the airline, reducing our costs and preserving jobs, to make sure easyJet is in the best position to resume flying once the pandemic is over,” said the CEO, Johan Lundgren.

“Our current priority is to safeguard short term liquidity, so we have borrowed from the CCFF and drawn down on our Revolving Credit Facility in order to increase our liquidity in the event of a prolonged grounding of the fleet.”

Planes grounded

Planes grounded. Image © PlanetSKI.


The Association of British Travel Agents want rules on refunding to be changed to protect hundreds of thousands of jobs in travel.

“ABTA has been doing all it can on behalf of the industry to make it clear to Government the devastating impact this crisis is having and to provide workable solutions to help them to do what it takes to support us,” said the ABTA CEO, Mark Tanzer.

It is asking members to visit its new campaign website, savefuturetravel.co.uk, and send an electronic letter to their local MPs appealing for action.

ABTA wants to relax the Package Travel Regulations that covers refunds in order to give travel companies more time to refund clients for cancelled holidays.

ABTA claims that without this the alternative is ‘mass travel company failures’.

The boss of Ski Solutions, Craig Burton, has added his weigh tot the campaign.

“If you are minded to lend your support, please do,” said Craig.

“It’s no exaggeration to say the travel industry, with 3.2m employed in the UK is on its knees right now.

“We all have a vested interest as we’re going to need a good holiday when we come out the other side of the horror of Covid-19.”

ABTA campaign

ABTA campaign


13, 000 pairs of goggles have been donated to hospitals in more than 30 states across the USA.

Goggles for Docs is asking people in the USA to donate goggles to health care workers who lack eye protection.

A doctor from New York, Mike Halpero, called Steamboat in Colorado and asked if there were some spare goggle he could have.

His aunt and uncle sent on the request to a handful of friends in other ski towns, who sent it to more friends and it has snowballed from there.

People can go to the website, pick a state, then choose a hospital tab within the spreadsheet.

The spreadsheet information shows how many goggles the hospital needs, how many they have received and where to mail the goggles.

Goggles should be wiped down and placed in a sealed ziploc bag before mailing.

See here for further information: gogglesfordocs

Goggles have been, or are scheduled to be, donated to hospitals in Massachusetts, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

Chefs in Savoie Mont Blanc cook meals for local hospitals

France is in locked down and restaurants are closed.

However, several chefs have decided to keep working and are cooking meals for three of Savoie Mont Blanc’s main hospitals in the Alps.

Twenty chefs in Savoie Mont Blanc are cooking 1,200 meals every Sunday for doctors and nurses.

Plus all hospital workers such as the cleaners, people working in the administration and other departments.



“It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Nicolas Leduc, ESF instructor at Courchevel 1850, victim of the Covid 19,” said a statement on the Courchevel Facebook page.

“Our condolences to his family and loved ones.”

Further tributes from PlanetSKI readers who knew him have been made today.

Nicolas Leduc, known to all his friends as Nicky,  was preparing to celebrate his 50th birthday this year.

He was in hospital for 3 weeks in Chambery after being diagnosed with the virus.

He worked for the ESF in Courchevel 1850 and he taught for several seasons in Serre Chevalier, where he was a centre manager for Club Med.

Tributes have been paid over on the PlanetSKI Facebook page from those that knew him, those he taught and those who simply want to past on best wishes.

Sebastien Scott Very sad loss. Extremely popular guy, great skier, will be greatly missed by all who knew him. ?

Simon Elias rip Nick
my condolences to your family hope you are shredding it upstairs ⛷?

Catherine Healy So sad. May he rest in peace

Fiona Gell Omg how sad. My son absolutely loved him as an instructor and he was such a nice guy. Had a great chat with him a couple of months ago in Courchevel. Devastating news ???

Tracey Jones Thoughts and prayers with the family, friends & colleagues xx

Michelle Poyzer Oh no, he was such a super guy… he will be missed ?

Scott Fraser Very sad news. RIP

Brandon Pearce Deeply sorry, Respect.

Marek Brzezinski So sad and grey is the snow in the Alps

John Deangelis Very sad. RIP

Kurt Reumers RIP Nicolas… No words….?

Akis Gregoriou ??

Kevin Johnson Sad day again. Rip.

Frank Robion RIP Nick

Witold Kolodziejski RIP  ?

Aminur Choudhury RIP ⛷

Hwanghan Jameskim R.I.P.

Лена Нордман ?


PlanetSKI reader, Lindsey Cairns, lives in the small village of St Ulrich am Pillersee in the Tirol in Austria.  We have posted a couple of her blogs in our Life Under Lockdown section.

Well, she has a small, and we stress small, piece of good news for us:

“After 3 weeks our quarantine ends from midnight tonight. Which means we will be able to leave our wee village if we need to, not for frivolous reasons but we will be able to move around.

“Restrictions to our movement are still in place, so it’s not open season but wee steps.

“Small shops opening from next week and from beginning of May, bigger shops, DIY shops, garden centres and shopping centres will be open as well as hairdressers.

There will be regulations in place but at least it is moving in the right direction.

“No events till the end of June, masks will need to worn on public transport from next week and we will still have to wear them in supermarkets, but that’s no hardship, our medical personnel have to wear them for hours on end.

“We have reached that magical 1% infection rate. Thanks to every essential worker who has kept the country running, you are the heroes.

“At least our man has a plan, it’s not gone away and there is still a long road ahead but it’s moving in the right direction.”

St Ulrich am Pillersee, the Tirol, Austria

St Ulrich am Pillersee, the Tirol, Austria


The man tried to drive from Perpignan in southern France to La Jonquera in Spain, but was stopped at a roadside checkpoint.

Cigarettes, alcohol, some foodstuffs and fuel are cheaper in Spain.

He then decided to go on foot across the mountains.

He got lost and needed to call out the rescue services.

A helicopter was sent to rescue the man who was “exhausted, shivering with cold and lost” according to the rescue services.

The man was fined €135 for breaking confinement rules.

“We remind you once more. STAY AT HOME,” said the police in a tweet about the incident.


Recruitment for the Beijing 2022 volunteer programme began on December 5.

By the beginning of March more than 670,000 applications had been received and that number is expected to have risen when the next official figures are published.

It is not yet known exactly how many volunteers the Organising Committee will require.

Yan Cheng, Beijing 2022’s human resources director, said many were from outside China.

Online training is being given and 300 volunteers serving the snow events watched a recent webcast via livestream.

Work on the 2022 Games has re-started after the coronavirus outbreak and snow skiing has resumed too as we have reported in this recent article, Coronavirus impact on Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.


Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics & Paralympics




What are you doing at 20.15 tonight after the Queen has addressed the Nation?

The Great Big Skiing Quiz was originally going to be at 20.00, but the organisers thought it prudent to move the event once the Queen decided to broadcast at 20.00.

The Great Big Skiing Quiz

The Great Big Skiing Quiz

“We’re really missing the mountains, so we’ve come up with The Great Big Skiing Quiz to test your knowledge of skiing and other winter sports,” said Steve Hull from Destination Ski who will be hosting the quiz.

Facebook event page

Round one is sponsored by Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports and the winner receives a £100 gift voucher.

There are five categories of questions, including winter sports, a picture round, and food & drink.

Round Two will be held on Sunday 12th April, and the combined winner of both rounds will win a ski holiday for two people in winter 2020-21.

PlanetSKI is just rustling up a team and is looking forward to it.

Maybe Her Majesty would care to join us after her broadcast?


We came second out of 127 teams!

See our report in Skiing Secrets


The BBC has drawn up a list of 12 web cams worth watching.

From gorillas and elephants in Africa to Thai beeches, city centres and other beauty spots.

They have also included snowy scenes from Lapland and Norway.


This might win a prize for the most remote live-stream of all – the 360-degree footage comes from the deep snow of northern Finland, above the Arctic Circle.

Normally, the small forested village of Köngäs would host tourists lapping up the mythology of northern Finland, and its mysterious elves.

But these days, it’s even more peaceful than usual:


Then there’s a series of long pre-recorded videos spliced together, showing a scenic train journey between Bergen and Oslo.

As the train snakes past fjords, lakes and forests in the snow, it’s incredibly calming.

The Bergen Line from Oslo to Bergen consist of: The Drammen Line (Oslo – Drammen) The South Line (Drammen – Hokksund) The Randsfjord Line (Hokksund – Hønefoss) The Bergen Line (Hønefoss – Voss) The Voss Line (Voss – Bergen).


And then there are the Northern Lights – as seen from the mountains of Canada.

This live feed comes in from Manitoba province.

If you visit it while it’s night-time there, you’ll see the aurora borealis in full flow, as our planet’s magnetic field interacts with charged particles from the sun.

We’re just out of the prime northern lights season at the moment, but it’s still pretty spectacular.

There were swirls of green in the sky when we checked on Thursday.


The International Ski Federation has created a portal to exchange information between the  National Ski Associations.

See here – Novel Coronavirus Information Hub

Interested parties can find all FIS updates regarding the current Corona virus crisis in chronological order.

Additionally, documents, for example regarding the FIS Anti-Doping programme and WADA information in Corona times, are available.

“As part of the FIS communications social media platforms, we will share posts and worthy initiatives by the athletes and other persons with actions supporting community efforts, as well as training sessions, tips and some other light-hearted moments,” said FIS.

FIS logo

International Ski Federation. Image © FIS.

Check back later for more…