Austria Bans Apres Ski Next Winter
25th September 2020
Last modified on October 1st, 2020
Apres ski groups have been banned in the ski resorts in Austria next winter. Ski resorts will open but with Covid-19 restrictions in place.
The message came from the Austria Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz.
“It won’t be possible to have apres-ski the way we are used to from the past, because the risk of infection is too high… Ski fun yes, but no apres-ski,” he said at a news conference announcing what next winter may look like in the Austrian Alps.
“Skiing, eating out, nature and enjoying the hospitality, outdoor activities, shopping — not just in ski resorts but also in cities, a wellness vacation in Austria, culture tourism. All that will be possible this coming winter.
“In the upcoming weeks, we have to do everything we possibly can to keep the number of infections low… because that is the basis on which guests can come to Austria at all,” he added.
He was flanked by the governor of the Tirol province as he made the announcement.
Tourism contributes 15% to the Austrian economy with hundreds of thousands of jobs, directly or indirectly, associated with the industry.
Some apres ski venues in the Austrian Alps, notably in Ischgl, Soelden and St Anton, were seen as being responsible for spreading the disease.
This week a class-action legal case was launched against the Austrian government, Legal action launched after Covid-19 cases in Austrian ski resorts.
Ski resorts in general have also been judged to be super-spreaders by EU health officials, Ski resorts contributed to wide spread of coronavirus.
The news is no great surprise and many had realsed that apres ski would not happen in its traditional form as we reported back in July:
This winter Covid-19 measures will be in place across the ski resorts in Austria.
Ski resort Measures:
- People must keep at least one metre apart at all times.
- Masks will be compulsory in cable cars and gondolas.
- Bars and restaurants will serve drink and food to seated customers only.
- Ski instructors as well as hotel, restaurant and lift staff will be regularly tested.
- Restaurants will be required to close at 1 am.
Here on PlanetSKI we have looked at the rules in several ski resorts and out on the slopes:
The country is famous for its Xmas Markets and they will be allowed to go ahead, but social distancing measures will need to be taken.
We reported from the Innsbruck Xmas Markets last December.
As with elsewhere in Europe Austria has seen a recent surge in cases with clusters in Tirol’s capital Innsbruck and the Vorarlberg region bordering Switzerland.
Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium are encouraging tourists to stay away from some parts of the country.
Anyone returning to the UK from Austria will need to go into quarantine for 14-days.