Tirol Unveils Plans For A Safe Winter

The huge Austrian ski region, which has some of the most famous resorts in Europe, has announced its plans to try to ensure skiers and snowboarders stay safe this coming season.

It is part of the Austrian government’s Package for Safe Winter Tourism.

There are a number of measures to protect against coronavirus which will affect cable cars, ski schools, après ski locations and restaurants.

The Austrian Tirol‘s 80 or so ski resorts include the likes of St Anton, Kitzbühel, Ischgl and  Sölden.

The Tirol also includes some fabulous small ski areas that are off the radar of most people, ones  that we thoroughly recommend.

Perhaps in these Covid-19 times it is a good opportunity to discover smaller, less crowded resorts.

Here are some of our favourites around Innsbruck that we have skied.

Avoiding the crowds in the Tirol

If you are hoping to head to one of the resorts in the Tirol this winter this is what you can expect.

Cable Cars 

Cable cars are subject to the same rules as public transport.

This means passengers and staff must wear face masks covering the nose and mouth, both at the ticket desks and when queuing for the lifts.

Cable car users must also maintain a distance of at least one metre to other passengers.

If necessary, the transport capacity of cable cars will be reduced in order to make social distancing possible.

In cases where it is impossible to maintain a minimum distance of one metre, exceptions can be made.

Enclosed ski lifts, such as gondolas, ski storage areas as well as top and bottom cable car stations with toilets will be disinfected several times a day using a nebuliser.

Many ski resorts have also said they will test their staff on a regular basis in order to minimise risk and react early if a case is detected.

A large number of ski resorts will be offering online lift passes this winter to avoid large numbers of people gathering at the ticket desks.

Ski Schools 

The Association of Austrian Ski Schools has developed a detailed safety plan. All groups must be no larger than 10 people, including the instructor.

Ski and snowboard instructors arriving in Austria from other countries must provide a negative coronavirus test.


Staff and guests must wear face masks covering the nose and mouth while indoors.  Masks can be removed when guests are seated.

Groups must be no larger than 10 people (not including children).

Measures have been taken to ensure plenty of space between groups.

Many restaurants will also ask guests to provide their personal details so they can be contacted if necessary.

Food and drink may only be consumed while seated – this also applies to outdoor areas and après-ski bars.

As a result, the classic type of après-ski will not be possible this winter.

Advent and Christmas Markets 

Advent and Christmas markets must develop a prevention and hygiene plan which makes it possible for visitors to maintain a minimum distance of one metre.

All stands serving food and drink must have enough space for social distancing.

Measures aimed at achieving this include leaving more space between individual stands and limiting the number of people allowed into the market at any one time.

The Tirol’s Christmas markets are famous and hugely popular.

We are regular visitors.

Me at Innsbruck Christmas Market 👍

PlanetSKI at a Christmas Market in Innsbruck, Tirol, December 2019. Image © PlanetSKI.

Regular Testing of Staff 

The Tirol authorities say that many of the measures planned for winter 2020/21 have already proved successful this summer.

A system is already in place which enables members of staff at hotels, restaurants, etc to undergo regular Covid-19 tests on a voluntary basis.

This scheme will be extended to include ski instructors, travel company staff and guides.

These tests are provided free of charge by the Austrian government in order to ensure a safe environment for both staff and guests.

At the same time, all guests, staff and other people involved in the tourism industry will be expected to behave responsibly and stick to the rules to ensure everyone can enjoy a relaxing and enjoyable winter in Tirol.

Check out the current measures and recommendations in place in Tirol to restrict the spread of Covid-19 here.