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Cervinia Opens then Closes After Alleged Crowded Scenes

The Italian resort opened for autumn skiing on Saturday 24th October. Then on Sunday it announced it was closing temporarily after an Emergency Decree from the Italian government. Some claim crowded scenes at the resort are to blame. UPDATED

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A brief statement on the resort’s web site informed people of the news on Sunday afternoon.

Cervinia, Italy

Cervinia, Italy

“Lift system temporarily closed as per decree issued on 25th October,” it said in the latest news section on its web site.

It went on to say “Awaiting for the news. We will keep the web site updated”.

The resort then updated its information following an Emergency Decree from the Italian Government.

“It provides for the closure of the lifts pending the guidelines validated by the Technical and Scientific Committee.

“We hope it will happen soon and reopen soon, in compliance with the new rules. We will keep you posted,” said Cervinia.

The new decree says that only professional ski racers and snowboarder competitors can use the ski lifts.

But it appears this is not a long-term closure for recreational skiers and snowboarders.

The resorts can open to them once specific guidelines are adopted and validated by the Technical-Scientific Committee.

Here at PlanetSKI we will be looking at the details and updating this article when the exact measures are clearer and what has prompted them.

Photographs posted on social media showed long queues outside the main lift/ticket office on Saturday.

They appeared to show people crowded too close together and ignoring social distancing requirements.

The photographs went viral.

Cervinia, Italy

Cervinia, Italy

Cervinia, Italy

Cervinia, Italy

It appears the images may have encouraged the government to close ski areas in its latest decree.

The resort responded by saying that the people were queuing outside to avoid being inside the building and that people were wearing masks and social distancing.

It had advised people to purchase their lift tickets online.

Cervinia said the photographs misrepresented the situation and that resort officials with the police were on hand and monitoring the situation.

The resort is now examining its protocols and measures.

If a photograph is shot from a distance and the lens is zoomed in, then it is easy to make an image seem far busier than the reality is, but the images do not look good.

The resort claims it undertook extensive safety measures ahead of the opening.

We previewed the opening of Cervinia this weekend in this earlier article on PlanetSKI.

Cervinia opens this weekend

On Saturday more than 2,000 people turned out to make their first turns since the resort was shut last March as all the resorts in the Aosta Valley were closed as the pandemic spread.

Social distancing measures were observed inside the main ticket hall.

Cervinia, Italy

Cervinia, Italy

Up on the slopes people enjoyed some great opening conditions on Saturday, and there are no reports of rules being broken up on the slopes.

Cervinia, Italy

Cervinia, Italy

Cervinia, Italy

Cervinia, Italy

Cervinia, Italy

Cervinia, Italy

Cervinia, Italy

Cervinia, Italy

Two other Italian ski areas are currently open, Val Senales and Passo Stelvio.

On Sunday skiing was continuing at Val Senales.

Val Senales, Italy

Val Senales, Italy

On Sunday the Emergency Decree was issued by Prime Minister Conte.

It is the third Emergency Decree issued in the past two weeks and covered various rules across the country.

Cinemas, swimming pools and gyms are shut from Monday.

Bars and restaurants will have to close by 18:00, but shops and the majority of businesses can  remain open.

“The activities of games rooms, betting shops, bingo halls and casinos are suspended. Shows open to the public in theatres, concert halls, cinemas and other open spaces are also suspended”, the latest decree stated.

Italy’s measures were agreed between Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and regional leaders.

“We think that we will suffer a bit this month but by gritting our teeth with these restrictions, we’ll be able to breathe again in December,” Mr Conte said at a news conference on Sunday.

The prime minister has said he does not want to repeat the national lockdown imposed in the spring.

The resorts admits that one concern is the fact that any injuries on the slopes will mean people will have to be treated in hospital and this could impact on dealing with any rise of covid-19 patients

Here at PlanetSKI we’ll keep you posted and will be updating this story as soon as we have more details on the ‘temporary’ closure of Cervinia.

On Saturday Italy recorded a further 19,644 new infections and 151 deaths.

Update:

There has been swift reaction to the closure of the resort on Cervinia’s Facebook page.

Some are critical of the resort:

Roberta Olivati: You have made a terrible impression!! And damaged the industry!

Nicola Mancini: If ski lifts have been included in the new DPCM it’s thanks to you! You made a big mess, you shouldn’t have been unprepared… too bad.

Massimo Latini:I still disagree with what the government has issued, but I think that the example given yesterday to Cervinia was not the best!!

Stefano Corazzari: I love winter sports but yesterday’s images certainly don’t show you respect for the health of the clients that give you a living but only the will to cash in.

Others were supportive of the resort:

Chantal Brocco: I was there today, everything was perfect, at best limiting the capacity of the great cable car for plateau rosà, but still with the mask worn by everyone, it seemed like everything in compliance with the rules, I hope you can reopen soon

Marco Buoni: Today I was there and from the point of view protocols. I’ve never felt safer no queues at the ticket office no queues at the implants all wearing a mask and clean mountain air.

Paola Baccalini: We came to ski today in your beautiful location and experienced a very high respect for all safety standards. We thank you for your constant work and hope to be back soon!

Mirko Valenti: Today I came skiing there and there was nothing out of place everyone respected the regulations against covid people rather than writing shit about Cervinia who would inform themselves. Thanks to the staff. Today I had fun safely hope I can come next Sunday too.

And our readers have also reacted on the  PlanetSKI Facebook page:

Facebook reaction

Facebook reaction

Meanwhile our friends over at the UK ski agent, Ski Solutions, were recently in Cervinia looking at what the Covid-19 protocols would be like for winter:

Do check back later for further updates…

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