Ski Resort in Italy Shut to General Public

There are only a handful of glacier resorts open but the apparent breaches of Covid-19 rules in Cervinia as the pandemic spreads in Italy are being taken very seriously. It’s an indication of what things may be like next winter across the Alps. UPDATED

The spread of Covid-19 and flouting of rules is being taken seriously.

At the weekend images of long queues as Cervinia opened, that apparently breached social distancing, went viral.

Cervinia, Italy

Cervinia, Italy

The queues were on the opening Saturday and the resort said procedures were changed for Sunday.

“With a few small adjustments and further stimulating the online purchase of the skipass, even the outdoor queue of the ticket office has been practically zero”.

It also praised its staff.

“The weekend saw our area at the center of media attention, due to some images that have gone viral,” the resort added.

“We are sorry for what happened, especially for the fact that someone has doubted the professionalism of women and men who, in a difficult context and thanks to the precious collaboration of law enforcement, worked relentlessly to allow the winter season to open in absolute respect of the security protocols in force”.

It was too late, and Cervinia received an immediate political response with the resort closed as we reported on Sunday:

Cervinia Opens and the Closes After Crowded Scenes

The closure may be until November 24th.

Other resorts, including Val Senales, Passo Stelvio and Sulden am Ortler, are open and operating for the general public despite the nationwide ban.

We have just posted this related article wondering why:

Italian Government Orders Ski Resorts in Italy to Close but Some Stay Open

An Emergency Decree from the Italian Government “provides for the closure of the lifts pending the guidelines validated by the Technical and Scientific Committee”.

Professional skiers and racers are exempt and are allowed to train.

“Apart from national competitions, Italy’s ski facilities will remain closed. In November you will not go skiing in Italy,” said the Italian Minister of Sports, Vincenzo Spadafora.

The resorts themselves are not happy.

“The closure of the ski areas is a dramatic attack on the mountain regions,” said Luigi Bertschy, Vice President of the Aosta Valley Alpine region.

Negotiations are now ongoing to try to reopen the ski slopes.

“The new restrictions imposed by the government are a severe blow to tourism in the mountain areas. After a summer in which we were partially able to contain the losses of the first lockdown in spring, we now have to close again,” said Filippo Gerard, President of the Hoteliers Association in the Aosta Valley.

Our friends at the UK ski agent, Ski Solutions, have recently been in Cervinia to look at the measures in place.

But all of this matters not a jot.

Decisions are taken at government level, not resort level.

It is deemed, rightly or wrongly, the resort did not follow government rules.

This will be the same across all the Alps.

Ultimately the ski resorts have to follow the general rules laid down by central government.

We understand the gendarmes will be out in Tignes in France on Tuesday.

Checking if everyone is wearing a correct Covid-19 mask on all buses, ski lifts and in ski lift queues.

Ski buffs and simple face coverings are not acceptable.

The lift company, STGM, has been told that if people are not wearing masks and lift attendants are not enforcing it, the ski resort will be closed.

Tignes opened for skiing and snowboarding earlier in the month and they will not wish to be closed down.

France opens for skiing

Measures are being assessed & tested, with ground rules being laid down.

They will have implications for the season ahead.

Facemask in France

Facemask in France

The details of what happens will have significant implications for other resorts in Italy and other areas in the Alps will be watching closely.