Austria Ski Resorts Open for Locals Only

It comes ahead of a third national lockdown on December 26th.  Details of the new restrictions and the path forward have been released, but the lucky locals are on the slopes. UPDATED

Stubai in the Tirol is one of the resorts that has opened.

“Just like you, we are happy that our slopes are finally used again for what they were created for   – namely for skiing and snowboarding,” said the resort.

“Wearing FFP2 masks is mandatory in closed pending areas as well as during transport in gondolas and chairlifts with covers.”

And here’s Soelden:

It’s season’s greetings from Obergurgl.

Ski resorts across Austria have opened on December 24th as we reported earlier, Austria allows skiing at Xmas, but only just and not for many.

“From December 24th, individual sports outdoors such as skiing will be possible again so that the Austrian population has the chance to engage in sporting activity over the holidays,” said the Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz.

Then last week the Chancellor Kurz order a full national lockdown two days later on December 26th as covid-19 continues to spread.

It was unclear exactly how this might affect skiing and snowboarding.

Ski resort can stay open, but they will be for locals only and strict regulations will be in place.

“There are additional, extensive minimum requirements, such as the mandatory wearing of FFP2 masks in cable cars and capacity restrictions for gondolas,” said the Austrian government in its now published rules.

Outdoor sports such as cross-country skiing and ice skating are allowed.

The authorities add that “outdoor exercise is strongly recommended”.

From December 26th people are only allowed to leave their own living area for the following reasons: work/training, covering basic needs, helping others, and outdoor sports/recreation.

The ski resorts will look very different though with hotels, restaurants, bars, ski schools, rental shops and many other facilities shut.

It was hoped they would reopen on January 7th, but this will not happen.

“From December 26th trade and body-close service providers must close again until at least January 18th 2021,” said the government.

Then mass testing is due to take place.

“On the weekend before January 18th there will be mass tests. For all those who do not take part in the tests, the lockdown rules apply until January 24th”

From January 18th, weekly tests will also take place for certain specific professions.

From January 18th “Tourism and holidays in Austria should also be possible” said the new rules with a negative test for covid-19 required.

Innsbruck airport

Innsbruck airport.  Photo Credit, PlanetSKI

Since December 19th there has been a 10-day quarantine requirement in place, when entering Austria from risk areas.

All countries with a 14-day incidence per 100,000 inhabitants above 100 are considered as risk areas.

The UK is therefore considered a risk area with a 14-day number of 348.

Ending the of quarantine earlier is possible after five days of quarantine providing a negative PCR or antigen test at your own expense

From December 22nd, 2020 to January 1st, 2021 Austria has imposed a landing ban for all flights from the UK due to the outbreak of the variant virus.

And then there is the small matter of the ending of the transition period of the UK leaving the EU.

On January 1st UK citizens will not be in the EU and the UK is not a member of Schengen.

Europe has closed its borders to all nations that are not members of the two organisations unless they have low cases of Covid-19 – such as Australia, Finland, Ireland, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Uruguay and the Vatican.

New rules may come into force if the UK leaves the EU with a deal, but a no-deal is expected to mean a ban on travel to Europe.