Swiss Ski Lift Operator Sacked for Revealing Poor Coronavirus Compliance
21st January 2021
Last modified on May 13th, 2021
Marco Eberhard worked at the resort of Bergun in the canton of Graubunden. He was fired for breaking his relation of ‘loyalty’ to the company by speaking to the media about his concerns.
He spoke to Swiss media claiming skiers were acting as if the virus didn’t exist and saying ski resorts should close.
“There are huge queues in front of the lift, nobody keeps their distance and at most every third person wears a mask.
“What I am experiencing now makes me doubt humanity.
“The hygiene plans are only there to cultivate their image, so that the ski lifts can be left open.
“The ski areas must be closed.”
He had worked at the company for three winter seasons.
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On Thursday 21st January there were 2,205 new cases in Switzerland – slightly higher than the 7-day average of 2,042.
The Federal Office of Public Health said that there continues to be a slight decrease in the overall number of infections across Switzerland, but the “situation remains worrying”.
Mr Eberhard said he shut down the lift he worked on in Bergun and refused to restart it unless people followed the Covid-19 measures and wore a mask.
“All my requests were of no use. So I stopped the lift and said if you don’t put on masks now, I won’t let you up.
He said that “only then did it have an effect.”
The company he worked for, Bergün Sportbahnen, said he had “badly violated” his relationship of loyalty with the employer.
It says they would have taken his complaints seriously and investigated if he had made them to the company.
The village of Bergun is at the head of the Engadine Valley.
It has a handful of lifts and is well known for its sledging.
In nearby St Moritz, also in the Engadine Valley, 400 people from two hotels were put into quarantine earlier this week after 12 confirmed Covid-19 cases.
All 5,200 people in St Moritz have been ordered to wear masks and mass testing is now taking place.
Mr Eberhard also said restrictions in the village of Bergun were not followed with few people wearing masks.
A spokesperson for the tourist office said the situation in the town was being “managed well”.
“What happened in Wengen could just as well have happened in Bergün,” Mr Eberhard added to 20mins.ch.
In Wengen Covid-19 cases led to the cancellation of the Lauberhorn race last weekend after a British visitor tested positive and others caught the virus.
90 members of the army in Wengen were isolated and a further 170 personnel are awaiting tests results.
They are from the 2nd company of Rifle Battalion 14.
The soldiers were assisting with the World Cup race.