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Coronavirus Impact on Skiing & Snowboarding

The team at PlanetSKI is reporting all the news & developments as it affects the snowsports world in our ever-popular rolling blog. If you want to see its impact and the response of skiers & snowboarders then read on… UPDATED

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Sunday 14th February

Italian Government Orders Ski Resorts to Remain Closed

Some were due to open on Monday and others later this week.

Many resorts had spent huge amounts of time, money and effort after being told they could open.

They say they are ‘disappointed’.

On Sunday evening the health minister Roberto Speranza signed a measure prolonging the ban on recreational skiing at resorts until March 5th.

It follows concerns over the spread of variant viruses in recent days.

New data shows that the British variant of the coronavirus now represents, on average, 17.8% new infections in Italy.

“Concern about the spread of this and other variants of SARS-CoV-2 has led to similar measures being taken in France and Germany,” said the health ministry in a statement.

See here for our full story:

Bardonecchia, Piedmont, Italy

Bardonecchia, Piedmont, Italy

Many Swedes Ignore Advice on Wearing a Mask on Public Transport

Around two out of three commuters living in Sweden’s 10 largest cities are ignoring national guidelines to wear face masks during rush hour.

That’s according to a study by Swedish public service broadcaster SVT.

In January Sweden’s Public Health Agency began recommending them on public transport at peak travel times.

Anders Tegnell, the lead epidemiologist at Sweden’s Public Health Agency, told SVT he was disappointed with the level of compliance.

Masks are not recommended in any other public settings in Sweden.

However, a pandemic law, passed in January, has forced shops and sports facilities to limit numbers to ensure there is at least 10 square metres of space available per visitor.

This measure is applied to ski resorts that remain open across the country.

The number of cases of coronavirus is declining in Sweden.

It has seen many more deaths than its Scandinavian neighbours, Finland and Norway, that introduced strict measures at the early stages of the pandemic.

The total number of fatalities in Sweden which has a population of 10m is 12,428.

Norway and Finland have populations of around 5m, and have seen 492 and 710 deaths respectively.

Germany bans travel from the Tirol in Austria from Today

Only essential travel is permitted as the Tirol sees growing number of variant forms of the virus.

In the Tirol there are 300 cases of the South African variant and the Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has described the outbreak as “the biggest currently known of in the European Union”.

On Friday the state was isolated within Austria with only people with a negative test allowed to leave the state.

“They are unavoidable for a certain period of time to prevent the spread of dangerous virus variants,” said the Health Minister, Jens Spahn.

German has also imposed a travel ban with Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The infection rate has come down in Germany in recent weeks with the authorities saying  “corona measures are working”.

The national lockdown in Germany has been extended until 7 March.

Schools in some states will reopen this month and hairdressers can start work again on 1st March.

Austria border

Italy Extends Regional Travel Ban with Significant Impact on Ski Areas as they Prepare to Open

Resorts in Lombardy, the Aosta Valley & Veneto have said they are opening next week under strict conditions.

Trentino had hoped to open but has now been told it can’t.

Resorts in the Milky Way in Piedmont are expected to open next weekend.

The extent of openings hinges on regional travel restrictions that are now extended – the openings are likely to be curtailed as resorts will not have enough people visiting to make some openings economically viable.

Read more here in our updated report:

Bardonecchia, Piedmont, Italy

Bardonecchia, Piedmont, Italy

Saturday 13th February

Ryanair Launches Winter Routes

The ski destination airports of Turin, Milan, Salzburg and Barcelona are on offer.

The airline has unveiled its full winter 21/22 schedule with more than 700 routes and 20 million seats available to book.

The schedule starts in October, but it remains to be seen what travel restrictions may be in place due to coronavirus.

“While we believe the successful roll-out of the vaccine will see Europeans enjoying their favourite spots this summer, Ryanair wants to give customers further choice and something to look forward to,” said Ryanair’s Director of Marketing, Dara Brady.

Fares of £29.99 are available for bookings made before midnight on Sunday.

Ryanair

Ryanair

“Long Way to go between now and Next Winter”

That’s according to Professor Steven Riley who is a member of the Spi-M modelling group.

He was interviewed this morning on Radio 4’s Today programme.

He argued that the roll-out of vaccines should not mean dropping of coronavirus controls.

Some believe that Covid will have to be treated like fly, where an annual number of deaths is viewed as unavoidable.

“I am not sure that Covid settles down to look like flu quite so quickly. I think there is quite a long way to go between now and next winter.

“We are certainly going to be in the situation where we can allow more infection in the community, but there is a limit.

“We need to see how low we can get the prevalence of the virus in the community as we exit the summer.”

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

Italian Ski Area Told it Cannot Open as It Moves up to ‘Orange Zone’

“Planning seems impossible in times like these,” said the area of Trentino as it heard the news.

“Unfortunately, we have just received the unexpected news that from Monday, 15 February, Trentino will be classified as an orange zone and will follow new rules to ensure everyone’s safety.

“So unfortunately, the ski areas cannot open as we all had hoped. We are very sorry for all those who has started to get ready for the planned opening.

“We definitely hope that the ski areas in Veneto will be able to open! We’ll keep you posted! Stay tuned!”

See here for our full report on ski resorts opening in Italy next week:

Trentino, Italy

Trentino, Italy

Friday 12th February

Alps & Pyreness May be Off the Cards This Summer but There’s Always the Highlands

Professor Linda Bauld from the University of Edinburgh said while holidays abroad will be “off the cards for a while”, she is hopeful people will be able to take breaks in their home country.

She was speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme.

“I think if we continue to make progress we will be able to holiday – not abroad, I think because of quarantine unfortunately foreign travel is going to be off the cards for a while – but travelling around more domestically.”

For those in Scotland it looks being the favoured option, and for those people elsewhere in the UK lets hope conditions allow the borders to be open.

Scotland currently has huge amounts of snow and skiing can go on into may and June.

Just sayin’…..

Scotland from space c/o NASA

Scotland from space c/o NASA

Ski Resorts Reopen in Poland

The country is allowing its resorts to open with coronavirus restrictions in place.

Hotels, cinemas and theatres are also allowed to start up again at 50% capacity.

Authorities in Poland allowed museums and shopping centres to open on 1st February.

The relaxations in ski resorts will be assessed over the next two weeks.

Earlier this month some ski resorts of the Tatra mountains in northern Poland reopened as part of an anti-lockdown protest.

Poland has 95 new cases of coronavirus per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period.

Zakopane, Poland

Zakopane, Poland

Aosta Valley in Italy is Latest Area to Announce Possible Opening of Ski Resorts Next Week

The regional Government in the Vallee d’Aosta has announced the opening of the some ski resorts on Thursday 18th February.

There will be a limit of 30,000 people per day.

The maximum limit is 42,000 people set by the safety protocols in the region.

Online booking will be compulsory also for those who have a seasonal pass.

“The aim is to open in complete safety even if we don’t know yet which resorts will open, probably only the biggest,” the area said in a statement to PlanetSKI on Friday 12th.

“Much will depend also on the new rules concerning the mobility among the regions.”

Regional travel is mainly banned until 15th February and we understand at PlanetSKI that the indications are than this ban will continue at least until the end of February.

See here for our full and updated story on the other resorts opening or planning to:

The Aosta Valley, Italy

The Aosta Valley, Italy

Tirol Placed Into Quarantine Today

The Federal government has declared the Austrian state a ‘restricted’ zone over worries about the spread of variant coronavirus.

We reported on the announcement earlier in the week:

From Friday February 12th no-one will be allowed to leave the Tirol and head to another part of the country without a negative test.

The measure will be in place for 10-days in the first instance.

The police will monitor the situation in what has been described as “one of the largest police operations in recent years”.

The armed forces have been deployed to control federal and state highways as well as Innsbruck Airport and the railway lines.

Since the announcement Germany has now closed its border with the Tirol.

The Tirol has more than 400 cases of the South African variant that appears to be more infectious and more resistant to current vaccines.

Most new cases are in the Schwaz area.

“We must do everything we can to prevent the spread of this variant, if that does not succeed, the spread must be slowed down,” said the Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz.

“If the variants spread quickly, it would cost many lives and the path to normality would be further delayed.

“Therefore, Tirol is initially declared a restricted area for ten days.”

Kitzbuhel, Tirol, Austria

Kitzbuhel, Tirol, Austria

GB Takes Gold in Covid-19 Times

“This win means even more after the really difficult year we have all had. This medal is for all of GB,” said Charlotte Bankes as she won the Snowboard Cross World Championships by the smallest of margins.

Charlotte Bankes

Charlotte Bankes

“It has been a particularly tough period because of cancelled events due to COVID-19, but despite this, Charlotte’s resilience, spirit, dedication, and hard work has clearly paid off,”  said the GB Snowsport CEO, Vicky Gosling.

“It is an incredible result for Charlotte, and I want to give credit to the wider GB Snowsport team who are working hard behind the scenes to help make sure our athletes can compete at the highest level.”

See here for our full report on GB’s new golden girl.

Top of the podium

Top of the podium, top of the world

Thursday 11th February

Germany Closes its Border with the Tirol

The German government is to impose a ban on travel from and the Austrian region of Tirol.

“The states of Bavaria and Saxony today asked the government to class Tirol and the border regions of the Czech Republic as virus mutation areas, and to implement border controls,”  said the Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, to the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

On Friday the Tirol goes into quarantine in Austria with people not allowed to leave the state without a negative test.

He said the border controls, which have been approved by Chancellor Angela Merkel, will come into force on Sunday.

In January Germany banned most travellers from countries with the highest numbers of new, more contagious coronavirus variants.

There are some exceptions including returning nationals and essential workers.

The UK is subject to such a travel ban.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

Ski Resorts in Italy Prepare to Open

Lombardy is the first area to confirm its ski resorts are opening on Monday 15th February.

Other areas are considering their position and we expect announcements shortly.

Last week the Technical Scientific Committee, CTS, of Italy said resorts in so-called ‘Yellow Zones’ could open.

Most of the main ski resorts are in in the yellow zones – Lombardy (Livigno, Bormio), Piedmont (Sestrierre, Sauze d’Oulx) , Trento (Madonna di Campiglio, Canazei), Valle d’Aosta (Cervinia, Courmayeur) and Veneto (Cortina, Arabba).

The resorts in the Sud Tirol in the Dolomites (Alta Badia, Val Gardena) are unable to open as they are in ‘Orange Zones’ with a higher number of cases of coronavirus and there are growing concerns about the spread of variant viruses.

Ski resorts in Lombardy, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe last February, are set to open next Monday but under strict conditions.

In Lombardy, the daily number of skiers will be limited to no more than 30% of the hourly capacity of the ski lifts.

The resorts will be under the general yellow zone restrictions.

See here for our full story:

Livigno, Italy

Livigno, Lombardy, Italy

Courchevel Opens a 2km Blue Slope

The resort in the mighty 3Valleys ski area normally has 600km of slopes on offer, served by 173 lifts.

It is the largest linked ski area in the world.

Now it has no lifts running, but it does have one slope.

The resort has groomed the slope, marked it and made sure it is safe.

People can reach the top by car.

Courchevel slope

Courchevel slope

The resort says it is not so much getting round the coronavirus rules where ski lifts are not allowed to run in Frances, but simply offering another winter activity over the holiday period.

No lifts are running and they are not offering a bus service to the start near the altiport.

The resort has a Covid-19 test centre and requires people to stick to social distancing plus all other rules.

Some restaurants by the slope will be open, but for takeaways only.

The slope is open from 9am to 4.40pm until Sunday 7th March.

Wednesday 10th February

Aspen to Host 2021 Freeski and Snowboard World Championships

The World Championships, held every other year, were originally scheduled for February 18-28 in China.

They were to be used as a test event for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

But the International Ski Federation cancelled all Olympic test events in China this season because of the pandemic.

At one point it seemed that Calgary in Canada, which hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics, would step in but the city backed out late last month.

Aspen in Colorado has stepped froward and an official announcement is expected shortly.

The event will see slopestyle, halfpipe and big air contests for men’s and women’s skiing and snowboarding.

Aspen recently hosted a successful X Games with strict coronavirus restrictions in place.

X Games was hosted in a “bubble” without fans and with daily COVID-19 testing for anyone cleared to compete or work at the event.

Only 500 people were cleared to be inside the X Games venue.

A similar situation is expected to be in force for the World Championships in March.

X Games success

X Games success

Switzerland Urged to Step Up Efforts to Fight Rising Cases of Covid-19 variants

The plea comes from the head of the government’s Covid-19 taskforce.

The overall number of infections continues to fall slowly – the seven-day average was down by 13% compared to a week ago.

But new coronavirus variants, which are around 50% more contagious, pose a real risk of a third wave of infections in Switzerland according to Martin Ackermann, the head of the government’s Covid-19 taskforce.

4,411 cases of the mutated coronavirus variants have been discovered in Switzerland , around 60% more than a week ago.

Switzerland has identified the first case of a Brazilian variant, which also appears to spread more swiftly than others.

The British variant, known as B117, has doubled every ten days and now represents around 20% of the current active caseload in Switzerland.

In view of the potential for an exponential increase in new variants in March, “we must increase our efforts rather than reduce them”

“We are dealing with two types of viruses that are following opposite trends,” he said.

On the one hand, there are the “old” dominant variants that are declining, and on the other, the new variants that Switzerland has been unable to contain so far.

Mass testing is continuing at three ski resorts in the canton of Vaud this week.

Mass testing underway in three Swiss ski resorts

Leysin, Vaud, Switzerland

Leysin, Vaud, Switzerland

Mont Blanc Skyway Cable Car in Courmayeur Opens on Thursday

It is for the ride, the views and lunch.

It has been closed for many months, but now Covid-19 restrictions are being eased in Italy.

Ski resorts in most areas are set to re-open on Monday 15th February.

They will likely be for locals only and there will be restrictions.

To ride the Skyway to 3,466m reservations must be made in advance, strict social distancing will be in force and surgical level masks must be worn.

The restaurant at the top will be open for dining with orders taken online.

We reported on the opening of Skyway back in 2015.

Skyway back in action

Skyway back in action

Tuesday 9th February

Tough New Travel Restrictions Into England, Wales & Scotland

Going on holiday is currently illegal so there will be no immediate impact for skiers and snowboarders.

Plus the main ski nations are not on England’s ‘Red List’.

Though anyone thinking of heading to Chile and Argentina this summer to ski will need to watch the situation as both South American countries are on the list.

There are concerns that more countries will go on the red list as the numbers of mutations grows.

Announcing tougher border measures in England to tackle new variants of the coronavirus, Health Secretary Matt Hancock says the rules aim to “secure the nation” against mutations:

  • UK and Irish residents arriving into England from “red list” countries must book a place in hotel quarantine before travelling.
  • They will be charged fees – equivalent to £1,750 for an individual travelling alone – which includes 10-days accommodation, testing and transport.
  • Sixteen hotels with 4,600 rooms have been secured around a small number of ports and airports in England.
  • All other international arrivals must book two PCR tests ahead of travel to take during their quarantine at home.
  • A new regime of penalties will toughen enforcement: Up to £2,000 fines for failing to take a booked test, up to £10,000 for avoiding hotel quarantine; and up to 10 years in prison for lying on passenger locator forms.
Cerro Catedral, Argentina

Cerro Catedral, Argentina

Scottish Situation

In Scotland all international arrivals, not just those from red list countries, will be required to go into hotel quarantine.

The Scottish government is also limiting overseas training for elite athletes to only sportsmen and women and coaches preparing for the Olympics and Paralympics.

It is under a year to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

One Year to Go – Beijing 2020

GB Skiers and Snowboarders Hoping to Shine at Beijing 2022

Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson insisted the “stronger approach” Scotland was taking to international quarantine was “necessary and proportionate”

Scots arriving via England from “red list” countries will be required to complete their mandatory hotel quarantine there before returning home north of the border.

Michael Matheson said he would continue to press the UK government to adopt a “more comprehensive approach and require all arrivals to go into quarantine hotels”.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

TUI Makes Optimistic Noises for Tourism

The Travel company that owns Crystal Ski Holidays has said it expects to run 80% of its normal capacity for this summer.

2.8m customers have already booked a holiday, however that remains 44% down compared with last year.

“Demand remains strong, people want to travel – this is shown by the already good number of bookings for the summer,” said the CEO of Tui, Fritz Joussen.

The company wants to take advantage of the millions of consumers desperate to go on holiday as soon as the restrictions are eased.

Analysts say there should be a similar market sentiment for skiing next winter once coronavirus has been brought under control.

Crystal Ski Holidays

Crystal Ski Holidays

Tirol Placed Under Quarantine

The Federal government has declared the Austrian state a ‘restricted’ zone over worries about the spread of variant coronavirus.

The government and the state have been locked in talks over the past few days with the Tirol resisting such a move.

From Friday February 12th no-one will be allowed to leave the Tirol and head to another part of the country without a negative test.

The measure will be in pace for 10-days in the first instance.

The police will monitor the situation in what has been described as “one of the largest police operations in recent years”.

The armed forces have been deployed to control federal and state highways as well as Innsbruck Airport and the railway lines.

The border with Germany will also be patrolled.

The Tirol has more than 400 cases of the South African variant that appears to be more infectious and more resistant to current vaccines.

Most new cases are in the Schwaz area.

The respected virologist, Dorothee von Laer, says the Tirol is now considered a European hotspot for the South African mutant of the coronavirus (B.1.351).

“For almost a year now, we have been challenged to fight the pandemic. It has become more difficult and more diffuse in the last few weeks,” said the Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz

“We must do everything we can to prevent the spread of this variant, if that does not succeed, the spread must be slowed down.

“If the variants spread quickly, it would cost many lives and the path to normality would be further delayed.

“Therefore, Tirol is initially declared a restricted area for ten days.”

Read the full story here:

Tirol Placed Under Quarantine

Kitzbuhel, Tirol, Austria

Kitzbuhel, Tirol, Austria

British Alpine Children’s Championships Cancelled due to Covid-19

The event was due to be held in Tignes, France between April 5th – April 9th, 2021.

Following weeks of continued monitoring of the global pandemic, the GB Snowsport Board has made the decision to cancel the event.

With current Government UK Guidelines stating that only elite athletes can travel, GB Snowsport is awaiting further clarification from officials, before making a decision on the FIS British Alpine Championships due to take place in Tignes between March 28th – April 4th.

“We acknowledge that it is enormously disappointing that we’ve had to cancel the British Children’s Championships for a second year, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said the Chief Executive Officer of GB Snowsport, Vicky Gosling OBE.

“We take the safety and well-being of all children, officials and spectators extremely seriously, which is why we had to make this difficult, but necessary decision.

“I want to personally thank Tignes for their continued partnership, and we look forward to returning in 2022.”

British Alpine Children's Championships

British Alpine Children’s Championships

GB Ski Company Looks to the Future Despite Covid-19

The Tech start-up Maison Sport has launched a crowdfunding campaign in a bid to raise £400,000 as part of a larger £1.4M financing drive.

It wants to go global.

The company connects skiers and snowboarders with independent instructors, challenging the existing system of ski schools.

Maison Sport was created to connect people with the best independent and passionate ski/snowboard instructors

  • Reducing costs to the customer and improving the learning experience.
  • Providing a more profitable practice for instructors, affording them more control over their earnings and teaching schedules.

It saw an antiquated way of booking lessons and spotted an opportunity to solve a problem for customers and ski instructors – using a technology platform to connect the two parties together directly.

Maison Sport offers reduced costs to the customer of as much as 50%, plus provides a more ethical and profitable practice for the instructors, who keep up 93% of the cost of the lessons.

One of Maison Sport’s key selling points is its unique instructor reviews, only left by past customers, which enable new customers to make informed decisions about their lessons.

Read more here:

Maison Sport

Maison Sport

Sign of the Times

Sign of the Covid-19 times

Sign of the Covid-19 times

UK Operator says skiing ‘highly unlikely’ this season, but plans to increase capacity next winter

Hotelplan UK, which owns Inghams, Ski Total, Esprit and Flexiski, is looking to offer more holidays in 2021-22 with bookings already 100% up on the same time last year.

In an interview with PlanetSKI the MD has accepted it is ‘extremely unlikely’ there’ll be any ski trips this season.

“If we can get people away skiing we will, and me and part of my team will be the first people on the planes. But if I was a betting man I’d say it’s looking extremely unlikely at this point,” he tells us.

It is the first time a major ski operator has admitted in public what most of us know to be true already – this season is a write-off.

Joe Ponte, Hotelplan UK

Joe Ponte, Hotelplan UK

And looking ahead to the season of 2021/22?

“We’re looking at ways to increase the capacity that we had planned for…. starting with flights where we can get seats and then looking at the destinations and the resorts that have proved the most popular so far, particularly on those key dates, just to make sure that we’ve got as much of an opportunity to fulfil the demand that we’re starting to see come through.”

See here for our full interview with Joe Ponte as we look beyond the pandemic:

UK Operator says skiing ‘highly unlikely’ this season but plans to increase capacity next winter

Inghams 2020/21 campaign

Inghams In Safe Hands campaign

Monday 8th February

Lockdown Fines After Mountain Rescuer Injured in England

Two people camping have been fined for breaching lockdown after a mountain rescue volunteer in the Lake District was seriously injured in a fall while going to their aid.

The 60-year old volunteer fell 150m while responding to reports of one of the campers suffering chest pains in the Lake District in the early hours of Saturday.

Patterdale Mountain Rescue said he suffered “significant injuries” and is in a serious condition in hospital.

Cumbria Police fined each camper £200.

The force said one man from Liverpool and another from Leicester were camping in breach of coronavirus rules near Kirkstone Pass.

Yesterday The Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association thanks people for obeying the coronavirus regulation as we reported lower down this rolling blog.

The Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association

The Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association

Austria Eases Coronavirus Lockdown Measures

It comes as the Tirol and the Federal Government are locked in discussions about separate measures for the Tirol (see below).

Schools across Austria have reopened, with pupils receiving regular antigen tests.

Non-essential shops, museums and zoos have also opened again, with limits on the numbers of customers.

Hairdressers and beauticians are now open for business, but people will have to show negative Covid tests before they can get their hair cut or have their nails manicured.

FFP2 masks are mandatory in shops and confined public spaces.

Restaurants and hotels remain closed.

It comes despite stubbornly high infection rates and the appearance of more infectious strains of the virus.

Announcing the easing of restrictions last week the Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, said the safest course of action would be to stay in lockdown.

But he said children needed to go back to school, and unemployment needed to be curbed.

We reported on it at the time:

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

Tirol Fights Plans for Provincewide Quarantine

It is in discussions with the Austria Federal government as fears of variant coronavirus rise.

A decision was to have been made on Sunday, with no decision so far today as the debate continues.
An announcement is now expected on Tuesday.

Austrian media reports that people living in the Tirol may only be allowed to travel to other federal states in Austria in exceptional cases – to work or in the event of illness.

There are also plans by the Tirol to stop people visiting second homes or ski apartments/chalets in the mountains.

It wants to ask people to avoid unnecessary trips.

It says cable car trips in ski resorts should only be allowed only with a negative PCR test result.

It wants comprehensive PCR tests to be introduced in areas with a high seven-day incidence.

See here for our full and updated story:

Kitzbuhel, Tirol, Austria

Kitzbuhel, Tirol, Austria

Decision on Whether to Quarantine the Tirol Delayed

With cases rising the issue was examined over the weekend and a decision was promised for Sunday.

That has now been delayed until at least Monday as the data is studied and the discussions continue.

We reported on the issue on Friday:

It could have significant impact on the ski areas that are currently open to locals only

One measure being speculated upon in the media is whether the provincial border should be closed for all but essential reasons.

This would mean people from the Tirol cannot visit other states, and visitors will be barred.

“The governor’s office is neither aware of such plans, nor are they coordinated,” said a statement from the official of the governor, Günther Platter.

The governor is against the Tirol being isolated or treated substantially different from the rest of Austria.

It is understood he believes cases will come down and more testing should be done.

Here at PlanetSKI we’ll keep you posted.

Jochberg, Tirol, Austria

Jochberg, Tirol, Austria

Mass Testing Continues at three Swiss Ski Resorts

Villars, Les Diablerets and Leysin in the Vaud canton are offering free testing to anyone over 12-years old including non-residents.

It comes as the February holidays approach.

The test began in Villars on Friday and in the first 400 tests four people were positive for coronavirus.

The authorities say one of the aims is to “save the ski season”.

Today, Monday 8th, the testing centre moves on to Les Diablerets for three days before heading to Leysin on Thursday.

Leysin, Vaud, Switzerland

Leysin, Vaud, Switzerland

The test center teams are made up of around 37 people from Civil Protection and specialists from the tracing center.

840 people per day can be tested and no appointment is necessary.

The results will be sent by text message approximately 15 minutes after the test.

“By quickly identifying people who test positive, even if they are asymptomatic, the tracing teams will be able to order them to self-isolate and quarantine to break the virus’s chain of transmission,” said a statement from the Vaud canton.

Elsewhere in Switzerland in the canton of Zug around 500 people took to the streets over the weekend to protect against Covid-19 restrictions.

Many wore protective suits.

“Wearing a mask is modern slavery,” said one placard.

A woman told reporters she was there for the next generation.

“I’m a grandmother,” she told the news agency. “I don’t want my grandchildren to grow up in a world where so much is forbidden.”

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 530,000 Swiss have been infected and almost 9,000 have died.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

 

Austria to Trial Free Covid Test as Pharmacies from Today

A number of Austrian pharmacies will provide free antigen rapid tests from Monday as part of a pilot scheme.

The test results can be used by customers of hairdressers and other services which open on Monday and require negative tests.

We reported on the easing of some restrictions in this earlier article.

Around 20% of Austrian pharmacies already offer paid-for rapid tests.

In the future it is hoped these will available free of charge, subject to registration.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

Here are our earlier rolling coronavirus blogs if you want to look back at all the relevant developments over the past months as we have reported its impact.

We have updated daily since the pandemic began.

All you need to know about the pandemic and its impact on the world of snowsports:

February 1st: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

January 25th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

January 18th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

January 11th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

January 4th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

December 28th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

December 21st: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

December 14th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

December 6th : Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

November 30th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

November 23rd: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

November 16th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

November 9th: Cornoavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

November 2nd: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

October 26th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

October 18th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

October 11th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

October 4th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

September 27th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

September 20th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

September 13th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

September 6th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

August 30th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

August 23rd: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

August 16th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

August 9th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

August 2nd: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

July 26th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

July 19th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

July 12th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

July 5th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

June 28th: Coroanvirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

June 21st: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

June 14th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

June 7th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

May 31st: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

May 24th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

May 17th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

May 10th: Coronavirus impact on snowsports

May 3rd: The coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

April 26th: Covid-19 impact on skiing & snowboarding continues

April 18th: Coronavirus impact on skiiing and snowboarding continues

April 12th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

April 5th: Coronavirus impact on snowsports

March 29th: Our rolling blog on the impact of Covid-19 continues

March 23rd: PlanetSKI’s rolling blog on the coronavirus impact on skiing continues

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

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