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Italy Ski Resorts Set to Open Next month with Limits on Lift Capacity

A decree has been signed looking forward to ski resorts operating from 15th October with an 80% capacity in cable cars and gondolas. Other rules will also be in place. It is the first ski nation to give a clear indication of what things may look like next season.

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The ‘Protocol for the reopening of ski areas and for the use of ski lifts’ was signed on  Thursday 23rd September, in Milan.

The signitaries were the Italian Winter Sports Federation (Fisi), the National Association of Cable Car Operators (Anef),  Federfuni, the Masters Association Italian Skis (Amsi) and the National College of Masters (Colnaz).

Skiers and snowboarders will need a Green Pass to access resort facilities, unless they are under 12.

All the workers in the ski resorts will need to be vaccinated, as we reported earlier on PlanetSKI.

The sale of online ski passes will be encouraged in order to stop crowded queues for lift tickets developing.

Pila, Aosta Valley, Italy

Pila, Aosta Valley, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Ticket offices must be equipped with protective screens or physical separators between operators and customers, and people will be encouraged to pay with a card rather than cash.

All staff must wear a surgical mask or one that offers higher protection.

Skiers and snowboarders must also wear a mask in communal areas and on the ski lifts.

Chairlifts can run at full capacity, but they will need to be at 80% capacity if a weather hood is pulled down.

Cable cars and gondolas will operate at 80%, and when moving the windows must be kept open for ventilation.

Torgnon, Aosta Valley, Italy

Torgnon, Aosta Valley, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

The protocol says that within ski areas “routes must be created that ensure interpersonal distancing of at least one meter”.

Staff will be on hand to ensure the rules are obeyed and to regulate the flow of people, to reduce gatherings and the opportunities for contact.

There will be multilingual information signs and posters across the resorts and ski areas.

Pila, Italy

Pila, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Businesses in the resort of Livigno have already reacted to the news.

“Bookings to Livigno for next winter are already robust, thanks to the EU Green Pass and the easing of travel restrictions for UK arrivals and today’s good news is exactly what the Italian ski travel industry has been waiting for,” said Lino Galli, the Owner of  Ski-Livigno.com, to PlanetSKI.

The glacier resort of Val Senales is the only Italian ski area open at present.

Others will be opening in October and November, with the bulk of resorts firing up their lifts in December.

PlanetSKI is planning to be in Cervinia in the Aosta Valley at the beginning of December to report back on what post-pandemic skiing is like, and then if circumstances & conditions allow will be based in Aosta from January 2022.

Torgnon, Aosta Valley, Italy

Torgnon, Aosta Valley, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

We lived in the city in the winter of 2019/2020 as the pandemic took hold and left ahead of all the ski resorts closing across the Alps as it was patently obvious what was coming.

The Italian authorities will be wishing to avoid the chaotic scenes from early last season when resorts open with long queues and some disobeying the rules.

The ski resorts in Italy were closed to most people for the majority of the season and it had a severe impact on the resorts.

“If there wasn’t to be a ski season next winter, I am reliably informed that many ski resorts would permanently close,” one local said to us this morning as he reacted to the news.

Hopefully next winter it will be a very different story.

We’ll keep you posted…

Crevacol, Aosta Valley, Italy

Crevacol, Aosta Valley, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

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