This was going to be European skiing big comeback season, but things are not off to a good start. What started initially as a partial lockdown for the unvaccinated has become a full-scale lockdown for everybody. According to The New York Times, the lockdown started yesterday and will continue for the next nineteen days. The lockdown only allows citizens to leave home for essential reasons, like hospital visits, shopping, and working out. This means that most of Austria’s ski resort industry is shut down for the next couple of weeks, including the lifts, shops, restaurants, and hotels. The vaccination rate in the country is around 66% percent, among the lowest in the European Union. Case rates are the highest they’ve ever been, making the country in the European Union lockdown this fall. A vaccine mandate has been announced and will be implemented on February 1st. This will likely apply to riding lifts and visiting ski resorts. This comes as various countries in Europe, such as France and Switzerland, have gotten their seasons started.
This is a gut punch for Austria’s ski industry. According to PlanetSki, various resorts like “Hintertux, Stubai, Piztal, Kaunertal, Kitzsteinhorn and Moltal“ were already open, and had to shut down on Monday. St. Anton was expected to open in a couple of weeks, but that has been delayed. Posts from the various Austrian ski resorts detailing their affected operations are below.
UPDATE: Ski resorts are allowed to operate during this lockdown period, but only offer limited services for locals. Here is Ischgals official statement on the matter:
“Since this weekend, we have certainty that ski resorts in Austria will be allowed to stay open or open as in the previous year despite lockdown. Samnaun will already start the winter season on November 25, 2021 as scheduled. 🥳 Just one week later than originally planned, on December 03, the Silvretta Arena Ischgl-Samnaun will offer all day guests and locals a wide range of facilities and slopes, and across borders. Even though we will only be able to welcome day guests and locals at this stage due to the closure of hotels, apartments etc. we are absolutely thrilled ❤️! With our extensive health and safety measures in place we are trying to enable safe and carefree winter sports in these difficult times.
Please check our Website for more information:
Oh, and for those unable to come to Ischgl at this stage: Don’t worry, we will welcome you as soon as possible and there is plenty of snow to come in the remaining winter season! 💪”
Image Credits: St. Anton