For this ski season, ski resorts throughout Europe will see strict requirements and restrictions to counter the rise of the Delta and Omnicron variants. One country in particular though is taking a more casual approach. The Associated Press reports that Bosnia-Herzegovina is becoming a top ski destination due to its laxer restrictions than its European counterparts.
Bosnia’s requirements for entry involve a negative PCR test and a vaccination card or recent recovery from Covid before they depart to the country, but this excludes the neighboring countries of Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro. But in terms of the ski resorts, you don’t need to present a vaccine card to access the lift or to visit restaurants and bars. This varies from many countries like France or Austria that are requiring vaccine cards to ride the lifts. Masks and social distancing are still required but are rarely enforced. Less than 25% of the country has been fully vaccinated and has yet only seen around 13,000 deaths from the virus. Locals say this is because there is a collective sense of responsibility to keep their neighbors safe. It sounds like the country is taking reasonable measures to protect its citizens, while also not making it an overbearing process for winter tourists.
The whole ski industry in Bosnia and Herzegovina isn’t particularly large though. It mostly revolved around the city of Sarajevo, which hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics. Instead of seeing a tourism boom from the games though, the country dissolved into an all-out war in the 1990s, leading to all-out ruin for much of the country, and many of the Olympic facilities. The country has since rebounded. Some of the big resorts there are Jahorina, which hosted Olympic events for women’s competitions, and Bjelašnica, which held the men’s events. If you’re looking for a less regulated European ski experience this winter, consider checking Bosnia and Herzegovina out. Image Credits: Skimap.org, 1984 Sarajevo Olympic Center