“We absolutely cannot afford a season like last year. That would really cause irreversible damage. The fear is that that many probably would close their doors forever because a lot has been invested in recent years. Many structures have been renovated. People have made important investments.”– Tobia Moroder, Mayor of Ortisei, Italy
Italian Ski Resorts have been among the hardest hit since the Coronvirus pandemic started in 2020. The ski resorts in the country remained closed during the 2020-21 season, as fears over their disastrous spring 2020 Covid surge kept them from opening. PBS NewsHour reports that Italian ski resorts have reopened with new restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of the virus. With the ski industry bringing in $13 billion a year, the repercussions of another locked-down season could be immense. The report comes from Dolomiti Superski, the massive European mega-resort. A video report from the slopes of Italy detailing the protocols this season is below.
The key to Italy’s ski season revolves around the Green Pass. This is a digital passport that shows you have either been vaccinated against Covid-19, have immunity from a recent infection, or have tested negative before your arrival. If you have none of these, you can’t get on the slopes. Eating at a restaurant (inside or outside) requires a Super Green Pass, in which guests must be fully vaccinated. Along with countries like France, this is among the stricter restrictions to come with this ski season.
A potential issue is a discrepancy in vaccinations between the rural skiing communities and the country as a whole. Tensions between the vaccinated and unvaccinated have resulted in shameful violence, an all too familiar sight on the divisive issue. With cases rising once again throughout Europe, the Italian ski industry will become an interesting case study into whether vaccination cards are the way to go in Europe and North America if the pandemic continues in the years to come. Image/Video Credits: PBS NewsHour, Dolomiti Superski