The pandemic continues to rapidly spread throughout Europe. As infection numbers have been rising sharply for weeks, Germany, Austria, France and Italy have decided on a second lockdown for November. Public life is once again being massively shut down. Restaurants, hotels and also ski resorts are affected by the closures.
Mandatory break for tourism
The number of infections is rising rapidly and is constantly reaching new records. In order to break the second wave of Covid-19, Italy, France and Germany decided last week to implement a new “lockdown light”. On Saturday, the Austrian Government also announced a lockdown for November.
The new measures taken by the states primarily restrict the private sector and leisure activities, while schools and industry remain open. In Germany and Austria, the retail sector also remains open. The restrictions will also hit tourism hard, as it will be completely suspended for one month. Unnecessary, private travel is to be avoided. Restaurants, bars and hotels will have to close, and the lifts in the ski resorts will also stop operating for the time being.
Ski resorts will be shut down
In France, the restrictions have been in force since Friday. For the already open ski resorts Tignes and Les 2 Alpes this meant temporary closure until at least December 1st. The start of the season on the Zugspitze in Germany, planned for mid-November, is now also to be postponed.
In Austria, skiing operations on the glaciers have already been running for about a month. Thanks to the abundance of fresh snow in the last few weeks, they all have exceptionally good conditions for autumn. From November 3rd onwards, only the professional training groups and teams will be able to enjoy this. The ski areas will remain open for them.
The lockdown-like measures will be limited to one month for the time being. The hotels and ski resorts now hope to be able to open again in December and that by then the number of cases will have dropped sufficiently that important host countries will also withdraw their travel warnings. Appropriate safety concepts with mask obligation, guidance systems in queues as well as disinfection measures were already extensively worked out everywhere.
World Cup events allowed to take place
Part of the second lockdown is also the cancellation of all events throughout the country. The only exception to this is professional sport. Therefore, the planned World Cup events in winter sports may take place, but without spectators. The technical specialists of the Alpine Ski World Cup will already be guests in Lech-Zürs for two parallel races on November 13 and 14.
Switzerland and South Tyrol are still open
While in Austria, Germany and France ski operations will be suspended in November as part of a lockdown, in Italy only part of the ski operation is affected. This is because South Tyrol has made a few exceptions to the government decree and is allowing ski operations to continue with stricter safety concepts for the time being. Thus, in Sulden and on the Val Senales Glacier, recreational athletes are still allowed to conquer the slopes, while in the rest of Italy all cable cars are out of operation.
Update: From November 8th the ski areas in South Tyrol are also closed. The closure is valid at least until November 22.
More and more high-altitude ski areas are currently opening their ski slopes in Switzerland. A complete closure is not yet an issue in the individual cantons. Recently, however, the obligation to wear masks has been tightened once again. In addition, many ski resorts are reducing their lift capacities and working with guidance systems and reservations.