What will skiing look like in 2021/22?
If you do manage to make it out to a ski resort this year, things won’t be operating in the same way as when you were last there. Ski resorts within the same country or even within the same region, are differing greatly on what rules they have in place, so the number one piece of advice is to do your homework!
At time of publishing, coronavirus is starting to surge in Central Europe. Some countries announced the return of lockdowns to combat the virus. Obviously, this effects ski resorts greatly.
Austria announced a national lockdown until at least December 12, but it effects different resorts to varying degrees. St Anton am Arlberg is closed until the end of lockdown. However, the Molltaler Glacier remains open to those wearing FFP2 facemasks and can provide proof of vaccination. This opening is only catering to locals, as hotels are closed for the duration of lockdown. Similarly, Slovakia has also begun a “firebreak” national lockdown for two weeks.
Day to day life on the slopes
If you do make it out to the slopes, proof of vaccination is essential, as many ski lifts will no longer accept a negative PCR test. Even before you get to the lifts, proof of vaccination makes international travel much easier. Wherever you’re travelling, be sure to check the UK Government’s advice for that country first.
Many ski resorts may limit the number of lift passes sold and will require you to wear masks on chairlifts/gondolas, in lift queues and in indoor public spaces (with social distancing at 1m minimum). You’ll possibly find resorts are running gondolas with reduced capacity but at a faster speed. Ski lessons will have reduced numbers and in-resort childcare options may be limited or cancelled altogether.
Apres-ski could be much quieter this year and numbers at bars limited to prevent crowds. Mountain huts will almost certainly be outside-only dining or takeaways and all music and ski events will be cancelled. Many resorts will also ask skiers to download an app to make reservations and order food in restaurants.
As far as ski accommodation is concerned, self-catering will be many people’s first choice. If you go for a hotel or shared chalet be prepared for less choice – there will be fewer large chalets available and some operators like Crystal Ski are not offering catered chalets this season. Some VIP chalets are asking guests to pre-order meals in advance to remove the need for an in-house chef.
How to stay safe on the ski slopes
If you do decide to travel to a ski resort, try to limit your chances of catching Covid-19 by not traveling on Saturdays (busiest days); try to book accommodation (self-catering if possible) near the slopes so you don’t have to use ski buses; take a packed lunch up the mountain rather than visiting a ski hut; and reserve your ski equipment ahead of time so you don’t have to spend time looking around a ski hire shop. Some resorts will be giving out free “buffs” (tubular scarfs) with your ski pass to enable you to cover your face and mouth.
NOTE: If you decide to travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is even more important that you have appropriate travel insurance.
The coronavirus pandemic is an ongoing and evolving situation. We will keep this article updated throughout the 21/22 season as things change.