In the upcoming winter season, things will be different than before. To enable winter sports enthusiasts to pursue their favourite hobby despite the Coronavirus, ski resorts are currently working flat out to develop appropriate safety concepts. Some ski resorts have already announced their regulations, including Ischgl. From Après Ski to limited admittance - we tell you what the next winter season in the Silvretta Arena will look like.
Comprehensive package of measures
The most important thing first: skiing and snowboarding will be possible again in Ischgl/Samnaun in the winter season 2020/2021, starting on December 17. In Galtür, Kappl and See the lifts will be running from December 18, 2020.
However, in order to guarantee the health and safety of guests, employees and locals, a number of measures need to be observed due to the current Corona situation. The Paznaun ski area is particularly in the spotlight in this respect, as in March it was the first ski area in Austria to announce the premature end of the ski season due to corona (we reported). Since then, especially the après-ski scene has been the focus of much criticism.
Ischgl has learned from last winter's events and has now drawn up a health and safety concept at an early stage that goes beyond the official requirements. The package of measures includes free multifunctional scarfs with every ski pass, a special contact tracing app, screenings for guests and employees as well as deep cuts into the après-ski scene.
What exactly the measures are, you can find in the following. The rules can be found on information pillars and signs all over the ski resort in winter. In addition, multilingual announcements in the access areas will regularly draw attention to the rules.
This is what the Corona Rules look like in Ischgl
Mouth and nose protection is obligatory during the ride in cable cars, chairlifts and drag lifts - as in public transport. A filtering facepiece (FFP) must also be worn at the ski pass offices, in the access and exit areas of the cable cars and in the stations. The same applies to WC facilities, ski depots and shops and in the ski buses. To ensure that every winter sports enthusiast has such a FFP, appropriate multi-functional scarfs are available as a gift with every ski pass.
In addition, all cable car cabins are disinfected several times a day with special cold fogging devices. The ski buses, sports shops, ski depots, toilet facilities and lifts are also disinfected in this way every day. A limitation of the number of people in the ski area is not planned for the time being. However, the mountain railways reserve the right to take this step. Organised queuing areas are intended to avoid groups of people standing close together.
Mouth and nose protection is also mandatory in the mountain restaurants. But it is not necessary to wear it at the table itself. Tables and seating are arranged according to the minimum distances prescribed by the authorities and separated from each other by new partitions. In order to ensure that the safety distances are sufficiently observed, there will be a restriction on the number of guests in the catering establishments. Food and drink menus can be called up digitally in the iSki Ischgl and mySamnaun app or by QR code.
Both at the cable car facilities and in the mountain restaurants there are numerous possibilities for hand disinfection.
Après Ski and Events
The biggest cuts for the Ibiza of the Alps will probably be after skiing. Après ski in its current form with packed bars and exuberant parties, for which Ischgl is famous and notorious, is currently not possible according to legal regulations. However, it is not yet known exactly what the new Corona-compliant après ski will look like. But it is to become an important, even "higher quality offer", according to the website of the Paznaun Tourist Association. Details are to follow.
There will be no music events in the bars and restaurants of the cable cars this winter. There will only be background music. Likewise, no Top of the Mountain Opening concert is planned this year. Ischgl is still working on an alternative for the start of the season. This will be presented in autumn. The Top of the Mountain concerts at Easter and the season closing have not yet been cancelled and will take place, if the corona situation and the legal framework allow it.
Temperature measurements and Corona tests
Corona tests for employees
In view of the fact that the Coronavirus in Ischgl has spread via the employees of the après ski bars, among others (we reported), strict measures are also planned here. Employees must prove a current, negative Covid-19 test before arrival or be tested before starting work. Employees with contact to guests in the cable car, catering and rescue areas should also have their temperature measured daily before starting work. They are also required to wear a FFP.
Control at check-in for guests
There will also be temperature measurements for guests at check-in in the accommodation. Alternatively, guests are advised to present a negative test result not older than 72 hours. Voluntary testing facilities will also be offered on site.
The Paznaun also relies on wastewater monitoring for early detection of potential infections. In order to be able to better trace the chains of infection in the event of an infection, the iSki Ischgl/mySamnaun app is being updated, so it can be used for contact tracing. Here you can also find current information.
These are the regulations and measures as of August 19. Depending on how the corona situation develops in the coming weeks and months, changes to the rules are still possible. The information on this will be updated regularly on the Ischgl website. >> Covid-19 Rules Ischgl/Samnaun