The lifts in Italy were at a standstill for around two months, but now the ski season is set to start again: from January 18, the ski resorts will be allowed to open. Hotels and restaurants are also open again. Until the opening, the ski resorts continue to work on their safety concepts, which will be adapted to the new requirements of the government.
Start of season postponed
Due to the high number of infections, ski resorts in Italy had been closed as early as the end of October. Only the autonomous region of South Tyrol initially resisted the closure. In mid-November, however, the ski areas had to close here as well.
The reopening was originally planned for January 7. In order to give regions and provinces more time to adapt their Corona regulations to the government's guidelines, Health Minister Roberto Speranza has now postponed the start of the season by one and a half weeks. As of January 18, the ski resorts in Italy will be allowed to reopen - with strict hygiene regulations, but also with plenty of natural snow on the slopes.
Update 15 January 2021: A few days before the planned start of the ski season in Italy, it has now been postponed again! At the earliest from February 15, the ski lifts may now be opened, it says in the new decree from Rome. The autonomous region of South Tyrol also follows the decree(read more).
Corona rules in the ski resorts
"Separate safety protocols will be issued for the ski areas," says the new decree issued by the South Tyrolean governor on January 5. What exactly these look like, however, is not yet known. On the Südtirol Information website, the rules mentioned include guidance systems in the access areas of the lifts, which should make it easier to maintain the minimum distance of 1 meter. Closed cable cars will probably only be allowed to carry 50% of their capacity and passengers will have to wear surgical masks.
Most ski resorts had already drawn up comprehensive hygiene concepts before Christmas. These will now be adapted to the new government requirements until the planned opening on 18 January.
Restaurants and hotels open
Starting on January 7, stores, bars and restaurants are already open again, but with restrictions. Among other things, these concern the opening hours. In South Tyrol, bars and restaurants are allowed to stay open from 5 am to 10 pm. However, from 6 p.m. onwards, the consumption of food and drinks is only permitted when seated. A maximum of 4 people may sit at a table. More people are only allowed if they all belong to the same household. A curfew is still in effect between 10pm and 5am. Hotels and other accommodations are also open with hygiene restrictions.
Entry for tourists possible
As of January 7, entry for tourist reasons is possible again in Italy for all countries of the EU as well as Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. However, the prerequisite is an entry declaration and a negative PCR or antigen test, which must not be older than 48 hours. Since Italy is classified as a risk area in many countries (including Germany and Austria), however, a quarantine period may need be planned for when returning to the home country.