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USA & Canada: Covid-19 policies in the 2021/2022 ski season

Hi, I'm Isabell, one of the editors at snow-online.com. I've been skiing since I was a kid and now I can't wait to get back on the slopes every winter. That's why I'm lucky that (after my studies in media and communication) I found a job where everything revolves around my favourite hobby. If you have any questions about me or about snow-online.com, ask me! Just send an email... Read more
last update on Dec 11, 2021

Just like in the Alps, ski resorts in the USA and Canada are just starting the new season. Therefore, we have taken a closer look at the Covid-19 strategies of the North American ski resorts. In some aspects, the rules are similar to those in the Alps. Unlike last year, however, they are also somewhat looser in many respects.

Easing of the measures

At some ski resorts, such as Kicking Horse, a face cover must also be worn riding the lifts.
© Skigebiete-Test At some ski resorts, such as Kicking Horse, a face cover must also be worn riding the lifts.

While last year the Covid-19 policies at North American ski resorts were even stricter than in the Alps (we reported), the measures have loosened somewhat for the 2021/2022 ski season. Strict capacity limits for lifts and restaurants or the need to reserve ski passes or parking spaces in advance will no longer apply this winter. However, ski passes in North America will still be sold mainly online, as was the case before the pandemic.

The mask requirement and social distancing will continue to apply. Face coverings are primarily mandatory indoors, such as restaurants, depots, or ski rentals. Depending on the ski resort, a mask must also be worn in ski lifts and queues. In this regard, there is no consistent regulation. Some resorts also distinguish between open lifts such as t-surface lifts or chairs and closed lifts like gondolas. Incidentally, the age limit is much lower than in Europe. In many North American ski resorts, children as young as 2 years old must wear a face cover.

Vaccination partly a prerequisite for ski resorts

For restaurants, proof of vaccination is required at most ski resorts.
© Skigebiete-Test For restaurants, proof of vaccination is required at most ski resorts.

New this winter are restrictions for unvaccinated guests. These mainly affect restaurants, lodges and ski huts. In both Canada and the U.S., access to indoor restaurants is restricted to fully vaccinated visitors. However, in some ski resorts, a distinction is made between self-service and full-service restaurants.

Proof of vaccination is not required to use the ski lifts at most ski areas in the U.S. The situation is different in Canada. Here, the Vaccine Card is a requirement to ski at many resorts. The vaccination certificate is obligatory from the age of 12.

A decisive difference to the ski resorts in Europe is that there are no special regulations for recovered persons. If access is restricted, guests usually need proof of vaccination. The option for the unvaccinated individuals to gain access with a negative Covid-test is only available in some exceptions. These include Alberta ski areas such as Lake Louise, Banff Sunshine Village and Mt. Norquay or Marmot Basin.

Since there are no uniform rules across the country, and the policies of the ski resorts can change again during the winter, you can find detailed information as well as further links on the pages of the ski resorts.

>> Ski resorts in the USA

>> Ski resorts in Canada

Rules for traveling

Entry into the U.S. and Canada is possible for those who are fully vaccinated.
© Skigebiete-Test Entry into the U.S. and Canada is possible for those who are fully vaccinated.

Travel to the USA and Canada is currently possible under certain conditions. For entry into the United States, travelers need proof that they are fully vaccinated. Children under the age of 18 are exempt from this requirement. In addition, a negative test (antigen or PCR) that is not older than one day is mandatory before departure. The test obligation applies already from the age of 2 years. Those who have recovered may instead carry proof of the positive result, provided it is no more than 90 days old. On top of that, they need a doctor's certificate stating that they are symptom-free and cleared to travel.

The ban on entry into Canada has been lifted for those who have been fully vaccinated. Upon entry, registration in the ArriveCAN app is mandatory. Proof of vaccination can also be uploaded here. In addition to proof of vaccination, a negative PCR test, which must not be older than 72 hours, is required for those 5 years and older. Recovered persons can also use the proof of the positive test instead of a current negative test, if it is dated at least 14 and at most 180 days before the flight and they are symptom-free. Due to the new Omikron variant, there may be stricter requirements for air travelers not entering from Canada or the United States. These include additional arrival tests that would otherwise be randomized.

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