How to Navigate European Ski Season This Year

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Hurry up and get your gear tuned because the European ski season is well under way. But with the last two years severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, this winter has brought both an emotional return to the slopes for those who have been itching to click on their skis—it’s the first season American travelers can return to Europe since the pandemic began, after all—and a slew of new hotel and restaurant openings.

It won’t all be easy riding, though. While successful vaccine rollouts and COVID certificates have many ski resorts promising to stay open despite the current Omicron wave, each European country has its own set of constantly changing guidelines that can be difficult to keep straight. We’ve sifted through it all to make things easier on you—from mask mandates and vaccine requirements to the apps and passes you should download, here’s everything you need to know about Europe’s 2022 ski season.

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In-room dining at Val Thorens

Pierre Morel

The slopes at Val Thorens

Val Thorens

Which resorts are open and what are the rules?

All European ski resorts are currently open for the 2022 season. Andermatt in Switzerland, Cervinia in Italy, and Bansko in Bulgaria even kicked things off with some early snowfall in December 2021.

In November 2021, the French government declared that ski resorts across the country would remain open amid the virus surge, rather than shut down like they did for the 2020 to 2021 season. That being said, everyone above six years of age has to wear a mask while in line and on the lifts, even when outdoors. Those over 12 years of age must also present a pass sanitaire (the French version of a vaccination card) to access the lifts and mountain restaurants. Val Thorens resort has a particularly comprehensive list of the rules for this season available for visitors, including the documents Americans need to show and the locations of several PCR test centers.

In Italy, people 12 years and older are required to show a Green Pass (or their national equivalent) to move freely around ski resorts as well as bars, restaurants, spas, and more. Face masks must be worn at all times, including when on public transportation and in cable cars. Clear rules for American travelers can be found on the Dolomites website.

Many of Switzerland’s ski resorts, including Zermatt, Saas Fee, and St. Moritz, stayed open last season and will continue to do so this year with minimal rules in place. For most indoor activities, however, 2G+ rules apply, meaning those over 16 years old must be vaccinated or have recovered from COVID and be able to show a negative test result. Masks are mandatory in all indoor places accessible to the public.

Visit Finland confirmed that while social distancing is recommended, face masks are not mandatory at its ski resorts. Both single- and double-vaccinated travelers can access the slopes as long as they adhere to the country’s COVID guidelines.


The restaurant and bar at Ultima Courchevel Belvédère

Ultima Courchevel Belvédère

Overhead view of Ultima Courchevel Belvédère

Ultima Courchevel Belvédère

Austria is just emerging from a national lockdown, but its ski resorts are open—albeit with special safety measures and regulations in place. All visitors must show proof of vaccination or recovery from a past infection to get on the lifts, and wear an FFP2 mask (the European equivalent of a KN95) indoors at all times, and outdoors when social distancing is not possible. Après ski is on pause for the time being and restaurants must close by 10 p.m.

source : cntraveler

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