Austrian ski areas have been given permission to re-open restaurants and hotels from this weekend.
The country’s 20-day lockdown has successfully cut the number of infections there dramatically.
However re-opening is under strict conditions to avoid squandering those gains in the battle with the virus. Only fully vaccinated people will be allowed on the slopes, or those with evidence of a recent recovery from infection.
Austria’s different provinces have been given the choice of how soon they want to re-open tourism. Tirol has gone for day one, this Sunday, 12 December, but others like Carinthia and Salzburgerland say they’ll wait until the end of next week.
Apres ski will be banned and restaurants will only be able to serve seated customers and must close by 11pm. FFP2 masks (more effective than usual disposable or cloth masks) are compulsory in most public indoor locations including restaurants (except at your own seat) and in lifts.
Although Austria’s ski areas have been able to open to local people through the recent short lockdown and most of last winter after New Year, and were open to international tourism from late spring to mid-Autumn when up to a dozen glacier and high-altitude resorts were open, this will be the first ’main season’ opening to tourism since the start of the first lockdown in March last year.
Most of the country’s resorts have been opening for the season over the past few weeks whilst awaiting the government’s announcement and there’s also been a lot of snowfall over the past few weeks.