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Several ski areas want to hire additional seasonal workers to guide visitors.

Several ski areas want to hire additional seasonal workers to guide visitors.

Then it would have to be passed by the Bundestag. Even if the parliamentarians hurry, the law could come into force in November at the earliest.Sources used: dpa news agency

Disinfected gondolas, multifunctional scarves for the lift pass, guest login via QR code: the ski holiday will be different this year than usual. All over Europe, operators hope to make the winter as tasty – and as safe – as possible for guests under Corona conditions.

AustriaGermanySwitzerlandItalyFranceCzech Republic

Despite the coronavirus numbers rising again, many people are likely to hope for a winter vacation. The ski resorts and holiday regions want to do their utmost to ensure that tourists do not stay away despite the pandemic. Mask requirement, distance and disinfection determine the precautionary measures almost everywhere. Some places also rely on technology.

Austria: Mask requirement in the gondolas

"Skiing pleasure, yes, but without après-ski" is the slogan issued by the Austrian government. Food and drinks are only available while seated, in gondolas it is mandatory to wear a mask. In addition, authorities, tourism associations and operators rely on different measures depending on the federal state and ski area. "Winter sports areas like Ischgl have become synonymous with the pandemic in the course of reporting. Of course, this does not correspond to reality, but nevertheless many people have reservations about traveling to these areas. We take that very seriously" says the director of the St. Anton am Arlberg tourism association, Martin Ebster.

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The range of measures is wide: a multifunctional cloth for mouth and nose protection can be bought in some ski resorts, and elsewhere directly with the season pass. When queuing for the ski lifts, keep your distance. Hotel and ski resort employees should be tested more frequently for Corona, in some cases a fever should be measured every day before starting work. Registration of guests and contact tracking should also be done via mobile phone. 

Several ski areas guarantee reimbursements when purchasing season tickets in the event that the lockdown occurs again. Everyone involved is afraid that German tourists might be absent because of the travel warnings from the Foreign Office – they made up more than half of all overnight stays in Tyrol and Vorarlberg.

Germany: Lift tickets will only be available online

Germany does not play a major role in alpine ski tourism. Because even the ski areas in the Bavarian Alps are too small to keep up with the competition in Austria and Switzerland – not to mention low mountain slopes in the Black Forest, Fichtel Mountains or Sauerland. Day trippers are therefore important.

There are not yet any hygiene concepts coordinated with ministries, but the specifications for winter will be based on summer operations. That means it is compulsory to wear masks for gondolas and lifts as well as distance requirements. Several ski areas want to hire additional seasonal workers to guide visitors. An app will probably not only be used in Bavaria "Guest tracing" used, the use of which would be voluntary and could help in tracking chains of infection.

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In the Black Forest, there is also hope for the season. "After all the summer’s Corona-related restrictions, I expect the guests to yearn for a Black Forest winter like they haven’t for a long time" says Adrian Probst, chairman of the Feldberg lift network.

Skier in the Black Forest: This year there are strict hygiene requirements. (Source: MITO / imago images)

Lift tickets will only be available online. This would avoid queues at counters – "and we know exactly topadultreview.com how many people come to us on which day" is it [called. If the infection process requires it, the number of tickets will be limited. In addition to the mask requirement and distance rules, there should be stations with disinfectant dispensers. Personnel should ensure that measures are observed.

Switzerland: All lifts open and slopes with snow-making capabilities

The Swiss winter sports regions rely on optimism. "As always, we are planning a winter with some news with a lot of anticipation" says Markus Meili, Managing Director of Engadin St. Moritz Mountains AG in Graubünden. In Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn, all lifts will be opened and the slopes will be covered with snow. Zermatt Tourism has developed its own tube scarf that, when pulled over the nose, is supposed to protect almost every protective mask from viruses.

"When practicing snow sports, there are no changes to other winters apart from mouth and nose protection in closed means of transport and the distance rules in the waiting area" says Meili. Simona Altwegg from Zermatt Tourism says: "Nothing changes on the slopes because you are in the fresh air and the minimum distance is given when skiing anyway."

With the Jungfrau Railways in the Bernese Oberland with the Grindelwald, Wengen and Mürren ski areas, you don’t see any problem. It is compulsory to wear a mask on trains and gondolas, and windows can be opened almost everywhere. "There is no mask requirement for the ski lifts and chairlifts" says spokeswoman Kathrin Naegeli, the guests are in the fresh air and the journey time is usually less than 15 minutes. The cantons are still likely to determine whether mouth and nose protection is necessary when queuing at ski lifts.

Grindelwald: At first there is no mask requirement on the chairlifts in Switzerland. (Source: IP3press / imago images)

It is said that partying after a day on the slopes hardly plays a role in Switzerland. For the majority of guests, sporty skiing and gastronomy are in the foreground, says Altwegg. And Meili: The Upper Engadin is not known for extravagant après-ski. It is clear to everyone that the season is not going to be booming. A slump in the number of foreign guests is very likely, says the spokeswoman for Switzerland Tourism, Martina Bieler.

Italy: All gondolas are regularly disinfected 

Preparations for the new season have been going on in the Italian ski areas for weeks. "We will take all the necessary precautions so that skiing and winter tourism in South Tyrol is also possible this winter" says the regional councilor responsible for tourism in South Tyrol, Arnold Schuler.

The precautionary measures include the mandatory wearing of mouth and nose protection in cable cars and distance rules. All gondolas are regularly disinfected, protective barriers are installed and the frequency of ski buses is increased. In many areas, visitors can buy ski passes online in advance and collect them in a ticket box on site. According to the authorities, ski schools, ski rentals as well as restaurants and hotels are also developing their own concepts.

France: Trips can also be canceled at short notice

Some of France’s winter sports areas have changed their cancellation conditions. Travelers can also cancel at short notice if the Corona situation makes it necessary. Every traveler should check the conditions beforehand. The Courchevel winter sports area in the French Alps has two pharmacies and three medical centers that are open throughout the winter.

In La Plagne, which is not far away, it is emphasized that hygiene regulations and a nice skiing holiday are not mutually exclusive. Some accommodations offer online check-in to shorten waiting times in common areas. Ski passes can be canceled up to 48 hours before the first day of validity. There are still childcare and ski courses. Helmets could also continue to be borrowed, they would be disinfected regularly.

A mask on chair lifts, in queues or in gondolas is compulsory in most ski areas – including the Val Thorens winter sports resort in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. In general, the ski areas advertise that sufficient disinfectants are available everywhere and that lifts are cleaned regularly.

Après-ski parties: This year, winter holidays will not be celebrated to protect against the coronavirus. (Source: Jonjo Rooney / Getty Images)

Czech Republic: Hygiene guidelines despite travel warning

Traditionally, the ski areas in the Giant Mountains, the Ore Mountains, the Bohemian Forest and the Beskids are popular with tourists from Germany and Poland. However, when it comes to the number of new coronavirus infections, measured by population, the Czech Republic is currently at the top behind Spain in the EU. The Federal Foreign Office has issued a travel warning for the Czech Republic.

The Czech Association of Ski Areas is preparing a hygiene guide for the winter season. This is done in consultation with health authorities and the Ministry of Health in Prague, says association manager Libor Knot: "Sport and exercise in the open air is one of the safest activities."

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There will be restrictions on après-ski. Currently, in gastronomy, every guest must have a seat. In addition, no more than six people can sit at one table. All restaurants, bars and cafés have to close at 10 p.m. "We remain optimistic – if the weather plays along in winter, we could achieve visitor numbers comparable to last year" says Knot.

Sources used: dpa news agency

Those who live in Germany are really lucky. Sea, mountains, blooming landscapes – there is everything. Plus spectacular sights that are in no way inferior to their European doppelgangers.

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Endless expanses or a heated party atmosphere. Sun, sea, relaxation? What sounds like a vacation in our memory is not that easy to come by in times of the Corona crisis. Travel warnings, risk areas and border closings mean that travel is a long way off this year.

But there is a glimmer of hope on the domestic horizon: Holidays in Germany are possible and popular with almost no restrictions. So: Mecklenburg instead of Mallorca – let’s make the best of it. Here are a few serious alternatives to more distant sights. But be careful: Holidays in Germany have been the trend for years. And due to the corona pandemic and global travel warnings, local destinations are becoming increasingly popular.

Chalk cliffs on Ruegen instead of White Cliffs of Dover

The white cliffs of Dover (Great Britain) jut out at the narrowest point of the English Channel like a fortress towards continental Europe. Such snow-white, impressive colossuses can also be found in Germany: the chalk formation of the Jasmund National Park on Rügen. The highest cliff to the abyss measures 118 meters.

"The chalk coast in the Jasmund National Park is the largest and most important geological outcrop in northern Germany. Because it represents a cut through 70 million years of geological history. Small and large bank breaks cause a stir again and again" the national park advertises with the world cultural heritage. Casper David Friedrich was inspired here in 1850 to create one of the most famous works of art of the Romantic era.

Under the hashtag #virtualruegality, the tourism agency of the island of Rügen is already making you want to travel. Photos show the pure nature in the Corona crisis, including the famous chalk cliffs at dawn. The beaches of Rügen are deserted, the water is deep blue. Small minus point: The Baltic Sea never gets really warm, even in August the temperatures are below 20 degrees on average.

Heather bloom instead of Provence

Lüneburg Heath: The famous purple heather bathes the Lüneburg Heath in a bright sea of ​​colors every summer. (Source: Philipp Schulze / dpa)