French and Italian ski resorts open and are then shut down

30th October 2020, by Dave Watts

Cervinia’s opened for the winter season last weekend and was promptly closed down by the Italian government

Cervinia’s opened for the winter season last weekend and was promptly closed down by the Italian government

Apparently prompted by non-socially distanced queues and jostling when Cervinia re-opened for the winter season last weekend, the Italian Government ordered the closure to the public of all Italian ski areas until at least 24 November because of the Covid-19 crisis. But a few small areas that claim autonomy from national government are reportedly still open.

Then President Macron’s lockdown announcement for France meant the closure of all French resorts (including Tignes and Les Deux Alpes, which had already opened) until 1 December at the earliest – stymying plans for November opening by Val Thorens, Val d’Isère and others.

This is doubly disappointing as early snowfalls had been good.

Tignes and all French resorts were closed by President Macron’s Covid-19 lockdown announcement

The good news is that Austria and Switzerland have not yet been hit by lockdowns.
In Austria, glacier skiing is open at several resorts, including Hintertux, Stubai, Kaprun and Sölden (where World Cup races were held on 17 and 18 October). Plus one run is open at Kitzbühel.

In Switzerland, the glacier skiing at Zermatt, Saas Fee and Engelberg is open and weekend skiing is available at Verbier, Andermatt, Davos, Laax and Glacier 3000 (near Les Diablerets).

Kaprun’s Kitsteinhorn is one of several glacier areas open in Austria

In Canada, Banff’s local Mt Norquay ski area opened last weekend. This was the first non-glacier North American resort to open, beating the usual rivals to open first – Loveland and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado and Killington in Vermont. And Lake Louise opened on 29 October.

In Finland, Levi and Ruka are open.

The bad news is that entry to Canada and Finland is prohibited for most people travelling from the UK. And when you return from Austria or Switzerland, you will have to self-isolate for 14 days. Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice is against all but essential travel to Austria and Switzerland – travelling against that advice invalidates most travel insurance policies, so check with your insurer.

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