Ski lifts close in northern Italy

9th March 2020, by Abi Butcher

Courmayeur is one of a number of ski resorts in Italy that has closed its lifts

Courmayeur is one of a number of ski resorts in Italy that has closed its lifts

Ski lifts in the Aosta valley and other northern regions of Italy have been closed until further notice, as part of the government’s lockdown in an attempt to contain the coronavirus outbreak. The means ski lifts are not operating in the ski resorts of Cervinia, La Thuile, Pila and Courmayeur, along with Champoluc, Gressoney and Alagna in the Monte Rosa region. Ski holidays in Passo Tonale are also cancelled, following advice by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

Flights into and out of Milan and Venice are severely restricted in the lockdown as the Italian government quarantines 16 million people in Northern Italy.

Ski companies including Crystal Ski Holidays (updates here) and Ski 2 (Covid-19 update page here) are working with clients to get them home and cancellation of travel booked for the coming weeks and urge people to check their websites for latest updates.

Meanwhile, the Dolomiti Superski has stated its lifts are open and that no area is classified as “high risk” by the Italian government – see the latest statement here.

And in the rest of the Alps, so far it is business as usual. Editor Gill is in Switzerland, where he says “The only trace of coronavirus we have seen in Switzerland was that one of the four hotels we have stayed in this week had a hand cleanser dispenser in the lobby.”

Web editor Abi Butcher is in Courchevel 1650 for the week on a family holiday with Scott Dunn, and aside from seeing one skier wearing a flimsy paper facemask (the type doctors have told us not to bother with), the Three Valleys is operating very normally. And with queues of 1.5 hours to pick up luggage in Geneva Airport on Saturday, the ban on large crowds imposed in Switzerland doesn’t seem to extend to airports… Scott Dunn, however, has a special team in place to handle customer queries.

Where to Ski and Snowboard spoke to a number of operators on Friday to ascertain what – if anything – had changed.

Nick Williams, managing director of Mountain Heaven, told us: “It’s business as usual (until we are instructed otherwise!), we are having a lot of concerned guests writing in asking about it but all we can do is to direct them to the Governments website, nobody has yet cancelled a holiday although some have asked what would happen if they did.”

Simon Meeke, managing director of Powder Byrne, said his business is “fully operational with corporate clients and individual clients travelling over the next couple of weeks and raring to go for Easter”. Powder Byrne has clients travelling to Zurs, Lech and St Anton, Flims, Laax, Lenzerheide and Arosa through until the end of the season

“We’re continuing to follow all the official advice and working hard to keep all our clients updated with daily updates to our client MyPB app,” he continued, adding: “Our resort teams are following enhanced hygiene protocols and, as ever, we’re doing all we can to keep our staff and clients as safe as we can.”

Crystal Ski Holidays told us it was urging clients to check its website regularly - using the link given above.


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