After the last completely failed ski season, many winter sports enthusiasts are looking forward to their first turns in the snow. These requirements will apply in Austria.
If you thought that Austria WILL play it safe this year after the experience in Ischgl in March 2020 and an almost total failure of the past winter season, you are wrong. Even those who have not been vaccinated will be able to use lifts and gondolas from October when the first (glacier) ski areas open in the Alpine republic and can party in après-ski bars after the slopes. Provided they have 3G evidence (vaccinated, recovered or tested) and wear an FFP2 mask. The 3G rule also applies to other restaurants and hotels. Roughly speaking, this provides for the preliminary plan presented by ÖVP Tourism Minister Elisabeth Köstinger and Health Minister Wolfgang Mückstein (Greens) for the third ski season outbreak of the pandemic.
Too much resistance to the suggestion that only vaccinated people are allowed to celebrate après-ski
The responsibility lies entirely with the guests themselves, Köstinger suggested. “That means, anyone who wants to enjoy a safe and carefree winter holiday should get vaccinated,” said the minister in a press conference at which the country man who had a say on the subject of winter tourism was also connected via video: Tyrol Governor Günther Platter, also ÖVP.
That only vaccinated people should be allowed in après-ski bars, as the Chancellor said Sebastian Kurz had brought into play does not come into play either – the resistance of the tourism industry, which has a lot of influence in the Chancellor party ÖVP, is likely to have been too great here. Nevertheless, with the slogan “Strict rules, safe winter”, the tourism minister tries to find a compromise between risk and loss of income for winter tourism. The goals are twofold: Overloading the intensive care medicine should be prevented, but above all should Austria are no longer classified internationally as a risk area, as in the past. Then it would have happened a second time around the season.
If the number of cases continues to rise, according to Köstinger’s plan, things get complicated. The orientation is based on the “3-step plan” introduced in Austria. This couples measures to the utilization of the intensive care beds. From level 1 – currently valid – and from 200 occupied intensive care beds, the 3G rule applies to ski huts and hotels, just like in the rest of the catering trade. In après-ski bars, however, unvaccinated persons must show a PCR test.
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3G proof already when purchasing the ticket for the ski lift
Level 2 is gold-plated seven days after 300 occupied intensive care beds have been exceeded, then a 2G rule (vaccinated or recovered) is gold-plated, at least for après-ski huts. Away from the huts, the PCR test is then mandatory for unvaccinated people; rapid antigen tests are no longer accepted. If the mark of 400 occupied intensive care beds is exceeded, gold-plated level 3, there is a risk of “further restrictions”. What these will look like, Köstinger, Mückstein and Platter did not reveal on Monday. The latter referred to Bavaria, probably also in the direction of their own cable car operators, who had rejected a 3G rule as uncontrollable: “I assume that a 3G rule will take place in Bavaria, that has even been decided,” said Platter. The same applies in South Tyrol. The cable car industry “did a good job” last winter. At that time, only locals were allowed to ski in Austria.
However, there will be no more capacity restrictions for transport up the mountain, so there will be no long queues in front of the lifts and gondolas. Incidentally, the 3G proof should not be shown when entering the lifts, but when purchasing the ticket. Skiers must also have the proof with them. There should be random checks.
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