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More than 500 Ski Areas in Europe Now Closed by Coronavirus

The number of ski areas closed by the coronavirus outbreak in Europe is accelerating rapidly and is now believed to have passed the 500 mark.

Around half of those closed are in Italy, where the country went in to ‘lock down’ with many measures including closing all ski resorts earlier this week.

Today it has been announced all ski areas in the Austrian province of Tyrol will close from this weekend. That includes many of the world’s most famous destinations including Kitzbuhel, Innsbruck, Solden and St Anton.

Many of Norway’s ski areas have also announced they are closing too including Trysil, pictured. Here resorts decided whether or not they should stay open, based on government advice that they ensure they have adequate medical facilities in place to deal with an epidemic. Most have decided they do for their local communities, but not for skiing tourists, so have decided to close.

Elsewhere ski areas in the Slovak Republic, including the largest, Jasna, have announced they are closing, and centres in Switzerland’s southerly province of Ticino are also closed as part of widespread measures.

Some areas say they’ll review their closures later this month or in early April, opening the door to the outside possibility of a few weeks skiing at the end of the season in April or early may. However that looks increasingly unlikely and in Tirol’s case the government say the season has definitely ended early.

Elsewhere in the skiing world Northern Japan’s famous powder skiing island Hokkaido remains in a ‘state of emergency’ because of the virus but in China, where the outbreak began, there is talk of the peak of the epidemic having passed and of the country’s 700+ ski areas beginning to re-open.

The country also says it has ensued there have been no cases at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic venues.

27 Comments
  1. Baz

    13th March 2020 3:42 pm

    This has to be a joke. Seriously, closing centres and borders etc for a basic flu type infection is totally Ben Stiller in tropic thunder…. if you get the reference. There is some serious over-reaction going on and it seems to have affected everyone across the globe. We’ll be expecting Dustin Hoffman to turn up looking for a pre-crispy fried duck to obtain a vaccine from soon…

    • Corona Virus

      13th March 2020 7:35 pm

      The flu has a mortality rate of ~0.1%; Coronavirus has a mortality rate of 1.4%. Considering the impact on the economy, the deaths that have already occurred and the impact in general across the globe, closing borders is a completely viable and justifiable reaction. Considering the elderly population who are especially at risk in Switzerland (and possibly other countries I don’t know about), it’s important that the government takes it seriously and keeps them safe (underlying health conditions only make one more vulnerable). Plus, there’s no vaccine. So no, it isn’t a joke. Get real. You sound like a stupid, dirty, right-wing Trump supporter.

    • Gregory David

      13th March 2020 7:41 pm

      It’s a shock but It’s not a joke. Please read the information available as to why these measures are being taken.

    • Toff

      13th March 2020 11:53 pm

      I have no idea of your nationality or where you live. But after such an idiotic and patronising comment on the legitimate decisions that other sovereign countries make to keep their citizens alive, I am almost 100% sure. Based on that assumption, I wish you luck on your government’s “Herd Immunity” gamble.

    • Phil Cushion

      14th March 2020 8:19 pm

      I agree with Baz, the media has been creating mass hysteria about something that is effectively a slight variation of the common cold. Personally I would rather have a bout of corona than flu or Noravirus any day. Knee jerk reaction, give it 6 weeks and the media will be onto something else, corona virus will still be there but no one will give a shxxxt. Bit like brexit, no one is bothered anymore

    • Baz

      15th March 2020 1:49 pm

      Just another thought for you, but with respect to imunity and vaccinations etc, there will never be a fully effective vaccine for this or the other corona viruses. So herd immunity is the only option here. Sure you can have a sort of half effective maybe if you’re lucky vaccine, just like the hopeless one they trot out at vast expense every year in the uk for the Flu. Which is usually ineffective at dealing with how quickly these types of virus mutate and become effectively resistant to the attempts at vaccination…. but maybe i should just go away and read another book or do another degree 🙂 People can continue to take their steer from the hysterical 95% of news media, who lets face it, just want to sell you a rag / story based on fear… your fear. Reality bites people, sometimes you will get sick if you have a life 🙂 If you don’t want to get sick, resign your life at the counter opposite, i’m guessing if it were asked like that there would be a short queue at the mass hysteria counter….. and if i only ever get sick with COVID19, bring it on if that’s the worst thing that ever happens to me. Tissues on standby, a wee bit of ibuprophen in the back pocket and away i go having that life thing again, until i’m about 80 years old and infirm cause that’s what happens to you when you get old 🙂

  2. Baz

    13th March 2020 3:43 pm

    This has to be a joke. Seriously, closing centres and borders etc for a basic flu type infection is totally Ben Stiller in tropic thunder…. if you get the reference. There is some serious over-reaction going on and it seems to have affected everyone across the globe. We’ll be expecting Dustin Hoffman to turn up looking for a crispy fried duck to obtain a vaccine from soon…

  3. John Ashley

    13th March 2020 8:22 pm

    Go on Baz
    The world has gone mad !!!!

  4. gaster

    14th March 2020 12:05 pm

    Baz is probably right, even the Swiss don’t think it is as serious as they want to present this. Why? Because their government issued a directive banning all gatherings of more than 100 people, hence why all ski domains in Valais (home to renowned stations such as Champery, Zermatt, Verbier, Crans-Montana etc) and Vaud cantons closed immediately for the rest of the season, but and this is the amazing thing, ski resorts in the canton of Bern, Swiss capital, ARE STILL OPEN (Adelboden and Wengen are open today Sat 14 March 2020 and tomorrow).

    For your info, Valais has 29 cases of coronavirus while in Bern they have 62.

    It seems that this ban and the virus its self is open to personal interpretation here. Or that in Bern they have already found the cure or a way to protect themselves and they leave their ski domains open, contrary to the rest of Switzerland. This is at least hilarious!

    webcam from Wengen : https://www.jungfrau.ch/en-gb/live/webcams/#webcam-kleine-scheidegg-lauberhorn
    webcam from Adelboden: https://www.adelboden.ch/de/webcams/sillerenbuehl

  5. Ole Pedersen

    14th March 2020 12:11 pm

    In France, like in most countries (China excepted), the effort is to “flatten the curve”, i.e.in order to delay the peak of the crisis to arrive as late as possible. No country has the capacity of medical staff, nor respirators, to cope with the realistically expected number of virus cases arriving at the same time. Therefore, the closing of schools, cancellations of all gatherings, be they cultural, sports, or entertainment. The challenge is to get people to change their social behaviour, which is difficult particularly in Southern Europe’s latin countries, where we tend to touch one another, give kisses, and hug.
    The basic security mesaures include washing hands regularly, keep a distance of 1m or more to any and evry other person.
    You cannot live up to these rules in ski cabins, busy altitude restaurants – so you have to close the whole station down, just like restaurants and other establishments in towns.

    If we do not accept the basic rules, we shall all experience – and some of us not survive – the same crisis as Italy.

    It’s a small effort – compared to the alternative.

    Ole Pedersen
    Sète, France

    • Baz

      15th March 2020 8:48 am

      The one issue I have with this whole statement re the strain on medical staff ans support is that ALL the OFFICIAL INFORMATION states do not go to your doctor of the hospital. Stay at home. Also fyi I’m a degree level toxicologist and ex big pharma manager. There is NOTHING they can do for you medically as this is a viral infection hence the advice if stay at home. I have more chance of catching this by returning home and going back to work in the uk than I would staying in my apartment and skiing every day…. like I said Simple Jack has taken over. Are we really going to do this every year from now on? That is the question everyone should be asking but aren’t yet…..

  6. Jo

    14th March 2020 8:17 pm

    Great. Now let’s go earn our turns!

  7. Up yours

    14th March 2020 8:52 pm

    Corona Virus,
    Vaccines are not safe or effective, and have never been proven to be, so even if there was a vaccine it won’t nessesarily protect anybody!
    It certainly is an over reaction. More people die from other diseases every day but no lock downs or mention of those. The vulnerable can die at anytime from cold or heat or just a mild cold. Pollution is a killer, causes health problems respitory especially but hey no vaccine.
    The scaremongering governments so called taking action crap is certainly a distraction for what else is going on. Never trust the government, just look back in history.
    As for a vaccine you can stick it where the sun don’t shine. Vaccines are dam right dangerous and mess your immune system up big time.

  8. Luis B

    15th March 2020 12:32 am

    Ski resorts have all closed here in Spain. Two weeks ago, some politicians aired their thoughts about Coronavirus: it is an over reaction for a common flu. But they are now swallowing their own words. As of today, 6.000 cases and nearly 200 deaths, with figures growing exponentially… An emergency law has been passed today, and we are all required to remain at home for the next two weeks…. Your statement is the joke, Baz. I love the US and really hope you do not have to swallow your words in the next few weeks.

    • Baz

      15th March 2020 9:07 am

      I’m unlikely to eat my words on this. If you understand the nature of how a new serious viral infection works with a massively over populated planet of people. You’d realise we cannot prevent this sort of thing and we certainly cannot stop it or treat it. Many top people in the field have thought the next cataclysmic event for people will not be a meteor or global warming etc, itll be a fair bit more likely our eventual population control will come from the rise of a new to humans super virus. To be fair we are probably overdue something along that line. Through history there have been a number of such events. And no offence meant but covid19 is nowhere on that sort of scale. As I said above do you want to do this every year from now on every time SARS MERS or covid19 appears again? It’s way out of proportion to the situation. Sure if it was Ebola going airborne you’d be well justified. But it just isn’t. I have genuine sympathy for unfortunate people who die due to some complications arising following infection with this or even regular influenza when it picks off the infirm. But it is in my opinion way out of proportion to the actual situation. Particularly when the advice is WE CAN DO NOTHING FOR YOU IF YOU GET INFECTED STAY AT HOME BUT IN THE MEANTIME JUST KEEP GOING TO WORK ETC. If I can go to work why can’t I be on holiday. I know for a fact I’m way more likely to get this at home and work than i am here on hols in my apartment and outside if wide open spaces all day, and that is guaranteed…..

  9. Baz

    15th March 2020 9:29 am

    Just another thought here, but tho UK gov has suggested “Coronavirus: Over-70s will be asked to self-isolate – potentially for months”…… in proportion, or not? I mean how many over 70s slip, trip or fall their way into a coffin EVERY YEAR, or have an accident fatally in their car, or die from a heart attack etc etc etc…. should they all just stay at home in bed and never go anywhere again….. please cast your votes for Simple Jack everyone, he’s now the only candidate 🙂

  10. gaster

    15th March 2020 11:00 am

    A terrible end to an equally terrible season full of high temperatures, rain under 2000 meters (6K ft) and slushy snow. I don’t know what is worse, coronavirus or global warming? In the short term, its corona that wins but if you look down the horizon…

    Here in the Alps, we feel climate change 2 times more than in lower altitude areas. I am not aware of the scientific explanation but this is what i read on a french magazine related to mountain sports.

    • Baz

      15th March 2020 11:51 am

      Reason global warming is felt more acutely in mountain areas is due to decreased % surface area covered by snow throughout the year. The reduction in glacial coverage will be clear to you in the Alps i’m sure in the summer time. As reduction in snow cover continues, daily warming in the strong sunlight of the Alpine regions is much higher than if more surface area was covered with snow. This is due to reflection of heat back from the surface of the earth when it is covered with snow. And when snow is reduced, there is more solar warming of the darker coloured soil/rock strata. It is a similar effect to the glacial melting / sea ice melting in Arctic/Antarctica/Greenland. All these are accelerating ahead of models due to sea surface / land absorbing solar heat wayyyyyyy more effectively than snow reflects it away.

  11. Baz

    15th March 2020 12:11 pm

    Poling stations are open and votes are being cast for Simple Jack across the globe 🙂 Think this definitely qualifies for a case of mass hysteria now 🙂 For example people (sheep) in the UK have been panic buying toilet roll FFS. A report on 14th March (Yesterday) in the UK paper “The Metro” stated someone in London was mugged for the toilet roll they had just bought!! People have been panic buying toilet paper for weeks in the UK because in Australia they did that some time before…. the reason ths happened in Australia is because they import all their toilet paper from China to their market, and there’s been a clamp-down on imports from China…. In the UK, they manufacture all their own stuff, so there’s no problem with continuity of supply. Simple Jack anyone?? This is what happens when the blind lead the blind…. so yes to the Donald Trump hater above, but only because i agree with you in that respect 🙂

  12. Johnny MacTavish

    15th March 2020 3:17 pm

    A small country called ‘France’ closed down all its ski resorts last night (14th March) at midnight.

    Why doesnt SnowForecast.com mention that anywhere?

    • Patrick Thorne

      15th March 2020 3:54 pm

      It’s quite a fast moving situation Mr MacTavish and when that piece was written two days ago French resorts were still open, along with a number of other European countries, The number of areas closed now in Europe is more like 1,500, including France, Switzerland, Spain, Andorra , Austria and Norway and other smaller ski nations. We do mention France in a more recent report this morning if you read to the end: https://www.snow-forecast.com/whiteroom/many-major-us-and-candian-ski-areas-start-closing-early-due-to-coronavirus/

    • Baz

      15th March 2020 5:05 pm

      Fair play to you Pat, it has moved at a quick pace (as it does with mass hysteria) and is very unfortunate for all the people employed in this sector. Which i would imagine is well into the 100s of thousands in the example country (France) mentioned by Mr T. above, and globally will run well into the millions. So not a good plan to close them down IMO.

  13. Blue Skier

    16th March 2020 1:43 am

    Just skied an amazing Spring day at Sunday River Ski Resort in maine, USA as Boyne announced its closure
    Will continue with other die hard’s skinning to New England’s peaks over the next two months …..

    Every ticket is sold with a legal agreement that it is an extreme adventure sport and every skier could die.
    Beyond interior lodge spaces closing all lifts and terrain is extreme. Skiers can use their cars in many areas.
    There could have been less extreme effective measures ………… Lawyers could add corona virus , pandemic to the back of the tickets and probably should for next season.

    Maine and Vermont, both with high poverty and seasonal workers.
    In the end we will have to ask if trillions of dollars in all sectors of the world economy following was worth the totality …….

  14. Jenson

    17th March 2020 12:22 pm

    Interesting how ignorant people and statements can be.
    Starts with our top degree level toxicologist and ex big pharma manager. And sayings like: Vaccines are not safe or effective, and have never been proven to be, so even if there was a vaccine it won’t nessesarily protect anybody! Where does this knowledge and investigation come? There are case studies and hard facts. So what s this all about Vaccines are not safe or effective? because of 5 or less percents of side effects, come on!
    The bad bad media, the started all this hysteria. stop getting your info from yellow press and gutter papers. It s the job of media to spread information.
    Toff, Ole and Luis I am totally on your side. It s not all about us young and healthy skiers, boarders and freeriders, We usually have a strong immune system. it s about preventing health system collapsing, avoiding risk group people to get infected and having to less respirators also for other sick people that have other problems than corona.
    In the end this will safe trillions of dollars, than the weak insurance system in Italy and maybe the US, too cannot handle all the sick at the same time. So you have to take some money or a lot of money to prevent the loss of way more money and lots of dead people, even they won´t die of corona but their hospital slots were blocked by corona patients. This just happens in Italy these days.
    But just go one skiiing, nothing wrong or unusual with the world.
    And Baz: Most people don t enjoy skiing like you and me do and like. In your appartments and out on ( at the best ) empty slopes or me out of bound freerides. Many ( I guess more than not) also like to party and go to apres ski. At least in Austria. World famous party ski place Ischgl infected almost 500 people directly. They went home to Island, Denmark, Germany, Norway and many more places and infected half of the countries first infecters ( Island and Denmark). As Federal Country Tyrol acted way to slow Ischgl spread it over whole Europe.
    So Baz for these party people that just drink hundreds of euros, pounds, or whatever a weekend and don t really go there for skiing, for these people are the blocks, closed boarders, resorts and more restrictions. Authorities have to think for the masses. I don t like it, too.
    I have a season pass in an Austrian resort which is closed since last sunday. Usually Open till one or two weeks after easter.
    Do I get any refund? No! fully paid for a full season. But they say the season is gone too far and long, and everyone could have skied a lot of days, so all is fine. And I am pretty sure there is also no discount for coming season. But for sure the resorts management will beg the Austrian state for support.
    It is what it is.
    But stop making this problem smaller than it really it is and could become.
    We will see how Trump solves the problem now that it pops on big in the US. And is not denieable and funny anymore….
    cheers
    Jenson

    • Baz

      23rd March 2020 11:50 am

      Hi Jenson, try reading what i said. I didn’t make general statement about all vaccines being ineffective. Mearly pointing out that the seasonal flu vaccine is not and never is 100% effective in a season. Other types of inections are well controlled by vaccines such as smallpox, polio, mmr to name but a few, and i would highly advocate their use. I personnaly wouldn’t bother with the flu vaccine though.

  15. Baz

    25th March 2020 6:51 pm

    I’ll just illustrate my point here for you all. The following is a quote from a BBC report ofan Oxford University paper presented by the University Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology and team… “The coronavirus could have infected as much as half of the the UK’s population, according to researchers at the University of Oxford. And the research suggested that less than one thousand of those with Covid-19 became ill enough to need treatment in hospital, with the vast majority developing mild symptoms or none at all.” Hmm over-reaction or justified by all your army of Facebook mates with the same re-inforcing opinion….. Gone are the times where you are allowed to form your own opinion based on evidence, you’re supposed to go with the voice of the herd and those that can shout the loudest….. as i said at the top totally Simple Jack.
    Some interesting numbers for you:
    World Health Organisation states Global Flu pandemic deaths of 300-600 thousand during each seasonal pandemic
    2017-2018 Influenza pandemic killed 61 thousand US citizens, over 4000 a week at its peak in February of that year.
    COVID19 – 20 thousand globally so far, and its likely to have done the rounds way more than is evident yet, as its transmitted according to the evidence in the same way as the flu, which does the rounds in a few months….. meaning Oxford are almost certainly right and time will prove that. Give me a gold star for being right here 🙂 But hey we’re all on holiday and don’t we love it when we’ve got barbeques and toilet roll in 🙂

    • Toff

      8th April 2020 9:15 pm

      Baz. Looks like Oxford University may have cocked up their projections big time. In fact, in line with the typical condescendence that usually comes out from the country that think they are better, different and wiser than all the rest. Unfortunately, this massive nightmare looks to be quite different than your light hearted and facetious approach. As it looks, the UK may have to go through the dramatic hardship that Italy and Spain are going through. And I am not just stating the obvious health problem, but also the huge economic uphill battle after all this has passed. At the time of writing this note, the PM is in Intensive Care and the UK have recorded close to 1000 deaths in 24 hours. I say this with a heavy heart – as I have family in the UK – but you deserve everything but a gold star. May you and your family stay safe.

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