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.