Italy will bring in a number of new legally-enforced rules for skiers on its slopes in the first few weeks of January.

Several that come in to force on January 1st have been in the works for years, but others and the latest strengthening of measures aimed at slowing the latest wave of COVID.

The new rules from January 1st are:

  • Mandatory helmets for all under 18s (previously it was a legal obligation to age 14).
  • Public liability insurance to be taken out by all skiers and boarders.
  • An alcohol drink-ski or board limit for slope users.

In addition Italy will tighten the Covid-19 rules with the 2G rule (vaccinated or recovered) in accommodation establishments and on lifts in place from January 10th.

“All of this is in order to be able to guarantee the safety of the population even better, while maintaining as far as possible economic life in the country,” a statement from the country’s largest ski areas operator Dolomiti Superski explained.

The new rules starting on Saturday 1 January 2022 are part of new decree no: 40/2021 approved by Italy’s parliament.

“As a lift operator, we certainly support all regulations that ensure a higher safety standard for winter sports enthusiasts. The extension of compulsory protective helmets to all minors is certainly a step in this direction, even though the absolute majority of all winter sports enthusiasts of all ages already use a helmet for their own safety,” says Andy Varallo, Chairman of Dolomiti Superski which covers parts of South Tyrol, Trentino and Belluno.

It goes without saying that the safety helmets must meet the current EU certification guidelines.

Anyone practising a winter sport in Italy in designated winter sports areas must possess a third-party liability insurance policy covering damage to third parties. The most common insurance policies of this kind, including those for families, already cover the area of “winter sports” – it is nevertheless recommended to clarify this with your own insurance company.

The operators of ski resorts are themselves obligated to offer such liability insurance to customers when purchasing the skipass.

“Dolomiti Superski has already been doing this for almost 15 years. In the province of Trento, it was already obligatory to offer the policy at the ski pass point of sale – now it is being extended to the other two areas of South Tyrol and Belluno. For almost 15 years, it has also been possible to purchase such a third-party liability insurance through our partner GBC Montagna with its product “Snowcare” on the website, allowing you to ski without any worries,” Andy Varallo continues.

The competent authorities are responsible for the verification of the insurance cover and, in particular, the law enforcement officers will undertake this control in case of an accident on the slopes.

Skiing and all other winter sports are strictly forbidden when under the influence of alcohol or toxic substances.

“We do not only see this as a requirement of the new law, but above all as a question of personal responsibility, respect and common sense of each of us, which should be self-evident”, comments Andy Varallo on one of the most important paragraphs of the new decree.

Dolomiti Superski say that there is no specification about the alcohol limit and say that they are  assuming the implementation of the law will be based on the road traffic regulations, which in Italy allow a maximum of 0.5 mg of alcohol per litre of blood.  This was also stated by the judge at the Bolzano Regional Court, Dr. Carlo Busato, in an interview with the daily newspaper Alto Adige on 1 December 2021. If there is a strong suspicion, the police can carry out appropriate controls, in accordance with the law. In contrast to the road traffic regulations, any exceeding of the limit has consequences under administrative law, but not under criminal law.