Several glacier ski areas in Austria are already open and welcoming international skiers again, but for the main season ahead the government is stressing skiers will be required to wear face masks indoors and on lifts and will also need to carry Covid-19 passes to use the ski lifts.
However skiers will not be required to be vaccinated in the country where a sizable minority of the population appear to be resisting getting the vaccine.
Skiers will instead have to show they have either been vaccinated, tested or have recovered from COVID-19 when they buy a lift pass.
The news came at a government press conference at which it was stressed that winter 21-22 is on, after the country allowed ski areas to open but banned tourism last season.
“This year there will definitely be winter holidays in Austria,” Tourism Minister Elisabeth Koestinger said. “We have developed strict rules for a safe winter.”
Austria’s famous apres ski scene looks unlikely to return this winter. The government has suggested apres ski bars will be reclassified as ‘night clubs’ and may only be open to people who are fully vaccinated.