Five key changes to expect on a European ski holiday this season

Despite new rules and restrictions, many of the continent’s slopes are open for business. Here’s what to expect…

Ski: On the slopes. PA Photo/iStock

Sarah Marshall

If you are a regular skier, chances are you are desperate to get back on the slopes if you can this winter.

In fact, a recent report by the Ski Club of Great Britain showed that 86pc of respondents intend to go on a skiing holiday if it’s possible. And with just weeks before the start of the season, resorts across Europe are getting ready to welcome people back.

Of course the slopes will look different in our new normal, but if you want extra reassurance in these uncertain times remember that booking a package ski holiday with a licensed and bonded travel agent can provide protection.

Some operators, such as Crystal Ski Holidays, are giving customers Covid-19 cover and have flexible amendment policies in place to give people freedom if they need to change their plans.

Chris Logan, Manager Director of Crystal Ski Holidays, says:

“The new health and safety measures people will find on the slopes are pretty much what we are all already doing daily at home – think face masks, contactless transactions and social distancing.

“Mountain resorts have been open through summer and skiers have already been enjoying time on the glaciers. They are well prepared for the season and we have a good picture of what people can expect.”

It’s important to remember different countries, destinations and resorts will have their own specific guidelines and regulations in place, but the fundamentals of a ski holiday – the snow, the fresh air, the exhilaration of the descent down the mountain – will remain the same.

So what should you expect?

1. You will need to wear a face mask in ski hire shops and the number of people in shops at any one time will be limited. Equipment will be deep cleaned between uses and you may be able to make an appointment to collect it.

2. Masks must also be worn while queuing for and on lifts. Queues will be managed, social distancing in place and there could be fewer people allowed on cable cars at the same time.

3. Ski schools may be running as usual, but with smaller numbers in classes and all but the youngest skiers needing to wear a face mask as they gather before and after sessions.

4. Après ski is where you’ll see the biggest changes. It will be low-key this season with no mass gatherings. Opening hours are likely to be shorter and there could be curfews in place in some resorts.

5. Venues, restaurants and bars will full make use of their outside spaces and you can expect the numbers allowed indoors to be reduced. You’ll find table service in operation and you may even see partitions in place to ensure a minimum distance of one metre. It’s probably a good idea to call ahead and book a table to secure a space.

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