Italian regions propose barring day-trippers to save ski season

Italian regions propose barring day-trippers to save ski season
A skier in Breuil-Cervinia, northwest Italy. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP
Italy's Alpine regions have proposed limiting ski passes to people staying overnight as they scramble to save the snow tourism sector.

Under the proposal, unveiled on Monday by the regions of Piedmont, Valle d'Aosta, Lombardy, Trentino-Alto Adige/South Tyrol, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, only people who can prove they have booked accommodation or own a holiday home in a resort area would be allowed to buy a ski pass.

It's the latest push to save Italy's ski season, after the government indicated that slopes would not be allowed to open as usual in December for fear of starting new Covid-19 clusters.

READ ALSO: Where and when will it be possible to go skiing in Europe this year?

Limiting ski passes to overnight visitors would help limit crowding while shoring up local businesses, who stand to lose as much as 60 percent of their annual turnover without the Christmas holidays, the regions said in a joint statement.

It would also avoid skiers travelling to the slopes and back for a day, which they acknowledged could present a heightened risk. 

READ ALSO: 'Huge economic damage': Italian ski resorts fear closure until mid-January


Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

Regional authorities have already proposed introducing a cap on the number of people on the slopes each day, as well as a 50 percent limit on passengers in cable cars, mandatory face masks, and restrictions on bars and restaurants serving après-ski meals and drinks.

They hope the national government will consider the precautions sufficient to allow them to reopen resorts when it next revises Italy's coronavirus rules, as it is due to do later this week.

But so far the signs aren't encouraging, with the government still debating how tightly to restrict travel over the Christmas period. 

READ ALSO: 'A different kind of Christmas': What will Italy's coronavirus rules be over the holidays?

Some of Italy's neighbours, including France and Germany, have discussed a possible joint agreement to keep ski resorts closed into January, though the EU has said it's up to each country to decide.

Meanwhile across the border in Switzerland the slopes are already open, with authorities saying that extra precautions including face masks are enough to keep skiers safe.


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