Switzerland’s ski resorts are determined to make a strong comeback this winter after coronavirus caused a damaging blow to their economy back in the spring.
A glimmer of hope came for Verbier in the form of an early snowfall this year and the resort was able to open up some of its ski runs and lifts on 30 October. But with the resort relying on such a high volume of international visitors, they’re calling upon Switzerland locals to save the ski season this year.
“It is clear that the border crossing is restricted and our station [relies on] foreign customers, it will be problematic,” says Laurent Vaucher, Televerbier CEO. He hopes the second half of the winter season might be more fruitful and suggests, “perhaps [by then] we will have a medical solution to better protect people at risk and free the hospitals."
The message to skiers and mountain enthusiasts now is this: Verbier is open for business. The resort has signed the Swiss government’s ‘Clean & Safe’ charter, which means they are following COVID-19 restrictions rigorously.
Do I need to wear a mask when I go skiing?
Face masks are mandatory throughout the ski area, including in queues to get on the ski lift as well as on public transport and in all indoor areas. In short, you will need to wear a face mask anywhere that you’ll be in close proximity to other people. This includes:
- cable cars
- restaurants and cafes
- the sports centre and other activity areas
Hand sanitiser is also widely available across the site. According to Verbier’s tourism website, flexible cancellation policies are in place when buying ski passes.
"As long as everyone respects the mask, respects the rules that are put in place, it seems to be working pretty well as it is now, so I hope it continues like this,” says skier Louis Pharaony.