Is skiing just a dream this year? Slovenian centers are responsible

We enter December when the winter season usually kicks off in at least one of the Slovenian ski areas. So far, no significant snowfall has fallen in the hilly world, but the temperatures have dropped below zero, causing snow to fall (making artificial snow).

A source of infections in the Austrian center

Will skiing be possible at all in December of this year given the state of the coronavirus infection? Things are looking worse, judging by government statements, but ski resorts are preparing at an accelerated pace for the 2020/21 season. Recall that the Austrian ski resort of Ischgl was the main center of coronavirus transmission during the first wave of the epidemic (March). Especially because of the mass parties.

In Mariborsko Pohorje, where there is no natural snow yet, they normally prepare for the new season, but there are no major innovations in the pipeline, he told us. Miha Rubin from Marprom: “We plan the start of a new ski season or opening days at Pohorje from 11 to 13 December. We started snowmaking in Areh on November 20 and based on the weather forecast we estimate that by December 11 we will produce enough snow to start the winter season. It is difficult to predict which restrictions and measures will apply at that time, as it will depend on the instructions of the competent public authorities. ”

Krvavec plans to open in the first days of December

Also on Krvavec, where the areas also snow, the director of the center Janez Janša he says they can start the season in the first days of December. But only if the epidemiological situation permits, as well as government decisions: “We believe that skiing with gloves and helmets and riding with a cable car and mask should not be a health problem. I urge people who care about our health to listen to us that skiing is an outdoor sport, that with 100,000 square meters of area on Krvavec everyone will find their own slice of skiing, and that sport has always been a guide to health. “

Government spokesman: Nothing indicates the season
“For now, we still have a pretty strong one Lockdown and there are no great opportunities to open this activity, ”says Kacin. “This falls within the remit of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure and Transport. As you know, gondola rides and these types of activities are prohibited. If the epidemiological picture is significantly better than it is now, something could happen in the near future. Or however it will be spring or not sooner, I cannot answer, however, broader European solutions are sought here, we will have to coordinate and prevent this activity from becoming one of the sources of the spread of the disease, ” said a spokesman for the government at a press conference in the center. Jelko Kacin.

He added that they will be paying close attention to security and preventing the spread of infections in the sense that there will be no queues for checkouts and devices and people can decide for themselves whether to ride the device alone or a gondola or share chairlift with others. .

LOMBAR TOMI Krvavec ski area. PHOTO: Tomi Lombar, Delo

Polona Golija from TC Soriška planina, doo, told us that they are preparing for the season: “We are going to snow at the first favorable temperatures, so that with the help of nature we can start the ski area sometime in mid-December. The effect of course mainly depends on the epidemiological situation, and therefore also on the favorable weather conditions. The season will certainly be a bit different, especially when it comes to molding people in one place. What will be different in this ski resort this year? “This year, we are preparing to provide safe health conditions for our visitors, namely we have prepared an online store and online ticket purchase in advance, and we are currently preparing the opportunity to buy tickets online during the regular operation. way, we would allow our guests to interact with others at checkout and avoid longer queues and make a purchase online. We also make sure people get up correctly and safely at the cable car entry points. we also cleaned up the upper part of the Slatnik slope on the ski slope itself, performed regular equipment maintenance and carried out technical inspections. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus epidemic, it was not possible to make additional investments. ”

Kanin was already active during the coronavirus in May

Slovenia’s highest ski resort, Kanin, which is also connected on the Italian side, doesn’t have much natural snow yet, but they hope a shipment will arrive soon. Nataša Tratnik She told us they will follow the lead of May 2020, when, despite the worsening corona conditions, they ran part of the season: “We have proven that it is possible to operate safely even in changed operating conditions. Due to the decontamination of cable car installations and strict following of Nijz’s instructions, we were able to transport as many as 23,000 passengers during the summer season and no infection was detected. We are aware that ski resorts are the safest form of recreation from the point of view of spreading infection as we have protected mouth, nose and hands while skiing. “Restaurants, toilets and indoor areas can be a problem, but Tratnikova ensures: at outdoor catering locations, multiple outdoor catering establishments to minimize the holding of skiers indoors. We prepare a wide variety of dishes for the occasion to go. We will certainly act on the recommendations of the Nijz. “

At Rogla, which is managed by Unitur turizem, they hope to be able to start the devices soon. “Maintenance work on the cable cars and ski slopes at Rogla is in the final phase. Last weekend we took advantage of the favorable weather conditions and it was already snowing technically. The start of the ski season depends on the weather conditions, snowfall, weather conditions required for technical snow cannons, and last but not least of the epidemiological situation and the release of measures by the government of the Republic of Slovenia, ”she told us. Simona Kalan. The popular ski resort in Styria has invested a lot in renovation in recent years, so they hope the 2020/21 season will be fairly normal. “We do not expect major restrictions on the ski slope itself, as people are already equipped with gloves, scarves, hats, etc. In the case of winter outdoor activities. A little more adjustments are needed to ensure an appropriate safety distance when entering cable car installations. guarantee and to limit simultaneous access to the catering industry, whereby the offer is arranged in such a way that it is also accessible to visitors outside. ”

Italians for the complete closure of ski areas, Austria strongly opposed

What will it be like abroad? It’s not clear yet, as the Italian Prime Minister has called for all ski resorts in Europe to be closed and not open until the end of January, when the second wave will be over and a vaccine will likely be available. If there are no restrictive measures, especially during the Christmas and New Year holidays, we will face a third wave of pandemics in January, the Italian government warns.

Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder He then announced on Tuesday that this German state, which includes part of the Alps, also plans to keep 19 ski areas closed during the Christmas holidays due to the fight against Covid. He also called on other European countries to follow this example. German Chancellor Angela Merkel would also close European ski areas, but she herself is not exactly optimistic that they will succeed. Austria, which has been claiming for months that it wants to open the ski slopes at all costs with appropriate corona measures, is opposed to the Italian proposal.

The EU says everyone should decide for themselves

However, the European Commission has emphasized on a number of points that the decision to ski is a national competence. However, as with many other pandemic issues falling within national competence, they did not provide a clear answer as to whether they would make a European recommendation. They reminded her that she is the European Commissioner for Health Stella Kiriakides Wednesday, in response to a question about skiing, warned that lifting anti-crown restrictions too soon could lead to an increase in infections and the virus re-spreading, while stressing that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, as reality is different in different Member States.

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