No Austria Snow Trips: Back In Lockdown Today

Sad news for Austria and lovers of Austrian snow trips as the country goes back into lockdown today. The bans are comprehensive, including on travel until at least December 13th.

This comes just weeks after it was looking a good bet for the early resumption of snow travel, with glacier ski areas like Stubai Gletscher open for business and the first World Cup races of the FIS 2021-2022 season.

That changed rapidly with a surging new wave of covid infections across the country and in neighbouring countries, especially Germany. As winter weather – which promotes the spread of the virus – combined with a vaccination rate stuck around 65% have provided plenty of openings for the new wave of cases.

Freeride Heaven on the Stubai Glacier – sadly off our menu for a few months at least © Andre Schoenherr

Anyone in Australia complaining about our higher vaccination targets for opening up would do well to look at Europe now.

The official information is this:

Given the current Coronavirus infection situation, the Austrian Government has announced a temporary nationwide lockdown for Austria. This lockdown, starting on Monday, 22 November, will be evaluated after 10 days, and is scheduled to end on 13 December at the latest. Travel to Austria for touristic purposes will not be possible during this time. We will keep you informed about further details as soon as they become available.

During the lockdown a curfew is in place in Austria, and all tourist facilities such as hotels, restaurants (only take-away possible), bars, cultural institutions, leisure centres, etc. are closed.

Individual ski areas are making their own decisions – this is what Stubai Gletscher, our #1 snow sure early/late season resort in Austria, have to say today:

Today at 19:00 the lockdown decree was published. The decree basically provides for skiing operations, but since there are still some legal questions to be clarified, the ski area remains closed for the time being.
As soon as we can estimate when we can reopen, we will communicate this accordingly.
Stay healthy and thank you for your understanding.

Last winter many operated for local clients only, and may be able to do so again, but certainly not for international visitors.

With exploding case loads across a lot of Europe, not just Austria, the prospects for any long distance travel for a Euro ski holiday are receding rapidly.

Assuming the Austrian lockdown and travel bans do end on December 13, their rules while in the country will remain strict:

“In Austria, the 2-G-rule (“vaccinated, recovered”) is in effect in many areas. Access to accommodation, restaurants/bars, cable cars and cultural institutions, among others, is only possible with proof of full vaccination/past infection. A negative Covid-19 test is no longer sufficient.”

You can check the latest requirements and restrictions on the Austrian Tourism information site on the link here

Hopefully things will look up later in winter and there will be options then and into spring, especially for those living closer.

For Aussies and others looking at longhaul flights to ski it’s really time to switch to alternative options. Japan has covid well under control, but they are moving slowly to re-open. The USA is open, but covid is on the rise and anti-vaxx sentiments are strong in many areas, including ski states like Idaho.

So on balance, we can’t go past Canada as our first choice, best choice to book a snow trip with any confidence now – a point we have been making for a few weeks.