Opening day at Italian ski resorts keeps coming tantalizingly close before being ripped from eager skiers’ fingertips as the government again moves the goalposts. 18th January was supposed to be the most recent re-opening day, but the Italian government announced on Saturday that the public would have to wait – until 15th February, at least.
Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, announced covid-19 restrictions would continue through March 5th under the latest emergency decree, as infections continue to rise despite strict lockdown measures.
Italy, along with the majority of Europe, went into lockdown and shut their ski resorts in November to help slow the spread of covid-19. The 7th and then the 18th of January were pinpointed as the day resorts could reopen.
The ski resorts’ closure was first extended at the regional authorities’ request, who requested more time to meet coronavirus regulations.
“At the present time, due to the recent epidemiological trend at international level that has not facilitated the taking of the necessary decisions, it is believed that the conditions do not exist to allow initiatives and actions to allow the opening of the facilities on January 7.”
– regional authorities
Crowding, especially inside gondolas, in lift-lines, and during après ski, was highlighted as a ‘medium-risk’ factor by the government’s scientific-technical committee.
The Italian government declared Lombardy and South Tirol as ‘red zones,’ meaning people can only leave their homes for essential reasons. Unfortunately, despite what we might think, skiing is not deemed essential.
The Aosta Valley, home to many ski resorts, has been moved from a ‘red zone’ to an ‘orange zone’.
The rules of the lockdown are:
- No one will be able to leave or enter a “red zone”
- Citizens must stay home, except to go to work or shop for essentials
- Citizens can also exercise near their homes but must wear masks
- Factories will remain open, as will essential services such as pharmacies and supermarkets
Italy has seen 2,390,101 confirmed covid-19 cases and 82,554 deaths with covid.