Winter 21/22: Austrian Ski Resort Regulations

The Austrian government today announced the regulations governing skiing in the country’s winter resorts for the upcoming season.

A government minister said that the new rules would result in ‘stricter regulations for a safer winter’. They will be based on the 3G rules and 3-level plan currently in operation in the country.

With many of the glacier ski resorts gearing up for the ski opening over the next few weeks, the winter tourist industry in Austria had been anxious to discover the conditions for the coming ski season 2021/2022. Winter tourism accounts for around half of the country’s accommodation bookings each year and industry experts had been worried about the viability of much of the sector should another winter season be crippled by border restrictions.

The regulations will mean that ski lifts, nightlife, accommodation and restaurants will be restricted to those who are vaccinated, recovered from COVID or have a valid negative test (known as ‘3G’ in Austria). FFP-2 masks will be obligatory for all users in cable cars and gondolas but there will no longer be capacity restrictions, which resulted in occasional mass lift queues in the previous winter.

The ‘3-level’ concept is related to the available capacity for intensive care in hospitals. If the 3rd level is reached, only PCR tests will be considered valid and various restrictions on events and nightlife will be imposed.

Entry to Advent and Christmas markets and other gatherings will only be allowed under the ‘3G’ rules.

“These rules offer the best possible protection and safety for guests and businesses. Austria is the number one winter sports country in Europe as around half of all winter sports holidays in the EU are taken in Austria. I am positive that there will be a safe winter season this year because we are taking all the necessary precautions,” said Minister for Tourism Elisabeth Köstinger.