As the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic continues in Europe, some countries have already taken the decision to limit tourism during the winter season. Italy and Germany are the two countries that have followed this path and are proposing an EU-wide closure of ski resorts.
Many member states are opposed to such restrictive measures. One of these is Austria, with the Alpine country set to open ski resorts on Christmas. However, this step is no guarantee that the winter season will be a success and that everyone will be able to enjoy skiing holidays in Austria.
Easing Restrictions Will Not Help Tourism
In this context, the main problem is the restrictions in force in the central European country. Austria wants to ease some measures on December 7, but these will not help the tourism sector for the time being.
“In tourism, gastronomy and culture, it is painful that we have to wait with opening,” said Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. A relaxation of restrictions in the industry could arrive at the earliest on January 7.
Limited Options for Foreign Tourists
But that is not all. As mentioned, ski resorts will reopen on Christmas, but for travelers from abroad skiing holidays in Austria is virtually impossible. The reason for this is that the government imposes a quarantine obligation for all travelers from Corona risk areas from December 7 to January 10.
If one wants to go on holiday to Austria during this period, they have to go into self-isolation for ten days. With tourism accommodation still being closed, this is practically an impossibility.
Countries that have exceeded the threshold of more than 100 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days are classified as risk areas in Austria. As of now, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, only Iceland and Ireland are currently under this limit.
“We had very, very low levels of infection during the summer after the lockdown. We then dragged infections backed into the country through travelers returning, and especially through people who had spent the summer in their countries of origin,” Kurz added.
The strict measures are intended to prevent trips abroad over the Christmas season from causing the virus to spread yet again. However, at the same time, the measures will have a significant effect on the tourism industry, as skiing holidays in Austria, especially for foreigners, will be impossible.