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COVID Update – December 8th 2020

The winter is getting closer and closer. So far we feel pretty lucky, but we are taking it 1 day at a time. We are enjoying some great early season conditions here and hope that where ever you are you will soon too!

There are questions about skiing and COVID being asked, pictures posted of lift queues online.

Are the lift companies doing enough?

So far, yes, what happens when it gets busy, we hope so! Right now it is not too busy here in Zermatt and we do not have big queues at the lifts, there is a lot of space on the mountain and in general we feel like we can enjoy our sports without too much COVID risk. When it gets busy at peak season we will need to make sure that distance is maintained as we head to the lifts.

Everyone is going to have to play their part, leave more space and be patient and it might take a little longer to get up the hill, but it will be worth it so we can go skiing.

WHAT's NEW?

New measures brought in for ski resorts by the federal govt.

  • Ski resorts require a licence to operate from the canton.
  • Ski resort operators must also present stringent precautionary measures implementing the uniform nationwide rules.
  • There are no capacity limits on ski resorts. However, in all closed forms of transport, for example gondolas and cable cars, only two-thirds of the spaces may be occupied. This applies to both seating and sitting space.
  • Masks must be worn on all cable cars and lifts, including ski lifts and chair lifts. When queuing, masks must also be worn and the requisite distance maintained.
  • At restaurants in ski resorts, guests may only be allowed into the indoor area if a table is free for them.

Federal GOvt emergency press conference on December 8th

This week has seen many conversations between the government and the cantons. They are worried about increasing numbers as we move in to the holiday season. They have put in place ‘strict nationwide measures to be applied from December 12th until January 20th. These include:

  • All gastronomy, shops, leisure & culture facilities to close by 7pm and all day Sunday
  • Private gatherings max 5 people from 2 households (except 24, 25, 26 & 31 December where there can be 10 people)
  • Public events banned
  • No cultural events

It does appear that for now ski resorts remain open…

THE NUMBERS...

New cases in Switzerland

The numbers have fallen but by not enough according to the federal council and we are still in a precarious situation. One positive is that it looks like the measures put in place early by Canton Valais do mean that we have seen some of the biggest decreases.

New cases in Valais

New cases in Valais continue to decrease.

The situation in Zermatt

The skiing is great, Sunnegga and Gornergrat  opened last weekend and the temperatures have decreased as the snow arrived. On all the lifts and in the queues the lift operators are making sure there is space and that everyone is wearing masks. Once you are off the lift there is all the space to enjoy skiing, snowboarding and being in the mountains.

Matterhorn Paradise lift pass policy re COVID for winter 20/21

In a nutshell if you book your lift pass online but can’t make it out to Zermatt due to travel bans, you or persons cloasely associated catching COVID-19 or resort facilities being closed due to federal or cantonal authorities then you will be issued with a credit note for the lift pass that is valid for 5 years. There are other insurance options and some lift passes are not valid for the credit note scheme so be sure to check the terms and conditions in detail.

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