At a gathering this week near Verbier, Switzerland’s ski lift operators decided that everyone, regardless of their Covid-19 immune status, would be able to ride Swiss ski lifts this coming winter.
Lift operators at the meeting decided that no Covid certificate would be required to access ski lifts, reported Le Matin. The decision follows two weeks of uncertainty.
Switzerland’s Covid certificates are similar to others used across Europe. The digital and paper passes are available to those who have recovered, been fully vaccinated or recently tested negative.
The reasoning behind the decision taken this week by lift operators is based on experience from last season. According to the ski lift association, the measures taken last year were effective. There is no reason to change them, said a spokesperson.
For the moment no changes will be made to current measures. This means skiers will be required to wear masks in lift cabins and other enclosed spaces. However, Covid certificates will not be needed to access lifts as they currently are to access many less crowded enclosed areas, such as restaurants.
In addition, the ski lift association pointed out the economic benefits of last year’s strategy. If ski lifts had been shut down last season Switzerland would have lost around CHF 6 billion, it said. Although, the sector saw revenues fall 24% last season despite remaining open, added the association.
The Federal Public Health Office (FOPH) was surprised by the announcement given that the number of new cases is on the rise again in several Swiss cantons. Patrick Mathys, who is heading the management of the pandemic in Switzerland said that it is a bit presumptuous to assert now that there will be no Covid certificates on ski lifts this winter. In any case, these decisions are made by the Federal Council, he said.