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Zermatt and Cervinia 2020-21

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Confirmation. Earliest start since we got our place there. And still no prospect of making it out.

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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hello all

I'm weighing up the options a trip to Cervinia in November and I was wondering what impact the restrictions for UK residents going to Switzerland will have on the Autumn skiing. Do the restrictions impact skiing in Zermatt if coming from the Italian side? I'll most probably be doing a course with one of the UK based ski schools and, from what I understand, a significant amount of the glacier skiing is on the Swiss side so will it be prohibitively limited. I've not been to the area before, so apologies if this is a stupid question!

Thank you!
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
eversolazy wrote:
Hello all

I'm weighing up the options a trip to Cervinia in November and I was wondering what impact the restrictions for UK residents going to Switzerland will have on the Autumn skiing. Do the restrictions impact skiing in Zermatt if coming from the Italian side? I'll most probably be doing a course with one of the UK based ski schools and, from what I understand, a significant amount of the glacier skiing is on the Swiss side so will it be prohibitively limited. I've not been to the area before, so apologies if this is a stupid question!

Thank you!


That is tricky. What we regard as the glacier skiing (i.e. you are on glacier from top to bottom) is all in Switzerland. The upper part of the Italian skiing is on glacier but the glacier does not extend down to the next lift station.

Cervinia opens up late October and conditions have been good. So the school could carry out courses in November all on the Italian side.

If you did come over to the Swiss side (and you had been in the UK in the previous ten days) you would be breaking the law. There are no border checks whatsoever. So I suspect there will be quite a lot of such law breaking going on while the UK is on Switzerland’s quarantine list but not Italy’s.
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JohnMo wrote:
If you did come over to the Swiss side (and you had been in the UK in the previous ten days) you would be breaking the law. There are no border checks whatsoever. So I suspect there will be quite a lot of such law breaking going on while the UK is on Switzerland’s quarantine list but not Italy’s.

I am pretty certain there is no issue where the passenger is transiting though Switzerland rather than staying in Switzerland - I wonder if this will cover the situation?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Wildsmith wrote:
JohnMo wrote:
If you did come over to the Swiss side (and you had been in the UK in the previous ten days) you would be breaking the law. There are no border checks whatsoever. So I suspect there will be quite a lot of such law breaking going on while the UK is on Switzerland’s quarantine list but not Italy’s.

I am pretty certain there is no issue where the passenger is transiting though Switzerland rather than staying in Switzerland - I wonder if this will cover the situation?


Interesting thought. The below is from the Swiss government’s FAQs. I guess one would be travelling from Italy to Italy. As I say there are no checks. So it is up to an individual to decide if they are covered.

Quote:

Transit from a Schengen state to other Schengen state
Following the lifting of border controls within the Schengen area and the special pandemic-related arrangements at the internal borders, entry from a Schengen state for the purpose of travelling on to another Schengen state is possible for anyone who is lawfully present in the Schengen area.
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With the 10 day isolation in and the 14 day isolation back still in place, these new measures are not making Brit visits to Zermatt or the other Valais resorts very likely in the near future.

Quote:


Valais is currently the canton in Switzerland most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, even if the situation at the national level is also very serious. Given the exponential increase in cases and hospitalizations, the State Council is forced to take drastic measures. The aim is to contain the spread of the contagion and at the same time to maintain the economy as much as possible. The Valais government has therefore decided to introduce new restrictions from Thursday, October 22nd, such as the complete closure of night bars or discos, the early closure of other public utilities at 10 p.m., the closure of entertainment and leisure facilities and the restriction of public and private gatherings and events for ten participants.

The epidemiological situation in connection with the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) is worrying in Switzerland, currently one of the most severely affected European countries. The situation is particularly serious in Valais, where the highest number of new cases is registered in relation to the population. The number of infections tripled in the past week and the positivity rate of the tests in people living in Valais rose to 28.5% (compared to 16.4% in the previous week). Hospitalizations continue to rise at a particularly worrying rate. There is a risk that the Wallis Hospital will no longer be able to cope with the influx of patients. The proportion of people over 60 who have been affected by the virus is also alarming. This is twice as high as the peak observed in March.

In light of this development, the State Council has no choice but to take the following drastic and immediate measures, which will come into effect on Thursday, October 22, 2020. These apply as long as necessary, but no later than November 30, 2020:

- Always wear a mask at closed workplaces (including in vehicles), especially in the offices of public administrations and private companies, unless this is impossible for health or safety reasons (in which case the necessary distance must be maintained); People who work alone are not subject to this obligation;

- Prohibition of gathering more than ten people in public spaces, especially on squares, promenades, sidewalks and paths as well as in parks

- Prohibition of gatherings of more than ten people in private circles;

- Prohibition of public and private events and activities with more than ten people (subject to exceptions that may be issued by the State Council, especially in cases of overriding public interest);

- Suspension of visits to hospitals and old people's and nursing homes, subject to cases of hardship;

- Complete closure of night bars, nightclubs, discos, piano bars, erotic clubs and other similar or analog facilities;

- Closure of public establishments (cafes, restaurants, tea rooms, pubs, vinotheques and other similar or analogous facilities) daily at 10 p.m. at the latest;

- Limit the maximum number of people seated at one table in these public facilities to four guests (excluding those living in the same household);

- mandatory implementation of a digital tracking application for these public bodies;

- Distance learning only for schools at the tertiary level;

- Closure of entertainment and leisure facilities (cinemas, theaters, museums, libraries and media libraries, fitness, wellness centers, public swimming pools and bathing facilities, bowling alleys, concert halls and other similar or similar facilities; this does not include wellness facilities in hotels for their own guests);

- Prohibition of contact sports (football, basketball, hockey, martial arts, etc.), with the exception of professional sports to the exclusion of the public and individual training;

- Strengthening of the controls by the municipal authorities;

- Strengthening of controls by the office for employee protection and employment relationships in companies whose staff are particularly affected by the number of infections (cluster).

These new measures complement those that are already in place.

In making its decision, the State Council weighed up all the interests involved. The aim is to protect the population and especially the risk groups and to limit the overloading of the health system and at the same time to protect the interests of the economy, which has already been badly affected by the pandemic, as best as possible. For this reason, the State Council decided not to take more drastic measures at this point in time, such as those used in the partial lockdown this spring. However, the Valais government is aware that it will be difficult to contain the spread of the epidemic quickly, as the measures taken today will not take effect for two weeks.

However, the Government of the Canton of Valais recalls that the key element in the fight against the epidemic lies in the appropriate behavior of each individual.

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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Opening day for the Italian side. The pistes from Plateau Rosa down to Laghi Cime Bianche (i.e. the upper Ventina, number 7) and all the pistes from the border ridge down to Plan Maison are open. Combined with the pistes on the upper and lower glaciers down to Trockener Steg on the Swiss side that is a big skiing area. Conditions look great as well.

Here are the Italians at Plan Maison. I am not jealous at all, oh no.

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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Oh dear. That didn't last long. Cervinia has been closed down until they can agree a protocol for crowd management with the government. There have been a lot of photos on social media of ticket queues in particular but also non-distanced crowds on gondolas.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
JohnMo wrote:
Oh dear. That didn't last long. Cervinia has been closed down until they can agree a protocol for crowd management with the government. There have been a lot of photos on social media of ticket queues in particular but also non-distanced crowds on gondolas.


I get the feeling this is going to be a common theme across ski resorts this season. I still can't picture how they will ensure low crowd levels on the Sunnegga funicular or the Matterhorn Express for example...If they did bring in crowd control measures imagine the queues!
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Well that is not something you see every October: the village looking very white. I guess it will melt as snow this time of year does but that is an impressive dump. Great news for higher up. The start of the season should be excellent. There is even snow down the valley at my place in Täsch (at least I assume I have a place - it is many months since I have seen it).

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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
We've booked for Zermatt over Christmas - I live in Switzerland so barring another total lockdown or too stringent lift management rules as there are a lot of 'enclosed' lifts in Zermatt, I hope we'll be OK to go

Lovely picture above - let's hope its a good sign for a great snow this year
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
We are still hoping to get out to a neighbouring village just before Christmas, suffer the 10 days isolation, then head out on the mountain.
It is just the lift queues that are giving us some concerns. The main gondola up from the village is a 6 seater - how they will manage that is a bit of a worry.
Given our age, we stay away from public transport in the UK - although we love skiing, we would still like to continue (both it & other things!) for a while yet.
Difficult decision to make. Hopefully it will become clearer nearer the time. We have bought the passes, but not yet booked the 'ferry'.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
It is going to be interesting what they do. The Xmas and New Year weeks must be a real worry. Certainly, the Swiss lift company will have watched the weekend shenanigans over the other side of the ridge in Cervinia with concern.

Up on the mountains you can imagine things might be OK. The old pinch points at Gant (on the way up to Blauherd) and at Trockener Steg (on the way up to Klein Matterhorn) have been taken away in the last few years by the new lifts put in there. The indoor queue for the cable car at Blauherd should be reduced by the new lift at Tuftern. On gondolas and chairlifts you can reduce the numbers allowed on each one. Two of the biggest queues (and they are never that big) in high season weeks are for the chairlifts at Riffelberg and Furggsattel. But those are outdoors so not as bad as indoor queues.

My bigger worry is getting up onto the mountains. There are only three ways up (from the Swiss side that is):

1. The Sunnegga funicular gets very crowded and the queue is indoors. It is all standing rather than seated so social distancing is going to be trickier.
2. Similarly the Gornegrat railway gets very crowded and the queue is indoors. You could restrict the trains to only seated passengers I guess. In high season the early morning trains are crammed with standing passengers. But that is going to reduce capacity enormously. You could perhaps run more frequent (or longer?) trains.
3. Finally, the Matterhorn Express gondolas can be reduced in capacity from 8 (although most of the time they only 6 get in) down to 4. But the high season queues first thing can be long in any case. Plus, that queue is only partially outdoors (it is covered with one side open to the elements and with the other indoors).

I imagine they will insist on masks for anyone in those three queues.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
JohnMo wrote:
Oh dear. That didn't last long. Cervinia has been closed down until they can agree a protocol for crowd management with the government. There have been a lot of photos on social media of ticket queues in particular but also non-distanced crowds on gondolas.


Seems like the Italian govt has given them a while to work out their protocols...

“Apart from national competitions, Italy’s ski facilities will remain closed. In November you will not go skiing in Italy,” said the Italian Minister of Sports, Vincenzo Spadafora.

https://planetski.eu/2020/10/26/ski-resorts-in-italy-shut-to-general-public/
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