We reported in the sharp increase in cases in Switzerland last week on PlanetSKI. Swiss doctors in the wealthy ski town of Verbier are calling on authorities to seal it off from the rest of Switzerland, citing a surge in cases of the new coronavirus in recent weeks. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Verbier is gearing up for the ski lift opening, which is scheduled happen on the 5th of December 2020. Throughout these months we've all been dreaming of being able to enjoy the mountains' fresh air and wide open spaces as we shred down the slopes. Many accommodation providers are offering flexible cancellations and refunds when trips are cancelled because of Coronavirus – look out for the Covid-Proof Booking symbol on our Apartments and Chalets page. Social distancing is required, but it remains to be seen how it will be enforced. Privacy, Ads & Cookies We respect your privacy. CNN's Melissa Bell travels to Verbier, Switzerland, to see how the ski resort is taking measures to keep the virus away amid rising Covid-19 infections. Only table service is allowed, so no standing at the bar, There's a safe distance of at least 1 metre between tables. Face masks are mandatory throughout the ski area. With the global pandemic still very much in everyone’s minds, all the teams and businesses in Verbier are working hard to implement health and safety protocols. Wearing a mask is mandatory at all facilities as well as in queues. are still permitted. “With this in mind, I would ask you to kindly respect the measures in place for your own safety and that of everyone around you.”. COVID-19 measures in No.14. “Reasons to face this safely and positively,” he added. View terms. For the Spirit of the Mountains – PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news, Content copyright © 2020, PlanetSKI | Privacy policy. “We are not allowed to gather more than 10 people in public space, however, when we have our skis on, there is no problem … We wonder who we are kidding,” he added. 5. “Unless otherwise advised by the authorities, we are preparing to operate our ski area as usual while also applying the health measures currently in force. The rest of the Verbier ski area will follow from early December. All other individual outdoor sports (winter hiking, snowshoeing, ski touring, tobogganing, running, etc.) Staff wear face masks at all times and wash their hands frequently. If you’re in search of a happening ski town, incredibly scenic Alpine peaks and some of the most renowned Swiss skiing, you will certainly be pleased on a Verbier ski trip. Check out the latest news on the Coronavirus Impact on Snowsports. There are countless chalet websites and ski companies out there and it’s hard to know where to begin your search. Carte Club 4 Vallées "A la carte" skiing ! Ski hire shops, ski schools, activity companies and other tourist businesses in Verbier are doing their best to implement enhanced safety measures to give everyone peace of mind while taking ski or snowboard lessons, participating in activities or renting gear. Face masks are obligatory both for staff and customers. It takes around 9 hours to get from Calais to Verbier town centre and tolls cost around €80 each way. Limitations regarding the amount of people that businesses can welcome or the crowds that events can gather are being enforced. Verbier, the ski resort of the rich and famous (such as Pixie Lott, inset) in the Four Valleys of Switzerland, may be more affordable than you realise, as MailOnline's Jake Polden discovers. Plus, the snow will come just like it does every winter – there have been some substantial early-season dumps that have us hoping for a very snowy ski season. Petit Verbier is accredited with the “Clean & Safe ... As well as our usual hygiene measures we will make the following adjustments to our After Ski Kids Club for winter 2021: There will be no kids club running until February 2021, when we will re asses how we can run safely and confirm a start date. Some companies have even implemented contactless catered holidays where meals are laid out before you sit at your table and cleaning takes place while you're out on the slopes. So we wanted to update you and let you know what’s really happening. Follow safety and hygiene guidelines France is 399, Spain 272, Italy 216 and Austria 209. Ski touring track Siviez - Plan du Fou (3.6 km) Ski touring track Siviez - Combatseline (3.1 km) Ski touring track Pra da Dzeu – Tracouet (4.3 km) Ski touring track Siviez - Tortin (3.35 km) Ski touring track Tracouet (4.9 km) Stay safe and remember that we're here to help you with your bookings and with any questions you may have about Verbier. Finally, self-catering is undoubtedly very popular this ski season since staying with a reduced group of friends or family means fewer chances of getting infected. “Everyone social distancing and wearing masks to buy passes,” he said. Book Welcome to Verbier’s Swiss ski and snowboard school. Verbier, for example, shares its “4 Vallées” ski area with the villages Bruson, La Tzoumaz, Nendaz, ... Verbier was one of the ski resorts hardest hit by Covid in March. 7. One of our regular readers and occasional reporters in Verbier is Guy Ordway from the ski school, Element, that is based in the resort. After weeks of confinement, being outdoors, breathing fresh air and feeling the sun's warmth on our skin is just what we need. Everyone’s been working really hard to ensure that skiers and snowboarders can use all of the ski area’s facilities and services … It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Davos-Klosters has also opened two non-glacial runs for weekends only. Drive to Verbier We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. FILE - In this Oct. 30, 2020 file photo skiers wearing face masks riding a chairlift on the opening day of the Verbier ski area in the Swiss Alps, EU member states Austria, France, Germany and Italy are shutting or severely restricting access to the slopes this holiday season amid COVID-19 concerns, Switzerland is not. Tell me about Verbier Ski Resort. Maintaining social distancing on planes and trains can be quite tricky, so why not drive to Verbier? ... A skier on the opening day of the Verbier ski … 2. This doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t any catered chalets and apartments available in Verbier this season. We keep repeating it but following safety and hygiene rules is the best way to stay safe on your holidays in Verbier: keep a distance of at least 1 metre, wash your hands and wear a mask. Book early As a result we have some big news for Verbier – as well as for all Swiss ski resorts. The resort has opened its Lac des Vaux slopes on Friday 30th October. “Police were checking in at Medran in the resort and La Chable in the valley. This means that, if for any reason you're forced to cancel your holiday, you'll probably be given a full refund. Entertain at yours This website uses cookies to improve your experience. However, instead of booking a restaurant or a bar, why not ask a catering company to bring the party to you? Avoid crowds France's recent decision to shut down ski lifts due to COVID-19 fears will have been a disappointment for many winter sports enthusiasts. WFH made second homes a must-have Covid-19 escape – now luxury ski resorts in France, Switzerland and US are becoming health and wellness mountain retreats all year round A longtime destination of Europe’s jet set for off-piste skiing and apres-ski high life, Verbier’s packed gondola lifts and bars made it the perfect incubator for Covid-19. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. We use cookies. Some question the wisdom of opening as Switzerland, and the Valais Canton, is one of the Covid-19 hotspots in Europe. Thanks to the lifts opening over the summer, Verbier have been able to test out their Covid-19 safety measures on lifts and fine-tune them for the winter. Switzerland itself is seeing a steep rise in cases. We even expect a drop in the number of skiers which means that the Alps will probably be quieter than ever... a silver lining if ever there was one! Depending on the snow conditions the resort will then open the slope from Les Attelas down to Les Ruinettes. Everyone’s been working really hard to ensure that skiers and snowboarders can use all of the ski area’s facilities and services without having to worry about their health and safety. “We can guarantee that your health and safety, and that of our staff, are of the utmost importance when making the necessary decisions for the coming season,” said the CEO of Televerbier, Laurent Vaucher. Just like with your accommodation, flexible cancellation policies have been implemented. - Covid-19 Testing Centres In Tignes - … “All service providers across Verbier, La Tzoumaz and Bruson are ready to welcome you in the best conditions. If people do not it is likely resorts will be shut down. Easyjet and Swiss resume their connections to Geneva, UK government's Coronavirus travel advice, UK Foreign Office's Switzerland travel advice website, World Health Organisation's (WHO) Coronavirus updates. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. From 29th October people who have visited the UK in the past 10-days are no longer required to quarantine for 10-days on entry to Switzerland. Trust local businesses Saas Fee is pragmatically running and everything fitting around new Covid regs too. About Verbier, Switzerland. However, once more, that depends on the Swiss government's regulation, which changes as the situation develops. Covid-19: New meeting areas for winter 2020-2021 Welcome TO THE SWISS SKI AND SNOWBOARD SCHOOL IN VERBIER! Hand sanitiser is available at ski hire shops, ski schools and even while taking part in activities. 4. Perched on a sunny plateau in the heart of the mountains, with its slate-roofed chalets, Verbier has carefully maintained its charm as an alpine village. We only show local Verbier ads sourced by us, I'm OK with that This is how Verbier is keeping you safe on lifts this winter: Chalets, apartments and hotels in Verbier are operating as usual this winter, with the only difference that upgraded health and safety measures have been put in place to protect both customers and staff. Staff has been trained on the new health and safety measures, which are also publicly displayed for everyone to see. The 4Vallées Club Card is an annual discount pass for the entire 4Vallées ski area, offering a discount of between 10% and 50%, according to a pre-defined schedule. The resort has every intention of opening this season. There is snow all the way down to village level after recent storms. 1. Nonetheless, the Verbier sports centre is still open, with access to a multi-sport hall and a climbing wall limited to 15 persons per hall. So far, there are no limits on the number of people in the mountain at the same time, although this may change depending on how the pandemic develops. Celebrations aren't off the table this winter in Verbier. - Huge Queues for Verbier Lift - Will Ski Resorts in Spain Open for Skiing at Xmas? The Swiss government has created a list of these states and areas with an increased risk of infection, which is updated regularly, and which can be found online. In any case, your accommodation provider will be able to inform you about the specific measures they're taking – we recommend you ask them directly before booking. “Téléverbier is committed to welcoming skiers in the best possible conditions, taking into account the health situation,” said a statement from the lift company. Depending on the snow conditions the resort will then open the slope from Les Attelas down to Les Ruinettes. Other Swiss resorts, including Andermatt, are opening this weekend. Verbier Life continues to make its internet site and social media pages available to anyone wishing to disseminate useful or important information within the Verbier Community at this time. Verbier though is aiming for things to be different. However some question the wisdom of opening as Covid-19 surges across Switzerland. You'll get to ski remote stashes of powder and try out new things. Verbier is a huge outdoor playground where keeping a safe distance from other people is as easy as it gets. This is the gateway to the 4 Vallées ski area – with nearly 100 lifts and more than 400 km of ski runs for all levels of expertise at your feet. With the snow already blanketing some of the higher slopes, at the time of writing we're very much hoping we're all going to be able to enjoy the mountains in safety this winter. Just opt for private lessons and activities instead of group ones, such as booking a private ski or snowboard instructor for you and your group of friends or family, or a private transfer to take you from Geneva airport to your accommodation. At Verbier, like at other resorts, police patrol the lift departure area to make sure everyone is respecting the anti-Covid measures. All areas, materials and indoor surfaces are disinfected regularly. Online booking is also preferred and contactless payment encouraged. All the restaurants and bars in Verbier have implemented updated protocols to make sure everyone's safe: In general, the answer is yes but it depends on the coronavirus situation in the country you’re departing from. Switzerland introduced a quarantine as cases surged in the UK. Verbier opens as Covid-19 surges in Switzerland Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Engelberg, St Moritz, Verbier, Glacier 3000, Andermatt and a handful of others currently have some slopes open for parts, or all, of the week. It opened with good conditions and blue sky. In general, groups are cut by half to ensure social distancing while outdoor activities are favoured. Even better, there are no limitations on the number of people on the slopes or the amount of ski passes on sale. However, it's the governments who have the last word as they're the ones imposing restrictions on travel and mobility. The snow has been good with several recent heavy falls in October. Verbier, Valais, Switzerland: Skiers, some wearing protective face masks against the spread of the Covid-19, caused by the novel coronavirus, hit the slopes in the Swiss ski resort of Verbier in the Swiss Alps on November 15, 2020. 3. The easiest way to comply with social distancing is to avoid crowds altogether. Winter opening dates have already been announced – Verbier is welcoming skiers and snowboarders this season. These regulations are changing all the time so, for up to date information, take a look at the following Covid-19-dedicated websites: Read on to learn more about what the resort is doing to ensure everyone's safety this winter. Yesterday and today have been busy (and tense) days for news on skiing. Nevertheless Verbier is opening with everyone keeping their fingers crossed for the season ahead. Once in Verbier, leave your vehicle at one of the local car parks and move around on foot or using the great network of free shuttle buses that'll take you to the foot of the slopes in no time. The government ordered the closure of all ski resorts and lifts on March 13, but Verbier, which is a popular town in the Alps for both tourists and locals, remained busy up until recently. Hikers at the Swiss ski resort of Verbier getting an A+ in social distancing. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. There are countless chalet websites and ski companies out there and it’s hard to know where to begin your search. Are bars & restaurants open in Verbier this ski season? Not only are businesses in Verbier putting safety and hygiene measures in place but they've also made cancellations much more flexible. Situated between the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc at a height of 5,000 feet, a Verbier ski vacation offers one of the largest ski areas in Europe. Now only Belgium, the Czech Republic, Andorra and Armenia, plus three regions of France, including Paris are considered high risk compared to the situation in Switzerland. Terms and conditions have also been updated, which means that you can book in full confidence. In Verbier, you can easily enjoy the outdoors while avoiding the crowds. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. However, as mentioned above, this depends on government regulations on foreign travel and whether businesses are allowed to open. What are businesses in Verbier doing to keep customers safe? Hand sanitiser is available at ski pass offices, lift boarding areas and any other public spaces. That’s why many chalet and apartment companies have increased their portfolio of self-catered properties. That's why you should take advantage of the many open-air activities and events on offer in this wonderful ski area this winter! Sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in Switzerland. Private chalets and apartments make for great venues and Verbier has an excellent selection of catering companies ranging from private chefs to delivered ready-made meals providing the best street grub from your own garden. The Valais Canton is one of the worst areas in the country. Switzerland is seeing the highest number of new cases per head of population of any alpine nation with 471 per 100,000 as measured over a 7-day period. There are plenty of other things you can do in the area in small groups. COVID-19 PREVENTATIVE MEASURES. We've got a few strategies to help you with that like, for example, booking a whole chalet or an entire apartment instead of a hotel room, that way you can prevent bumping into other guests during your stay. The lifts will be open only on weekends in November and then daily from 5th December. ... No.14 Verbier has adopted the following protocol since December 1 st 2020 and until further notice: ... which we encourage our guests to take out with them and use regularly whilst using all of the ski lifts and visiting restaurants. It’s good that people are still smart enough to enjoy life, the resorts and I am sure that the distances and all sanitary measures are respected,” said Deborah Sinz on the resort’s Facebok page. But remember that skiing and snowboarding are outdoor sports, which means that risks are minimal, and there are plenty of ways to ensure that you stay safe while off the slopes. The valley is full of charming secret spots and the best way to explore them is to book a local guide. We know that cars aren't great for the environment but their carbon footprint is much lower than that of planes with studies suggesting that flights emit around 133g of carbon dioxide per person while a diesel car carrying four passengers emits only 43gr per person. Get off the beaten path Last weekend Cervinia in Italy opened and was promptly ordered to close as huge queues developed and lifts were packed. Offering incredible views, epic terrain, reliable powder and your pick of après ski locations all linked by high-class lifts. “I don’t quite understand how it is that ski resorts can open up and bring together so many people (just look at the number of people in the queue behind) when the epidemiological conditions in Valais are catastrophic,” said Michael Rodger. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. Look out for our Covid-Proof Booking symbol when booking your accommodation, your ski lessons, your ski hire or your activities on SeeVerbier.com. The pandemic has become a part of everyone's daily life across the globe and that's no different in Verbier. It has reached such levels in Switzerland that the authorities have mostly abandoned the country’s quarantine measures. At Verbier, like at other resorts, police patrol the lift departure area to make sure everyone is respecting the anti-Covid measures. This will ensure you get the best table in Verbier's hottest apres-ski spot! With Covid-related ski lift closures in Austria, France, Italy and Germany, the Alps will be a no-go area for skiers over the usually busy year-end holiday season. Improved safety measures such as temperature checks, disinfection of aircrafts, compulsory use of masks, online check-ins and reduction in the number of bags to be taken onboard ensure that everyone is safe when coming to Verbier. There's a world of choices away from the tourist crowds in Verbier! People who arrive in the UK from Switzerland do still need to quarantine. The resort is following all the regulations and has obtained the “Clean and safe” label in collaboration with Switzerland Tourism. 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