Paznaun-Ischgl focuses on health and safety standards

Last updated on 21.08.2020

Decision-makers in the Paznaun region of Tyrol have devised a comprehensive package of measures to best protect the health and safety of guests, employees and locals. The traditional Top of the Mountain Concert at the start of the season will not take place this year – but an alternative is being worked on and will be presented in autumn.

“Health is the top priority,” says Mayor Werner Kurz, the Executive Board members of Tourist Board Alexander von der Thannen, Arnold Tschiderer and Michael Zangerl and the two Executive Board members of Silvrettaseilbahn AG, Markus Walser and Günther Zangerl.

Season start without a concert
In order to avoid large gatherings, there will be no Top of the Mountain Concert at the start of the season. “We want the focus to be on nature and our extensive top ski resort which extends right into Samnaun in Switzerland with a daily prepared piste surface area of 500 ha. Details of the alternative winter start will be presented in autumn,” say the organisers.

Comprehensive testing and medical certificates
The preparations relating to the special health and hygiene guidelines were carried out with the agreement of experts and in collaboration with the cable car companies from the valley and Samnaun. The bundle of measures relating to health and safety standards sets a clear focus and establishes a joint approach for the whole of Paznaun which goes beyond the official regulations.

Measures for employees
Over the coming winter season, all employees will be required present a current negative Covid-test result on arrival or else will be tested before the start of the season. During the winter season, employees will then be offered ongoing testing to provide guests and work colleagues alike with the best possible protection.

Measures for guests
We recommend that guests are able to present a negative test result no more than 72 hours old when they check in at the hotels. “Those unable to present a test result will be offered voluntary testing at the local guest screening station”, Chairman of the Tourist Board Alexander von der Thannen explains. Temperature measurements will be taken on check-in and a short questionnaire should be completed and signed. A personalised contact tracing app is currently being devised which determines individual cases within the guests’ circle of contacts and thereby improves safety.

Measures for early detection of potential infection
“In terms of prevention, Paznaun is working on sewage monitoring, an initiative by the Tyrolean state government in collaboration with the University of Innsbruck, which will be implemented across the state,” says Mayor Werner Kurz. These ongoing sewage tests should enable potential infection to be identified at an early stage with a high level of accuracy.

Cross-border safety in the Silvretta Arena
“It is also our core concern to ensure the highest possible safety levels in the ski resort by implementing appropriate health and hygiene measures. The measures are in line with the current legal regulations but also to a large extent go significantly beyond these minimum requirements,” says Günther Zangerl.

Measures for the cable cars
All cable car cabins are constantly disinfected with cold mist devices to eliminate 99.99% of viruses, bacteria and spores in the cable car cabins. The same method is also used in the ski buses as well as in sports shops, ski stores, toilet facilities, lift cabins and first aid stations. Temperature measurements of all operators are taken each day before the start of work – an important component alongside compulsory testing at the entrance and follow-up testing for all staff members in contact with customers.

Measures for skiers
Winter sports fans are required to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth every time they travel on a chair lift or lift – the Silvrettaseilbahn AG has purchased 600,000 multifunctional cloths which will be given out to guests for free on purchase of a ski pass. Masks covering the mouth and nose are mandatory in neuralgic and other specially designated areas; all staff coming into contact with customers should wear such protection too. The queuing areas are organised to avoid close groups of people gathering wherever possible, independently of the current legal regulations. “In order to ensure that adequate social distancing is respected, depending on numbers, we will limit admission to our restaurants on the mountain and these measures can be quickly adapted to take account of the required hygiene measures,” says Markus Walser.

Après-ski significantly limited
Organisers are all in agreement about the planned measures to limit ‘party tourism’: “legal requirements mean that this field will be dramatically cut back. For example, this winter there will be no après-ski in the form it has taken to date”. Aside from the official requirements for the coming season, long-term quality measures will also be implemented in Ischgl in the field. Details of the restrictions decided in the final agreement will be specified in autumn at the start of the winter season.

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