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Austria To Implement ‘Strict’ Mask Rules, COVID-19 Passes On Ski Lifts Ahead Of Tourist Season

Austria is set to implement “strict” mask rules and COVID-19 passes on ski lifts amid attempts to attract foreign tourists for the first time in two years, Reuters reported Monday.

Skiers will be required to wear masks while using enclosed ski lifts and show proof of vaccination or a negative test when purchasing a ticket, according to Reuters.

“This year there will definitely be winter holidays in Austria,” Austria Tourism Minister Elizabeth Koestringer said, according to Reuters. “We have developed strict rules for a safe winter.”

Tourism makes up about 5% of Austria’s economic output, and it is still unclear how frequently unvaccinated visitors would have to present a negative test at hotels, according to Reuters.

The new COVID-19 rules will be different from earlier renditions, which kept ski resorts open but closed hotels to prevent foreign visitors, Reuters reported.

The new rules classify après-ski bars as nightclubs, according to Reuters. As intensive care units fill, current nightclub rules may change to the point where only allow fully vaccinated individuals may enter the clubs.

“There will no longer be après-ski as before the pandemic,” said Guenther Platter, the governor of Tyrol province — home to popular ski resorts — according to Reuters.

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