Some of Italy’s ski resorts are reopening this monthAndrea Smith

Many ski resorts in Italy will begin reopening from 15 February, although skiing and snowboarding activities may be solely enjoyed by locals initially, if the non-essential travel ban between regions and localities remains in place.

The decision has been made by CTS, the Italian Government’s Technical Scientific Committee. The country is operating a national tiered system of COVID-19 restrictions at present, and permission to reopen applies to resorts in the lower virus-risk yellow zones. At present, most of Italy’s 21 regions are classified as yellow.

Group of people with snowshoes exploring glacier
Italian resorts have been closed for months © Poncho/Getty Images

The main ski areas are in yellow zones, including Lombardy, Trento, Piedmont, Valle d’Aosta and Veneto, except for the South Tyrol region, which is in the orange zone. The decision comes because the rate of COVID-19 infection in Italy has been steadily falling, although some towns and provinces across Italy have experienced outbreaks of the virus, resulting in them being declared red zones.

It is expected that there will be a limit capacity imposed on lifts, the wearing of face masks will be mandatory and social distancing in queues will be enforced. Some regional authorities had hoped that resorts in orange zones could reopen with additional precautionary measures in place, but the CTS reportedly didn’t approve this idea.

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Resorts in Lombardy are set to open on 15 February, but the number of skiers will be limited to no more than 30% of the hourly capacity of the ski lifts. Resorts in Trentino and Veneto are hopeful of opening on 17 February, while the main resorts in the Via Lattea, or the Milky Way, in Piedmont anticipate that some lifts will open on 20 February.

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