SkiStar takes extensive measures to keep guests and staff safe this winter season
During the autumn, SkiStar has worked intensively in Norway and Sweden with destination companies, local and national actors such as the healthcare and emergency services as well as with the SLAO and ALF skiing industry organisations to help to protect guests and employees from Covid-19 during the forthcoming ski season.
Based on standard industry guidelines, SkiStar is now implementing several safety measures regarding lifts and slopes, lodgings, ski lessons, ski rental, events, and the procedures to follow if a guest becomes ill before or during their stay.
"Although things will be a little different this year due to Covid-19, we're committed to doing everything we can to help our guests and employees to keep them safe and healthy and that they will have a pleasant stay with fabulous skiing. We hope our guests will have an understanding of the safety measures we're taking. We're closely monitoring the development and are preparing for various scenarios this winter," says Stefan Sjöstrand, CEO of SkiStar AB.
In addition to preparing for a safe skiing experience throughout our operations, we're also busy preparing our lifts and slopes for the winter season. The snow cannons have been tested in all destinations, and there is already some snow on the peaks at SkiStar's facilities in Norway and Sweden. The resorts will open as soon as SkiStar can offer good alpine skiing.
"We love skiing and snow as much as our guests do. Alpine skiing is a contactless outdoor activity important for people's health and well-being. Moreover, 84% of our lifts are in open mountain environments. The Swedish Public Health Agency (FHM) has also said that the risk of infection outdoors and in lifts is generally low. However, we do urge all our guests to stay updated and follow the latest Public Health Agency recommendations and guidelines. These can change quickly, so we all have a big responsibility to follow them," says Niclas Sjögren Berg, Operational Director at SkiStar AB.
Corona precautions from SkiStar 23 October 2020 for Sweden and Norway:
Lifts and pistes:
- We've adapted our lift lines and are promoting physical distancing. A pole length apart will be required.
- To prevent and reduce queuing, the lifts will run at full capacity. Any empty spaces between or next to groups and families will be left empty if preferred.
- Anyone who needs help using a button lift or a T-bar lift will get it.
- On chairlifts, we recommend keeping the hood open while travelling.
- In Åre we have a cable car and gondolas, and we limit the number of passengers on them.
- You refill your SkiPass in our SkiStar app on your mobile phone in real time while standing in the lift line. You'll still need to carry the plastic card with you as usual, but there will be vending machines on-site where you can buy the plastic card.
- We're limiting the number of places in the heated shelters, and members of staff will guide guests and keep things clean and tidy.
- We are reviewing our lift opening times with the aim of offering more hours of skiing where possible, with consideration to aspects such as lighting during the darkest period of the year.
- The SkiStar app provides information about what times the lifts and the restaurants next to the slopes are most and least crowded, which restaurants offer table service or take-away, and opening hours. The app gives you similar information about the on-site supermarkets (most/least people in the shops and opening hours).
- We have increased and reviewed the procedures for the cleaning of lodgings.
- We have introduced digital check-in and check-out at our lodgings.
- We will introduce adigital queuing system at the ski rental area so that you can easily wait outside. One group at a time is let into the ski rental per checkout.
- We can deliver ski equipment to lodgings in Sälen on request. This service must be booked in advance.
- All teaching takes place outdoors. Come suitably dressed for the weather, as you'll be outdoors for the whole lesson.
- Only one parent may come to the meeting point at a time to leave and pick up children.
- We follow the public transport guidelines for each country.
- Events are managed on a continuous basis in dialogue with the organisers. The ski testing weekends that usually take place in December have been cancelled until further notice. Discussions are under way with suppliers about holding a similar ski testing event next spring.
What happens if a guest is taken ill before the trip:
- SkiPasses, ski hire and ski lessons can be rebooked or cancelled the day before arrival.
- Our “Book Safe Insurance” allows you to cancel or rebook your accommodation 21 days in advance without a medical certificate. After that, you can cancel until your date of departure with a medical certificate.
What happens if a guest is taken ill at the resort:
We follow the recommendations applicable to our industry, in ongoing dialogue with the relevant authorities. Each guest has an important personal responsibility to remain in his/her lodgings at the slightest sign of a cold. In collaboration with other actors, we have made the necessary arrangements to be able to isolate any guests or staff members if necessary. Guests should also consider in advance how they will get home if they are taken ill.
Existing guests who are staying in lodgings or waiting to depart should report if they are experiencing a fever or other Covid-19 symptoms in combination with a cold: In such cases, customer service will ask the guest to contact the medical information helpline (Sjukvårdsupplysningen) for advice on whether to quarantine or travel home in their own car. We will then sanitise the lodging before the arrival of the next guest.
We are closely monitoring the development of the coronavirus situation, and we follow and comply with government decisions and recommendations. We plan to implement our safety measures based on the current situation, as well as on how the situation continues to develop.