Ski resorts should demand Covid-19 certificate, says Swiss health chief

Switzerland was one of the few European countries to open ski resorts last season. Keystone / Valentin Flauraud

A top Swiss health official believes ski resorts should only be open for people who can demonstrate a clean bill of health with a Covid-19 certificate.

This content was published on September 12, 2021 - 10:54

Lukas Engelberger, president of the cantonal health directors, told the SonntagsZeitung newspaper that skiing should not be exempt from certificate requirements as it is a recreational activity.

“Skiing and winter holidays are voluntary and for pleasure. A certificate requirement is justified,” he said on SundayExternal link. “It's more comfortable for customers. You don't have to wear masks all the time and you can still feel safe.”

This is in contrast to public transport, which is a necessity for everyone, he pointed out.

The last winter season saw health officials clash with some ski resorts that kept outdoor eating areas open, before performing a u-turn as infection rates increased throughout the country.

Switzerland was one of the few countries in Europe that opted to open ski resorts last year, under controlled conditions, as the second wave of the pandemic began to take hold.

Vaccines the "solution"

Engelberger said he was confident that most skiiers would in any case have certificates showing they have been vaccinated, have had a recent negative test or have recently recovered from Covid-19.

The Swiss government has already imposed a certificate requirement on people visiting indoor public spaces, such as restaurants and nightclubs.

It is part of a drive to convince more people to get vaccinated. Engelberger is confident that at least 70% of the population will eventually opt for the jab.

He is convinced that the pandemic can only be stopped in its tracks once a sufficient proportion of the population has been vaccinated. “In this respect, unvaccinated people are part of the problem, while vaccinated people are part of the solution.”

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