Italy’s ski slopes can reopen this month, but only in ‘yellow zone’ regions, the government’s panel of scientific experts has decided.
Ski slopes across the country have been closed since November under strict measures intended to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
From February 15th, they can reopen in regions designated ‘yellow zones’ under the nation’s tiered system of coronavirus restrictions, Italian media reports.
The decision to allow reopening was made on Thursday by the government’s Technical Scientific Committee (CTS), which advises on changes to the coronavirus restrictions.
At the moment 15 of Italy’s 20 regions are designated yellow zones.
Ski slopes are expected to remain closed in orange and red regions.
Some regional authorities are pushing for orange zones to also be allowed to reopen with precautionary measures in place, such as the mandatory use of FFP2 masks, but their proposals were rejected by the CTS on Thursday.
The decision to allow reopenings was praised by governors of northern Italian regions hard hit by the ban on ski tourism.
“The CTS has given a good signal which … allows the revival of the mountains in time for the ski world championships on Sunday, February 7th, in Cortina,” said Luca Zaia, president of the Veneto region.
“But the virus is still circulating and should not be underestimated,” he added.
However, it’s not yet known whether it will be possible for people to travel out of their region to visit ski resorts.
Italy is also due to review its ban on non-essential travel between regions, which stays in place until at least February 15th.