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SKIING

Will Norway have a normal ski season this winter? 

While the lifts remained open, last year's ski season was heavily disrupted by Covid-19. Here's what you need to know about this year's season. 

Many are hoping for a more typical ski season in Norway this year. Pictured is someone back country skiing in Olderdalen, northern Norway.
Many are hoping for a more typical ski season in Norway this year. Pictured is someone back country skiing in Olderdalen, northern Norway. Photo by Hendrik Morkel on Unsplash

People working in the winter sports industry and those looking to hit the slopes are hoping for a more typical season this year after the last one was disrupted by a mix of local and national Covid-19 restrictions. The lifts remained open during the 2020/2021 ski season, but it was a far from typical winter on the slopes. 

Covid rules put in place meant depending on where you chose to ski, restaurants may have been closed, shops would have been shut, and the sale of alcohol at after ski events will have been prohibited. 

This is in addition to the use of face masks in some areas and rules such as social distancing limiting the number of people on lifts and in gondolas and non-residents and citizens being barred from entering the country during the second half of the ski season. 

READ ALSO: How to find a winter sports job in Norway

On the slopes

The government lifted most of the last Covid measures, such as social distancing, left in the country at the end of September. 

This means that it will be more or less business as usual on the slopes this year. Some lift operators may choose to retain rules on gondolas and chairs, such as having capacity limits and social distancing. Still, should infections continue to trend downwards, this will be unlikely to happen. 

Après ski

For many, skiing isn’t about skiing, it’s about the after ski. This season it looks like a return to normal business for après ski venues across the country. Last year, there were capacity limits, rules on ordering food in order to consume alcohol, social distancing rules and fixed designated seating in place that meant a typical Norwegian after ski wasn’t a possibility throughout the whole season. 

This year with most measures dropped, it should mean a more typical after-ski experience. 

For tourists

As mentioned earlier, it was virtually impossible for tourists to come to Norway to ski last year. Resorts in south-eastern Norway typically welcome plenty of visitors from Sweden and Denmark. This year the rules for who can come to Norway to ski will probably be more relaxed. 

EU vaccine pass holders can enter Norway with no restrictions or requirements, meaning trips to Norway will be business as usual for many. 

Currently, everyone from within the EEA (EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway) can travel to Norway for whatever reason they please. In addition, they won’t need to get tested 24 hours before their departure to Norway, cutting down on costs and logistics. 

There are still some quarantine requirements in place for parts of Europe, but the dreaded quarantine hotel appears to be a thing of the past. You can take a look at Norway’s quarantine rules here.

Travel for those outside the EEA is still restricted, and only residents, citizens and the close family and partners of those who live in Norway can enter from Non-EEA countries. This is likely to change throughout the winter, so be sure to stay up to date with the latest rules. 

Vocab

Sessongkort- Season pass 

Skiheis– Ski lift 

Skiløype- Ski slope 

Langrenn– Cross country skiing 

Slalom/Alpint- Alpine skiing 

Staver- Ski poles

Hjelm- Helmet 

Snøskred- Avalanche 

Født med ski på beina- Born with skis on your legs

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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