The Quebec Ski Areas Association (ASSQ) and its 75 ski resorts have obtained confirmation from Quebec government officials that, as of November 15, the vaccine passport will be required for people 13 years of age and older to use ski lifts and access certain services offered in day lodges. This measure will allow Quebec ski areas to operate ski lifts with full capacity this season. In spite of the November 15 deadline, ski areas will require proof of vaccination from the start of the season for those opening their slopes earlier.
“We welcome the news to be able to operate ski lifts at full capacity as well as having no limit to the number of visitors outside. For the ski industry, the implementation of the vaccine passport is certainly an operational challenge, but it will allow for the easing of other health measures, and for that we are thankful. Our guest surveys show that the vast majority of skiers are in favor of the vaccine passport. The big impact for visitors will be the peace of mind that comes with this measure.” declared Yves Juneau, CEO of the Quebec Ski Area Association (ASSQ).
An operational challenge
In addition to recruiting staff and preparing slopes for the coming season with snowmaking, grooming and the maintenance of ski lifts, ski areas are also already at work to implement the passport validation procedures. Ski resorts will be in a position to inform season pass holders and day ticket purchasers in the coming days. Considering each ski area operates in a different setting, it will be up to each of them to define the best ways to validate the proof of vaccination.
Ski area operators will expect the full collaboration of all skiers and snowboarders for the successful implementation of the vaccine passport. Again this season, they will be asked to stay informed, come prepared and buy their ski ticket in advance. Skiers and snowboarders will certainly be pleased to have all services back in full operation for the 2021-2022 season, namely food and beverage services, sports shop, ski school, children’s daycare, ski clubs, lockers as well as rental equipment services.
Quebec ski areas will have to fully comply with the province’s Public Health recommendations. They will enforce public health measures issued on Quebec.ca. Here are the basic guidelines applicable this winter when visiting a ski area:
• People with COVID symptoms will be asked to stay home;
• Vaccine passport is required for the use of ski lifts and access to day lodge services (restaurants, cafeterias, bars, lunch sections). Restaurant rules will apply inside buildings with F & B service;
• For lift lines and ski lifts, it is recommended to wear a neck warmer or balaclava covering the nose and mouth outdoors for all visitors aged 3 and over, including during a ski lesson;
• Wearing a face covering indoors and in enclosed carriers such as gondolas;
• Physical distancing is required;
• Frequent hand washing.
Skiers and snowboarders are invited to visit ski areas websites to find out the procedure for validating their proof of vaccination as well as other information for the coming season.