COVID-19 UPDATE

COVID-19 UPDATE

LAST UPDATED:  8th April 2020

This post is designed to try and keep our current and future customers up to date with information as it is made available to us and what affects it may have on our courses.

We have set up a dedicated email box for any of our current students who require assistance, please use this rather than other email accounts so we can act and respond as quickly as possible during this period – covid19@siaaustria.com

INFORMATION TIMELINE

Thursday 12th March 2020

the Austrian Government took the action of closing ski resorts across the country to contain and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The Kitzsteinhorn Area Issued The Following Statement:

On 12 March 2020, the Province of Salzburg decided as a precautionary measure in order to contain and combat the spread of coronavirus to close all mountain lifts in Salzburger Land as of Sunday, 15 March 2020 (last day of operation) in compliance with the Epidemics Act.  
The health of our guests, employees and the population at large is our absolute priority and so, with a heavy heart, we will be ending winter season on the Kitzsteinhorn on Sunday, 15 March 2020. Likewise, all lodging establishments will be closed by the authorities as of Monday, 16 March 2020.
We wish to take this opportunity to thank you for the time we have been able to spend together. We hope you have fond memories of your skiing and nature experiences on the Kitzsteinhorn. And of course, we look forward to welcoming you back in the very near future.

Sunday 15th March 2020

Extensive restrictions are in place throughout Austria, affecting all areas of everyday life. Air travel restrictions are in place between Austria and a number of countries. From 23:59 on 16 March, there will no direct air links between Austria and the UK, Netherlands, Ukraine and Russia. As of midnight on 16 March, there will be no direct air or rail connections from Austria to Spain, France, and Switzerland. There are no direct flights and trains between Austria and Italy. You should contact your tour operator or airline for more information.

Ski resorts close on 15 March in Tyrol, Salzburg and Vorarlberg provinces. Accommodation in the ski resorts will close on 16 March. In Tyrol, the villages of Ischgl, Galtuer, See, and Kappl in the Patznaun Valley, and St Anton am Arlberg are under quarantine for the next 14 days. Tourists will be allowed to leave. In Carinthia, Heiligenblut is under quarantine until 29 March. You should follow the advice of local authorities

Tuesday 17th March 2020

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all but essential travel to Austria, due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and in line with various controls and restrictions imposed by the Austrian authorities. British nationals in Austria should follow the advice of the Austrian authorities.

Wednesday 25th March 2020

SIA launched our “Not For Profit” courses to allow our affected students to return and finish their course for a minimal cost. This information has been passed to all students affected by the COVID-19 disruption.

Monday 6th April 2020

The Austrian Government issued their exit strategy for the COVID-19 lockdown commencing from 14th April 2020 due to an apparent slowing of the spread of the virus. This offers great encouragement for the winter season and an end to the lockdown.

 

What Is COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common across the world.  These viruses can cause mild symptoms ranging from a fever and cough to more serious conditions such as severe pneumonia, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

In December 2019, a new strain of coronavirus was discovered which was named COVID-19, it’s an illness that can affect your lungs and airways. People who are over the age of 60 or have underlying health conditions are at a higher risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19, according to data collected by the WHO.

Most people who are young or healthy and who contract the virus don’t get severely ill. But if you have the virus, even if you don’t get that sick, you might come into contact with people who are more at risk — and pass the virus to them. That’s why it’s so important to stay home if you’re not feeling well.

The UK Chief Medical Officers have declared the risk to the public to be moderate. But the risk to individuals remains low. With every passing day, the worlds leading scientific minds are studying and working to create vaccines for the COVID-19 virus, together with our bodies creating natural defences against the virus, the spread should slow and the impact become less and less, but as with other strains of coronavirus’ and flu, it will not go away completely.

What Does This Means For SIA Courses This Season?

All students on courses which are currently running have been notified in resort of the current plan, and we will continue to liaise with you all and assist you with any logistical help you may need. You should contact your resort team with any questions or assistance requests.

April LS1 and LS2 Courses in Kaprun-Zell am See will no longer be running as the resort is closed for the winter season, you will be contacted by email today with full details.

We are also working on a not-for-profit scheme, which will allow anyone affected by this seasons resort closures to come back to complete their course at a future date for cost price, details of this will be emailed to affected students as they are finalised in the coming weeks.

We have set up a dedicated email box for any of our current students who require assistance, please use this rather than other email accounts so we can act and respond as quickly as possible during this period – covid19@siaaustria.com

What Does This Means For SIA Courses Next Season?

Our next scheduled courses are in Bariloche, Argentina throughout August and September. These courses are still scheduled to run as normal and have no reason to believe this will change, as experts are predicting that the peak of the virus should be over by May/June 2020. Should this course not proceed due to COVID-19 resort closures then a full refund will be offered to students enrolled or alternatively, students can transfer to a future course of their choice.

All Winter 2020/21 courses are scheduled to proceed as planned in Austria, Canada, France and Japan as the peak of this new virus is predicted to be over well before the start of the winter season.

Can I Still Book A Course For Next Season?

Yes! And you can do so with confidence!

Whilst we do not expect to have any issues with our future courses we are offering a peace-of-mind service, which will allow anyone booked onto a future course to transfer to another course in the future without penalty or request a full refund should resorts and courses be affected prior to the start of the course date due to COVID-19. This means you can book your instructor course and plan your winter season with confidence knowing you have SIA backing.

Who Can I Contact?

If you have any questions or require any assistance please email us at info@siaaustria.com or use our Contact Us page for other ways to contact the team.

Take care of yourselves and each other,

The SIA Team