Austria's famed winter holiday resort, Ischgl, was ground zero of the first wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe in March 2020.
Tourists from across Europe were infected and brought the virus back to their home countries. The resort later canceled the 2020/2021 winter season for safety reasons.
This season, however, Ischgl aims to move beyond the bad press and return to relatively normal ski holidays with a new hygiene concept. The Austrian winter sports resort has announced plans to begin this year's winter season on Nov. 25.
"The goal is and remains to be one of the safest destinations in the Alpine region for our guests," said Alexander von der Thannen from the Paznaun-Ischgl Tourism Association.
The cable car cabins are to be disinfected with spray machines, while the same method is also used daily in the ski buses as well as in sports shops, ski depots, toilets, lift cabins and the first aid stations, resort officials say.
Camera systems are to optimize waiting times at the ticket offices and lifts by measuring how many people are waiting.
Ischgl had made international headlines as the epicenter of the first wave of coronavirus infections in March 2020. Officials were accused of ignoring clear indications that the coronavirus was rampant and allowing the resort's busy nightlife to continue.
Official regulations are still missing for the upcoming winter season in Austria. However, it is foreseeable that only people with negative tests or immunity be allowed to ski and that FFP2 masks will be compulsory at least for cable car cabins and in closed areas.