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For the first time in two years, Europe’s ski season is set to open soon.

Due to the pandemic, most European countries were in hard lockdown for months on end and leisure activities like sport and tourism came to a complete halt.

CNN reports that the outbreak of COVID-19 in Europe in February of 2020 cut short the winter season with ski resorts seen as virus hotspots as people from all over the world mixed in confined spaces such as ski lifts, bars, restaurants and chalets.

With Europe gaining in on the vaccination rate it had hoped for, the continent looks set to open its mountains and snow for skiers from all over the world again.

There’s no doubt though that this ski season will look very different to the years before the pandemic. Strict COVID-19 protocols will have to be followed including the wearing of masks in certain settings, social distancing in public spaces, capacity limits on some lifts and most important of all, proof of the European Union-wide vaccine passport.

While it will be something to get used to for many, excitement is brewing among ski enthusiasts with ski resorts in Austria, France and Italy almost fully booked already.

Image credit: Reuters

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