Despite it only being 10 weeks ago, it seems a lot longer since Zakopane and the rest of Poland seemingly closed down overnight due to the coronavirus, leaving us in a scramble to get guests out of Poland within 24 hours. When the border closures were announced back in early March we were out skiing at Jurgow, which is located on a road out to the Slovakian border. We started skiing around 9.30am having parked up in a very quiet car park as is often the case in early/mid March. By the time people finished on the slopes around 14.00, part of the car park had been transformed into a temporary border checkpoint with orange tents, men in hazmat suits and caution tape strung up all around one corner of the car park. Certainly not what you expect to see as you come off the slopes. It was the first sign of a busy 24 hours making sure our guests could get out of Zakopane and start their hurried journeys home to England, Ireland and Scotland. Thankfully everyone managed to get home, some easier than others, before Poland went in to full lockdown on March 13th.
10 weeks on and through the frustration of not being able to ski after spring snow storms, not being allowed out during a mini heat wave and all the other frustrations of lockdown, the restrictions in Poland are easing. Restaurants, bars, shops and accommodations are back open, with the same kind of social distancing restrictions as we have here in the UK, exercise is allowed again and the nation parks and mountains are back open. There was even an image from Zakopane of a lady selling Oscypek (local sheep’s cheese) on a newspaper’s Facebook page this week, wearing her mask of course, if that’s not a sign people are back out and about in Poland then we don’t know what is.
With things in Poland slowly returning to some form of normal we are continuing to plan ahead for winter 2020/2021 and fingers crossed, a Covid-19 free ski season. If anyone has any questions about making a booking or concerns about how the winter will look then we’ll be happy to talk things through. Hope everyone is keeping healthy and we look forward to hearing from you.