SAC huts remain closed COVID-19 demands solidarity and respect from all of us

Update 27.03.2020

In mid-March, the SAC Central Association recommended to all sections to close their huts or not to open them at all. So far, all sections and their 153 SAC huts have followed this recommendation voluntarily. Due to limited space and often rudimentary hygiene conditions, it is difficult, if not impossible, to comply with preventive measures in the huts. The protection of the health of the guests and of the hut staff, as well as preventing the spread of the COVID-19, is a top priority for the SAC Central Association. In addition, most of the winter quarters are closed.

Although the closure of the huts was not entirely clear in the first version of the explanations, it was clarified in their March 21 version: The huts were explicitly removed from the category «hotels and other tourist accommodation» . They must therefore remain closed by decree.

 

Update 20.03.2020

On Monday, 16 March 2020, the Federal Council declared the  «extraordinary situation» and issued the «Ordinance 2 on Measures to Combat Coronavirus». Among other things, this ordinance provides for the following:

  • All the restaurants, bars, non-essential shops and places of leisure and entertainment will remain closed until 19 April. Schools will also remain closed until then. Exception: food shops and health facilities.
  • Association activities are prohibited.
  • Hotels and SAC huts may remain open.

In addition, since 20 March 2020, gatherings of more than five people in public places have been prohibited. The cantonal police may impose an administrative fine in the event of non-compliance.

Renounce to mountain tours 

In order to prevent alpine emergencies from occurring during the current coronavirus crisis and to maintain accessibility to medical care, the SAC urges all mountain sports adepts to abstain from mountain tours and ski touring for the time being. Respect and solidarity with the health system and those affected is demanded of all of us in this extraordinary situation.

Cabanes du CAS fermées

Although the Federal Council Ordinance of 16 March 2020 allows hotels and SAC huts to remain open for the time being, since Monday 16 March the 153 SAC huts have voluntarily ended their season prematurely or not opened at all. Due to limited space and often rudimentary hygiene conditions, it is difficult, if not impossible, to comply with preventive measures in the huts. The protection of the health of the guests and of the hut staff as well as preventing the spread of the COVID-19 is a top priority for the Central Association. In addition, most of the winter quarters are closed.

Section activities are no longer permitted

With the ordinance that came into force on 16 March, the activities of the association and thus also the activities of the sections are no longer permitted. The training activities of the regional centres are also to be suspended until further notice.

 

Update 17.03.2020

Although yesterday's Federal Council decision allows hotels and SAC huts to remain open for the time being, the SAC Central Association continues to urge its sections to close their huts until further notice or not to open them at all. Due to limited space and often rudimentary hygiene conditions, it is difficult, if not impossible, to comply with preventive measures in the huts. The protection of the health of the guests and of the hut staff is a top priority for the Central Association. That is why we also ask guests who have planned to stay in the huts to refrain from doing so until further notice.

Due to the lack of a statutory basis and the fact that the huts belong to the sections, the Central Association has no power to order their closure.

The SAC Central Association further recommends refraining from section activities for the time being.

 

Update 16.03.2020

The latest developments concerning the spread of the coronavirus and the measures adopted by the Federal Council on 16 March 2020 also have a significant impact on the activities of the SAC and its sections. Above all, it is a matter of protecting the health of each and every one of us. This requires every individual to demonstrate the greatest responsibility and solidarity.

In addition to the measures previously recommended by the Federal Council and the Federal Office of Public Health, the new measures to be applied are:

  • The Federal Council declares a state of "extraordinary situation".
  • Restaurants, bars, non-essential shops and places of leisure and entertainment will remain closed until at least 19 April. Schools will also remain closed until then.
  • Exception: food shops and health facilities.
  • Hotels remain open.

Are SAC huts still open?

Although the Federal Council's decision on the closure of restaurants and the continued operation of hotels leaves some room for interpretation with regard to the SAC huts, the SAC Central Association strongly recommends its sections to close their huts or not to open them at all from Monday 16 March 2020 and until further notice. It is the responsibility of the sections as owners of the huts to implement this recommendation. We therefore ask guests who have planned to stay in a hut to check on the respective websites of the sections or huts whether or not they are open.

Section activities should be cancelled

The SAC Central Association recommends refraining from section activities for the time being.

SAC courses cancelled until further notice

All SAC courses until April 3 are cancelled. Course participants will be contacted directly by the course administration starting Monday16.

The SAC national sport climbing and ski mountaineering competitions are cancelled until further notice

All national sport climbing and ski mountaineering competitions that were planned for the SAC Swiss Cup, the Bächli Swiss Climbing Cup and the Mammut Youth Climbing Cup until the end of May have been cancelled. We will inform you about the organisation of the other competitions at a later date.

The SAC Administrative Secretariat closed as of March 17, 2020

The SAC Administrative Secretariat will be closed from Tuesday 17 March 2020 until further notice. Its functioning remains of course assured. Staff members can be contacted by e-mail and, in case of emergency, by their direct telephone number.

 

Update 13.03.2020

The latest developments concerning the spread of the coronavirus and the measures taken by the Federal Council on 13 March 2020 also have a direct impact on the activities of the SAC and its sections. For this reason, the SAC Central Association is completing its previous recommendations for mountain sports adepts.

In addition to the measures previously recommended by the Federal Council and the Federal Office of Public Health, the new measures to be applied are:

  • Events with more than 100 participants are prohibited.
  • A maximum of 50 guests is allowed in restaurants and catering establishments (including staff and taking into account the "social distance" of 2 metres).

These drastic measures are also necessary from the point of view of the SAC Central Association in order to reduce the speed of the epidemic, to protect the groups of people at risk and not to put an unnecessary pressure on the health system.

Are SAC huts still open?

The SAC Central Association recommends its sections to close their huts from Monday 16 March until further notice or not to open them at all. It is the responsibility of the sections as owners of the huts to implement this recommendation.

Section activities should be cancelled

In addition, the SAC Central Association recommends refraining from section activities for the time being.

SAC courses cancelled until further notice

All SAC courses until April 3 are cancelled. Course participants will be contacted directly by the course administration starting Monday.

SAC national sport climbing and ski mountaineering competitions

All national sport climbing and ski mountaineering competitions that were planned for the SAC Swiss Cup, the Bächli Swiss Climbing Cup and the Mammut Youth Climbing Cup until the end of April have been cancelled. We will inform you about the organisation of the other competitions at a later date.

 

Update 10.03.2020

Given the further spread of the coronavirus and the latest information from the Federal Council, the SAC is supplementing its previous recommendations for mountain sports adepts. We do not recommend any stay in a mountain hut to people who, according to the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), belong to a risk group.

Worried hut teams and guests have contacted the SAC head office in recent days and asked for recommendations. This is due to the special situation of the huts: On the one hand, guests from many countries visit the huts and on the other hand, there is a certain proximity, whether in the refectory or in the dormitories.

SAC huts remain open

In its recommendations, the SAC follows the latest guidelines of the Federal Office of Public Health. In addition, we recommend that all those planning a stay in a hut take personal hygiene precautions, such as taking a disinfectant or a thermometer along with them.. We do not recommend any stay in a hut to guests who, according to the FOPH, belong to a risk group[CC1]  or who have recently stayed in a risk area.

If you have any questions, please contact our hut team.

 

Update 03.03.2020

Information on whether or not the national sport climbing competitions, the Bächli Swiss Climbing Cup and the Mammut Youth Climbing Cup, as well as the ski mountaineering races of the Swiss Cup SAC are held can be found on the SAC website.

 

Update 02.03.2020

The coronavirus has been making headlines for several weeks now. Starting in China, it has now spread to numerous countries. Meanwhile, the first cases have also appeared in Switzerland and the population's concern has also reached the SAC.

Worried hut teams and guests have already contacted the SAC head office and asked for recommendations. This is due to the special situation of the huts: On the one hand, guests from many countries visit the huts and on the other hand, there is a certain proximity, whether in the refectory or in the dormitories.

SAC huts remain open

In its recommendations, the SAC follows the latest guidelines of the Federal Office of Public Health. In addition, we recommend that all those planning a stay in a hut take personal hygiene precautions, such as taking a disinfectant or a thermometer along with them. If possible, huts with sufficient water should provide enough soap. If you have any questions, please contact our hut team.

The SAC's national sport climbing and ski mountaineering competitions are taking place until further notice.

On 28 February, the Federal Council banned all events involving more than 1000 people in Switzerland until at least 15 March. For events involving fewer than 1000 people, the organisers must assess the risks together with the competent cantonal authorities to determine whether the event can take place. Some cantons (e.g. Bern and Vaud) have set up special hotlines for event organisers. Further information is available on the websites of the various cantons. The national sport climbing competitions, the Bächli Swiss Climbing Cup and the Mammut Youth Climbing Cup, as well as the ski mountaineering races of the SAC Swiss Cup are taking place as planned, until further notice. Swiss Climbing and Swiss Ski Mountaineering are in contact with the organisers, with the cantonal authorities and are keeping those involved informed on an ongoing basis.

SAC courses take place

SAC training courses are also taking place as planned. If you have any questions, you can contact the course administration staff.

«Protect yourself and others»

The campaign ‘Protect yourself and others’ has been upgraded to red adding three additional rules on what to do against the new coronavirus. Find out more about this as well as about the current situation in Switzerland and abroad.
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