20 Apr 2021
International journal of environmental research and public health;
COVID-19 is a novel infectious disease which has rapidly spread around the globe, disrupting several aspects of public life over the past year. After numerous infection clusters emerged among travelers hosted in ski resorts in early 2020, several European countries closed ski areas. These measures were mostly upheld throughout the 2020 and 2021 winter season, generating significant economic loss for mountain communities. The aim of this rapid systematic review was to explore the association between recreational skiing and the spread of COVID-19. This review was conducted according to the WHO practical guidelines on rapid reviews and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. PubMed, Scopus, MedRxiv and Promed-mail were screened to identify relevant scientific and grey literature published since the emergence of COVID-19. Among the 11 articles included, seven focused on cases recorded during the first epidemic wave, when COVID-19 containment measures were not yet mandatory. Most infection clusters could be directly linked to public gatherings which took place without the enforcement of restrictions. There is currently no evidence to suggest an association between COVID-19 spread and recreational skiing. It may be reasonable to consider the reopening of ski areas in compliance with strict rules and preventive measures.