Monday, 7 December 2020

Aspen mayor says travelers may soon have to prove they are COVID-19 negative within 72 hours of travel to the celebrity favorite ski resort

 The mayor of Aspen, Colorado, says travelers to the area will soon have to prove they are COVID-19 negative as local officials try to stem the surge of coronavirus cases. 

Officials in Pitkin County, which is currently a 'level orange' in Colorado, announced that they are working to put a policy in place that would require travelers to the area to prove they have a negative test result within 72 hours of traveling. 

Travel to Aspen is set to pick up for the ski season, which is December through March, and a prime time for tourists to head to the area.  


Similar policies have been implemented in Hawaii, which requires travelers to have their negative test results prior to departing as an alternative to the state's mandatory 14-day quarantine. 

Aspen, Colorado, Mayor Torre (pictured), says travelers to the area will soon have to prove they are COVID-19 negative as local officials try to stem the surge of coronavirus cases

Aspen, Colorado, Mayor Torre (pictured), says travelers to the area will soon have to prove they are COVID-19 negative as local officials try to stem the surge of coronavirus cases

Officials in Pitkin County, which is currently a 'level orange' in Colorado, announced that they are working to put a policy in place that would require travelers to the area to prove they have a negative test result within 72 hours of traveling (file image of skiers in Aspen)

Officials in Pitkin County, which is currently a 'level orange' in Colorado, announced that they are working to put a policy in place that would require travelers to the area to prove they have a negative test result within 72 hours of traveling (file image of skiers in Aspen)

Aspen Mayor Torre told CBS: 'What we are trying to put in place is a visitor affidavit that asks our visitors to sign off and agree that they [number] one, know and will comply with local regulations regarding masks, and social distancing, number two, that they have a willingness to accept financial responsibility were they to test positive, and be quarantined while they're here, and number three, is the stipulation of getting a negative test prior to arrival.'

For those who travel to the area without a negative test result, they will be required to quarantine for 14 days, or until they've had a negative test result at their own expense. 

Torre said officials, who are still working to finalize the details of the order, hope to have the policy take effect on December 14. 


Lawmakers are trying to determine if the policy should only apply to out-of-state visitors only or if it should apply to those entering from surrounding counties, Garfield and Eagle, which are also at a level orange.   

The state is operating under six tier levels. Being categorized as a level orange means residents in the county are at high risk of being infected with the coronavirus.  

Under the level orange tier, up to 10 people can gather with no more than two households, places of worship, gyms and restaurants are capped at 25 per cent capacity with bars remaining closed.    

Colorado is operating under six tier levels. Being categorized as a level orange means residents in the county are at high risk of being infected with the coronavirus

Colorado is operating under six tier levels. Being categorized as a level orange means residents in the county are at high risk of being infected with the coronavirus

The prime time for Aspen travel during ski season is December through March so officials are working on the policy that they hope will take effect December 14

The prime time for Aspen travel during ski season is December through March so officials are working on the policy that they hope will take effect December 14

Torre told CBS: 'We've also, over the last couple of months, really been looking at doing targeted measures. So, we're not trying to use a big blanket we're trying to be very precise about how we're getting this done. Here in Pitkin county, we have a very robust testing system right now. A lot of availability, a lot of access, which is great and that give us the framework for what we call the box it in strategy.'

He said that the county has 'testing, tracing, isolating,' adding that he hopes 'those items can contribute to just the best health and safety practices we can do here'. 

In terms of enforcement, the mayor said he's also been in discussions with how hotels can implement the policy. 

'We're really asking for them to be our front line of communication, education and then ultimately, yes, you know we're asking that they are getting that compliance as well. 

'And again, in the name of transparency, we know that that's our biggest challenge and we understand that starting a program like this, we're going to be looking for increased participation, increased compliance as we go along,' Torre added. 

Pitkin County has reported nearly 600 cases and two deaths. 

The state of Colorado has recorded more than 258,000 and at least 3,415 deaths since the pandemic hit the US earlier this year. 

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