Everything you need to know about winter travel this season
It was great news for many resorts across the world this year as they were given the green-light to open for the first time since the pandemic started. This was great news as many businesses could begin to financially recover after a difficult year previously, as well as many people being able to travel and enjoy everything the winter season has to offer again!
For vaccinated travellers in the UK, the most accessible winter resorts will be in Europe and North America. Entry to Canada still remains difficult, as you still cannot enter the country for tourism reasons unless you are a fully vaccinated Canadian national.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know before embarking on a winter holiday this season!
For travellers in England who are fully vaccinated, trips abroad are a lot easier since the expensive pre-departure PCR tests were replaced with cheaper and quicker lateral flow tests. You can take one regardless of what country you visit as the red-list of countries has been completely removed for now. This change in test will save holidaymakers over £100 each, which will result in big savings if you are travelling as a family.
Almost 30 different ski areas are open across Europe, Asia and North America this winter. Not every resort requires proof of vaccine, but having that will make travel much easier. People in England can download the NHS App and get access to their digital COVID pass, which acts as an easy-access proof of their vaccine that they can present at the airport and at resorts if necessary.
In Austria, Italy and France all skiers over the age of 12 must be double vaccinated or show proof of a negative test result to use ski lifts. However, Switzerland does not require any proof when buying a ski pass, but individual resorts may have their own policies that differ to the government guidelines.
It is unlikely that policies will change, but if they do many ski companies are offering flexible booking, which will allow you to change your destination or visiting dates at short notice, should your situation change. Make sure you check what the company you have booked with are offering. Should you need to make a claim on your travel insurance, make sure the policy that you have selected covers COVID-related disruptions.
Whilst a straight refund would be the ideal solution for many people, the skiing industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, so you should definitely consider keeping your money invested in the industry to help support those affected!
Will there still be après-ski this season?
For many skiers, what they get up to after hitting the slopes is just as important as hitting the slopes themselves! Expect to see capacity limits in bars and restaurants, as well as socially distanced seating and standing arrangements. The limits will depend on the country’s own restrictions, and if cases rise as the season progresses, those who are unvaccinated or don’t meet new requirements could be denied entry. After a disrupted season last year, expect for things to take a little longer, due to capacity restrictions and time spent sanitising equipment.
To better prepare for your trip this winter, check out our post-pandemic travel advice here to stay up to date with the latest rules and regulations.
Written by Joe Corfield.