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Travel restrictions updates for the best winter sports destinations in Europe

This may be peak ski season, but with an increase in omicron cases across Europe, travel restrictions have been tightened at many of the major winter sports destinations.

The rules are now beginning to loosen as Austria and Switzerland have canceled some requirements for tourists wanting to reach their snow-covered slopes.

But with another season down there COVID-19 restrictionsHowever, it can be difficult to plan a ski vacation based on these evolving rules and regulations.

So we’ve rounded up everything you need to know for some of Europe’s favorite ski spots.

Austria

Austria’s tourism minister previously summed up the travel restrictions as “strict rules and a safe winter,” but in recent weeks things have soured with the spread of the Omicron variant.

Skiers wishing to travel to the country will need to provide evidence that they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus, as well as evidence of a positive or negative PCR test. I

Once you arrive, the 2G rule in Austria applies to all uses of the cable cars and other facilities. It stands for vaccinated or cured, which means you will need to provide proof of complete vaccination to recover from COVID-19. A negative test will not be accepted unless you have official proof of exemption from vaccination.

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from the 2G requirement and teens over the age of 12 can provide proof of vaccination or register for a ‘Vacation Ninja Card’. This system allows them to enter places using negative tests instead. More details can be found World Health Organization.

Since the end of December, après-ski clubs have also closed and restaurants have imposed a curfew until 22:00. Masks are also required inside cable cars and other enclosed spaces in this country.

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It is worth checking the individual restrictions of the country you are planning to travel to as they may have more stringent requirements than those that apply to the whole of Austria. In Vienna, for example, testing is mandatory for children aged six years and over.

France

Currently, unvaccinated travelers from France’s red and orange list countries are only allowed to travel to the country for a limited number of essential reasons. People from the UK, vaccinated or not, You cannot travel to France as a tourist But there have been indications from the government that these rules may soon be relaxed.

If you are able to get to a ski resort in this country, a health card is also required to access facilities such as ski lifts, bars, cafes, and restaurants. It requires you to provide evidence that you have received a full vaccination, have recently recovered from COVID-19, or have had a PCR or antigen test negative in the past 24 hours.

This applies to all people over 12 years of age who will soon pass a vaccine, which means negative tests will not be accepted.

Masks are required to queue at closed lifts and cable cars, but not if you are taking an open chair or actively skiing on the slopes. There are no medical exceptions, and if you don’t wear a mask you could be fined 135 euros.

But check the resort you intend to visit as some local authorities have set stricter rules, including the use of outdoor masks.

Germany

Travel restrictions to enter Germany are relatively strict due to the prevalence of the Omicron variant.

Germany uses a two-tier system for its restrictions with “high risk” and “low risk” zones. It is possible to travel for tourism from European Union and Schengen countries, but you need to check the region in which you are located.

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All arrivals over 12 years of age from high-risk areas must provide evidence of vaccination, treatment, or a negative PCR test. Unvaccinated travelers will also need to self-isolate for 10 days.

For people coming from this region, the rules may differ depending on whether your country is on the “safe” list.

Some ski resorts in Germany are open but in many resorts there are strict rules.

Similar to Austria, the grafted or restored 2G rule applies to many indoor spaces, including restaurants, bars and leisure facilities. Comments from the German government indicate that this will likely be tightened from January 15th to offer 2G+, which means you also need to submit a negative COVID test.

Requirements may vary by state, however, 2G + rules are already in force in Bavaria and ski resorts are closed in some regions. So it is best to check what is happening at the resort you are planning to travel to before making any decisions.

Italia

To enter Italy, skiers will need to show evidence of vaccination or recovery along with a negative PCR test done within 48 hours of arrival or an antigen test within 24 hours.

The Italian government has just introduced new rules for ski resorts after cases spiked late last year. Before now, the green lane, which you can get with a negative COVID test, gives you access to trails in white or yellow danger zones.

But as of January 10, you’ll need a pretty green pass to get to ski slopes across the country. This applies to anyone over the age of 12 and means you must be fully vaccinated or have evidence of recovery from the virus.

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When your ski passes are verified, this super green pass will also be checked. FFP2 or medical masks are also mandatory on ski slopes and where sufficient distance cannot be maintained even in outdoor queues.

Super green corridors will also be required to enter bars or restaurants, as well as for dining in the outdoor seating areas. After changing the last rule, Unvaccinated people will no longer be able to use a negative COVID test to enter these places.

Swiss

Since January 22, Switzerland has lifted the requirement for pre-travel polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for vaccinated visitors. People who can prove that they have recently recovered from COVID can visit without a pre-flight test.

Rules for ski resorts across Switzerland were released in October 2021 as the government agreed not to require any certification to access the country’s slopes.

A COVID certificate will be required to enter any bar, restaurant or other indoor facility, stating whether you have received the vaccination, been treated or tested negative.

You won’t need it if you plan to eat only in the outdoor seating.

Face masks are mandatory on cable cars or cable cars, and some resorts are limiting their ability to help stop the spread of the virus. Individual resorts may also impose any other travel restrictions they deem necessary.

So check before you leave for a ski holiday, especially if your final destination is on the border with another country where there may be stricter restrictions.

Queenie Bell

"Introvert. Avid gamer. Wannabe beer advocate. Subtly charming zombie junkie. Social media trailblazer. Web scholar."

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