How will Covid travel restrictions affect my winter sun or ski vacation?

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The winter holiday season was messed up with the emergence of the omicron variant. However, the UK government has now revoked the restrictions it put in place to curb the spread of the highly contagious variant.

Fully vaccinated travelers in the UK will no longer have to take a pre-departure test from 4am on Friday (January 7th) and the required day 2 PCR test will be reduced to a fast side flow test. from 4 am on Sunday (January 9). with the need to self-isolate until they receive a disproportionate negative result from 4am on Friday (January 7th).

And for anyone expecting to travel to the UK from sub-Saharan Africa this Christmas, the 11 countries were removed from the red list last month, ending the need for travelers to enter hotel quarantine upon arrival at the UK. United Kingdom.

However, France continues to ban UK citizens or residents for non-essential reasons, which means that thousands of British travelers have had to rethink their ski holiday plans.

Portugal, Switzerland, Spain and Austria have also tightened their entry restrictions. From 1 December, all arrivals in Portugal must show evidence of a negative Covid-19 test, regardless of their vaccination status. Switzerland has also added new test requirements. Spain no longer accepts unvaccinated British tourists. Austria now needs a vaccination test, reinforcement and a negative PCR test to be able to visit.

Here’s everything you need to know about how the latest travel restrictions could affect your next vacation.

What are the new rules for testing?

Double-pronged travelers returning to the UK will no longer have to take a pre-departure test from 4am on Friday (January 7th) and the required day 2 PCR test has been reduced to one. fast side flow test from 4am on Sunday (January 9th). ) – no need to isolate until they receive a negative result.

Anyone who tests positive should take a confirmatory PCR test and be isolated for 10 days; fully vaccinated travelers can reduce it by taking a negative side flow test on days six and seven of their isolation.

The rules do not change for the unvaccinated, who have to do a pre-departure test, enter a 10-day quarantine on the return and do two PCR tests. Some countries will also impose a quarantine on unvaccinated arrivals.

What are the latest travel rules on the red list?

South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Angola and Nigeria have been removed from the red list.

This means that anyone arriving from these countries will no longer be subject to hotel quarantine restrictions.

Are other countries imposing new rules?

Yes, including many European nations. On December 15, France imposed a ban on all Britons arriving in the country for non-essential reasons. Germany also introduced a ban on arrivals to the UK on December 19, but it has now been lifted.

From December 1, Portugal requires all travelers to show a negative test certificate on arrival, with a fine of € 300 to € 800 threatened for non-compliance. Meanwhile, since December 2, Spain has now denied access to partially or unvaccinated British travelers and Austria has made reinforcements mandatory for all arrivals over the age of 15, plus tests.

Are countries reintroducing the blockade?

Yes. A fourth wave of Covid-19 has caused more repression across the continent. Austria had been placed in temporary national confinement amid an increase in Covid-19 cases, but has since been lifted for fully vaccinated.

From 19 December, the Netherlands entered a strict blockade, with the closure applicable to all less essential shops, as well as restaurants, hairdressers, gyms, museums and other public places.

Slovakia, Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic are among the countries that have repressed the freedoms of unvaccinated visitors and residents.

I’m nervous about my winter vacation, what can I do?

If you have booked a winter holiday, you may still feel nervous about what the omicron variant might mean for your getaway.

If you decide to change your holiday plans, you should contact your holiday company, accommodation provider or airline directly to see if you can book again. No company will be required to issue a refund due to holiday nerves, but you can contact us to ask if this is an option. Do not cancel unilaterally, or you will not receive a refund.

Can I go skiing?

France has announced a travel ban for all non-essential travel from the UK, following the omicron wave. As only French citizens will be able to leave Britain, many holidaymakers will have to postpone or cancel their winter ski trips.

From midnight on Saturday 18 December (France time) or 11pm on Friday 17 December, people cannot travel for tourist or professional reasons.

In addition, all French citizens now have to take a Covid test, before their arrival in the UK, within 24 hours, in addition to having to isolate themselves for seven days. The quarantine period can then be reduced to 48 hours, following a negative test on arrival.

In addition, Austria has also tightened its restrictions on the British. Arrivals must show a test of a second dose of vaccine, a booster shot, and a PCR test performed within 48 hours of departure.

Where can I Ski Now?

There are some ski resorts that remain open to British travelers, so if you want to book your trip to the slopes, check out the trips to one of the following countries below.

Switzerland: Travelers wishing to visit Switzerland must show proof of a complete vaccination certificate, as well as a negative test result taken no more than 72 hours before the trip.

Italy: With borders once again open to the British, hopeful skiers will not have to isolate themselves on arrival as long as they are fully vaccinated, but will have to present a negative test done within 48 hours after the arrival in Italy. If you are not given a double blow, you will need to be quarantined for five days and then tested.

Canada: As long as you can submit a full inoculation test as well as a negative test done within 72 hours of your flight, skiers can travel to Canada for their winter break. However, the test must also be done on arrival and there is a mandatory quarantine until the result is received.

United States: Fully vaccinated Britons may travel to the United States (those under the age of 18 are exempt from having to be bent), but must submit a negative test.

Read our full guide to ski resort rules and regulations here.

This article is kept up to date with the latest government news and guidance.

Reader Service: What is the annual multi-trip insurance? Being a frequent traveler can save you time and money. Learn more about the Telegraph Media Group Travel Insurance Service.


Have your vacation plans been affected by the new travel restrictions? Please comment below to let us know.

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