Ski holidays 2021/ 2022: best destinations for winter skiing and Covid rules - from France to Austria

Peak ski season runs from December to April (Photo: Shutterstock)Peak ski season runs from December to April (Photo: Shutterstock)
Peak ski season runs from December to April (Photo: Shutterstock) | Shutterstock

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The peak ski season runs from December to April, making the winter the best time of year to hit the slopes

The summer months may be long gone but that doesn’t mean the holiday season is over, as winter is the best time of the year to hit the ski slopes.

Most ski resorts in Europe open for their winter season in November and will stay open until around mid-April, giving holidaymakers plenty of time to fit in a snowy getaway.

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If you are planning on a spot of skiing or snowboarding this winter, here are some of the best destinations to visit, and the Covid rules that you’ll need to follow.

France

What are the entry requirements?

The UK is currently on the French amber list, meaning the entry rules will different depending on whether you are fully vaccinated or not.

Those who have been fully jabbed do not need to self-isolate on arrival and are not required to show proof of a negative test before travel.

However, travellers must show proof of their vaccination status and present a completed ‘sworn statement’ form which self-certifies they are not suffering from Covid-19 symptoms, and have not been in contact with a confirmed case in the preceding fortnight.

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What are the Covid rules?

Visitors do not currently need a Covid pass to access ski lifts at resorts, although it is possible this rule will change depending on the number of cases in the country.

Travellers are required to show the ‘pass sanitaire’ to use public transport, attend some events and access some venues, such as cultural attractions and bars.

It is also a requirement to wear face masks in all enclosed public spaces.

Switzerland

(Photo: Shutterstock)(Photo: Shutterstock)
(Photo: Shutterstock) | Shutterstock

What are the entry requirements?

Those who are fully vaccinated are eligible to enter Switzerland but must show proof of vaccination via the NHS Covid App, or with a printed PDF dated from 1 November.

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Travellers who are not fully vaccinated are only eligible to enter Switzerland from the UK if they are:

  • Swiss or Liechtenstein nationals
  • EU or EFTA nationals
  • Holders of the following documents:
    • a residence permit, i.e. a Swiss residence permit (L / B / C / Ci permits);
    • a cross-border permit (G permit);
    • an FDFA legitimation card;
    • a D visa issued by Switzerland;
    • holders of a ‘laissez passer’ issued by the Swiss Embassy in situations of special necessity

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated and do not meet one of the exemptions outlined above are not eligible to enter Switzerland.

From 20 September, anyone who is eligible to enter Switzerland who has not been fully vaccinated, or can demonstrate they have recovered from Covid-19, must show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test result. They will also have to take a second test between four and seven days after arrival, and send the result to the relevant cantonal health authority.

Unvaccinated children and adolescents arriving from the UK under the age of 18 are allowed to enter Switzerland if they are accompanied by fully vaccinated adults.

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A negative Covid-19 test will not grant your entry to Switzerland if you are not eligible to enter.

What are the Covid rules?

Indoor hospitality venues in Switzerland require proof of vaccination, recovery from Covid-19, a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours, or an antigen test taken within 48 hours.

Face masks are also mandatory on public transport and in indoor public spaces.

Austria

What are the entry requirements?

Those who are vaccinated must show proof of full immunisation on entry and are not required to self-isolate.

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For double dose vaccines, including Pfizer and AstraZeneca, you must show you received the second jab no more than 270 days before arrival. If you had a booster more than 120 days after being fully vaccinated, this must not have been more than 360 days before arrival.

If you are not fully vaccinated, you will need to complete a pre-travel clearance form no more than 72 hours before entry and self-isolate for 10 days. Proof of a negative test or recovery from Covid-19 will also be required.

You can leave quarantine after five days with a new negative PCR test result.

Children aged between 12 and 18 must self-isolate and register on arrival, unless they or the adult travelling with them are exempt from self-isolation, such as through vaccination. Children under the age of 12 are not required to provide a test result.

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What are the Covid rules?

Proof of vaccination, a negative test or recovery from a recent Covid-19 infection is required to gain access to the ski lifts and apres-ski venues.

Spain

(Photo: Shutterstock)(Photo: Shutterstock)
(Photo: Shutterstock) | Shutterstock

What are the entry requirements?

All UK arrivals must show a Health Control Form on Entry, plus a negative Covid-19 test or proof of vaccination.

The nucleic acid amplification test (such as a PCR test) must be taken within 72 prior to arrival, while second vaccine doses must have been received at least 14 days before arrival.

Spain will accept the NHS Covid Pass and printed PDFs to prove vaccination status must date from 1 November.

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The country is not currently accepting certificates of Covid-19 recovery from UK arrivals.

What are the Covid rules?

Face masks and social distancing are still currently mandatory in indoor venues across Spain.

Norway

What are the entry requirements?

Norway will accept the NHS Covid Pass as proof of vaccination or Covid-19 recovery at the border. Printed PDF proofs of vaccination must date from 1 November.

Travellers are considered fully vaccinated seven days after your last dose.

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What are the Covid rules?

While most Covid rules have now been relaxed in Norway, travellers may be subject to some rules at individual ski resorts.

Andorra

(Photo: Shutterstock)(Photo: Shutterstock)
(Photo: Shutterstock) | Shutterstock)

What are the entry requirements?

All travel into Andorra requires transit via neighbouring France or Spain.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCD) advises checking the entry requirements for each country, as different rules may apply.

Passengers arriving from the UK are not required to provide any health certification upon arrival in Andorra.

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What are the Covid rules?

All travellers are advised by authorities to take preventive measures while visiting Andorra.

This includes social distancing, regularly sanitising hands, wearing face masks in enclosed public spaces, and minimising social interactions.

Italy

What are the entry requirements?

Italy will accept the NHS Covid Pass as proof of vaccination and Covid-19 recovery.

Those who are fully vaccinated are not required to self-isolate, but must complete a passenger locator form before entry and show evidence of a negative PCR or antigen test taken 48 hours before arrival.

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If you are not fully vaccinated, you must complete a passenger locator form, show evidence of a negative PCR or antigen test taken 48 hours before arrival, self-isolate for five days, and take another Covid-19 test at the end of the quarantine period.

Children under 18 do not have to self-isolate if they are travelling with a fully vaccinated parent and have a negative test. Children under the age of six are exempt from testing.

What are the Covid rules?

Many Covid-19 restrictions have been eased in Italy, but the following rules are still in place:

  • Mandatory use of face masks in all outdoor spaces where social distancing is not possible, and while indoors. Masks are mandatory at all times in yellow zones
  • Social distancing of one metre must be observed and gatherings should be avoided
  • Museums and exhibits need to be pre-booked at least one day in advance
  • Reduced attendance at competitive group sports

A “green pass” is required to access many public spaces in Italy, including indoor seating in bars and restaurants, museums, exhibitions, well-being centres, swimming pools and to use most forms of transport.

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Italy will accept the NHS Covid Pass as the equivalent to a green pass providing it is in the form of a verifiable digital QR code. Printed PDF copies must date from 1 November.

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