today is Nov 28, 2021

We have just gone past the point when, a year ago, ski resorts in Austria, France and Italy that had already opened for their 20-21 ski season were closed for a ‘firebreak lockdown’ which was initially expected to last until early December but ended up extended through the winter. Travel between countries also ground to a halt.

This winter things look much more promising with the major ski nations publishing plans for operations and assuring us of no further lockdowns. This time we’ve also made it to November with more than 30 ski areas already open in Europe, Asia and North America.

But although the current direction seems to be towards eased restrictions there are still plenty of rules in place, and while England has moved to drop most restrictions on day-to-day life, these remain in place in most other countries.

The rules on entering countries and then going skiing vary from country to country, but it is clear that being fully vaccinated will make life a lot easier for skiers and boarders hoping to hit the slopes in almost every nation.

Families should particularly note the various rules for children, particularly with most ski nations only counting children as vaccinated if they’re double vaccinated, not just having had a single jab as is the UK norm.  Some also require children fully vaccinated down to age six.

Holding a digital vaccine passport/evidence of vaccination will also make things easier and it was announced at the end of October that the EU should recognise British vaccine passports, so hopefully that will all be working by the ski season.

The other thing to note is that the ski and travel business is of course very keen to get people skiing again and are stressing that everything that can be done, will be done, to get people out there!

Most report they have very high booking levels at present, well above the normal, level for this point of the year, due to bookings held over and “pent-up demand.”

Here’s the current position (as of 01.11.21 ) with 15 leading ski nations around the world – 10e of which already have ski areas open for the 21-22 season .

Very Important Notes

  • Rules from the country you’re located in and the country you’re heading to can change without warning at any time. The information was believed correct when compiled on November 1st 2021 but you should check the latest at the link provided for the country you’re interested in travelling to, and the country where you live. Sometimes the rules differ within regions within countries too.
  • If you are travelling with a tour operator they should tell you what you need to do and keep you updated as your travel date comes closer. If you are travelling independently keep an eye on updates from airline, rail services and similar and on national information pages for the countries/regions you’re heading to (links below)
  • Families with children should make particular note of restrictions on travel for children. These differ (sometimes greatly) between countries. In some cases children that are not considered “fully vaccinated” (two jabs) face greater issues to travel.
  • When planning a trip you should check your insurance cover will cover all eventualities and your statutory rights if you cannot travel due to COVID or if your travel provider ceases operating.

Andorra

Borders Open: Yes

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? Yes

Ski Season Already started? No

Entry Rules: Anyone aged over 6 years old will also need to be able to show either proof of Covid vaccination, a negative PCR test result within 72 hours before arrival, or proof of recovery from Covid. Travel in is via France or Spain so you need to adhere to entry rules in whichever country you arrive through as well as Andorra’s.

Pandemic Operations in Andorran Ski Resorts: Face masks are mandatory for everyone aged 8 or older in enclosed public spaces such as bars, restaurants and shops. Everyone aged eight or older is required to wear a mask. Limit of eight in groups in bars and restaurants and social distancing measures remain in place.

Latest Info: https://visitandorra.com/en/covid-19-in-andorra/

 

Austria

Borders Open: Yes

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? Yes (but you will need to quarantine)

Ski Season Already started? Yes

Entry Rules: You’ll need proof of full vaccination to enter without quarantine. You can enter with a negative Covid test or evidence of recovery for a recent infection but will need to quarantine for 10 days with the option to reduce to 5 days with a PCR test on day five.

Pandemic Operations in Austrian Ski Resorts: You’ll need proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test or of recovery for a recent infection to use the ski lifts and apres-ski venues. Restrictions will increase if the number of people in hospital rises above certain pre-set levels.

Latest Info: https://www.austria.info/en/service-and-facts/coronavirus-information/entry-regulations

 

Bulgaria

Borders Open: Yes

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated?  Yes from, EU/Schengen and other areas but more complicated.

Ski Season Already started? No

Entry Rules: Simplest if fully vaccinated arriving from EU/Schengen with EU digital COVID certificate proving this, more complex but possible from all but reds list countries otherwise.

Pandemic Operations in Bulgarian Ski Resorts: The Bulgarian government has said skiers will not have to have the digital vaccine certificate to be able to ski at this stage, and that the same protocols as last season including mask wearing by resort employees and visitors and other normal covid spread prevention measures will be in place.

Latest Info; https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/travel-and-covid/bulgaria/index_en.htm#shortcut-4

 BC No Ski

Canada

Borders Open: Yes

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? No

Ski Season Already started? No – but Lake Louise opening Friday Nov 5

Entry Rules: If you’re fully vaccinated (at least 14 days before travel) travellers you can once again travel to Canada, on a few conditions. You must also provide proof of a negative COVID-19 negative test less than 72 hours old and you may be asked to take another test on arrival (this ios done at random to arrivals). of departure) or proof of a positive test result taken between 14 and 180 days. You also need to  upload proof of vaccination, quarantine and travel information up to Canada’s ArriveCAN portal at least 72 hours before you travel.

Pandemic Operations in Canadian Ski Resorts: Operations vary by province and by resort to some extent and can change frequently. Capacity restrictions and indoor mask wearing can be a factor.  Some resorts have required all staff be vaccinated.  Some report issues hiring enough staff due to work visa issues.

Latest Info; https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/covid-vaccinated-travellers-entering-canada

 Ruka

Finland

Borders Open: Yes – from low risk EU/Shengen area countries.

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? Yes from EU/Shengen area and other apptroved low-risk countries but more complicated.  Not usually just for leisure from the UK, however UK citizens can enter if fully vaccinated.

Ski Season Already started? Yes

Entry Rules: Double jabbed people from low risk EU/Schengen area countries can enter without a test.  Entry possible for those with single jabs and other circumstances but testing required.

Pandemic Operations in Finnish Ski Resorts: Social distancing and indoor mask wearing remain the norm.

Latest Info: https://www.visitfinland.com/article/practical-travel-information-for-travelers-to-finland-during-coronavirus-pandemic/#90fe3725

https://www.finentry.fi/en/

Chamonix Offers New Attractions and Big Events for Winter 2018/19

  France

Borders Open: Yes

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? Yes – if the country you’re arriving from is on the list of accepted countries and you take tests and get a negative result.

Ski Season Already started? Yes

Entry Rules: The country you are arriving from must be one France allows entry from and you normally need to be fully vaccinated. All arrivals need to fill out a pre-travel form.

Pandemic Operations in French Ski Resorts: Currently visitors won’t need a Covid pass to access ski lifts, although this could be subject to change if the Covid situation changes in the country. However, you will still need to show the ‘pass sanitaire’ (https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus/pass-sanitaire) for the likes of certain public transport, events and cultural spaces with over 50 people, and other facilities such as bars.  Face masks are required in all enclosed public spaces in France.

Latest Info: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/coming-to-france/coronavirus-advice-for-foreign-nationals-in-france/

Italy

Borders Open: Yes

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? Yes (but quarantine required if not fully vaccinated)

Ski Season Already started? Yes

Entry Rules: The country you are arriving from must be one Italy allows entry from and you normally need to be fully vaccinated and show a negative test taken within 48 hours before entering Italy. Unvaccinated arrivals allowed but must also show proof of the negative test and will need to self-isolate for five days. All arrivals need to fill out a pre-travel form.

Pandemic Operations in Italian Ski Resorts: A ‘green pass’ is required for everyone aged 12 and over to access public spaces including bars, restaurants, exhibitions, spas, gyms and indoor pools. Covid passes are required for anyone aged 12 or over. Face masks must be worn required in enclosed spaces including public transport, as well as outdoor spaces where social distancing is not possible.

For rules on ski destinations, the best thing would be to consult the relevant regional tourist board website as the Regions in Italy have a certain amount of independence to decide their own rules. Eg for Trentino region: https://www.visittrentino.info/en/articles/practical-info/coronavirus-info

Latest Info: http://www.italia.it/en/useful-info/covid-19-updates-information-for-tourists.html

https://www.salute.gov.it

Japan

Borders Open: No

Entry Without being Fully Vaccinated? No entry whether vaccinated or not.

Ski Season Already started? No

Entry rules: Borders closed.

Pandemic Operations in Japanese Ski Resorts:  These differ between resorts and regions but mask wearing and distancing is generally the norm.

Notes: COVID-19 cases have fallen dramatically since the peak of its third wave in August. At the beginning of October, the country dropped its coronavirus state of emergency for the first time in six months.

Latest Info: www.japan.travel/en/coronavirus/

Norway

Borders Open: Yes

Entry Without being Fully Vaccinated? Yes from some countries.

Ski Season Already started? Yes

Entry Rules: Entry allowed from a number of countries (EU/UK and others) if fully vaccinated or with evidence of recovery from a COVID infection in the previous six months. Unvaccinated travellers can also enter from these countries without needing to take a test if the country has a low infection rate. At time of writing the UK had a high infection rate and testing and quarantine was required along with the need to fill out a location form.  Countries status changes according to infection rates.

Pandemic Operations in Norwegian Ski Resorts: Most rules have been relaxed in Norway but individual ski resorts may still require COVID measures be adhered to.

Latest Info: https://www.visitnorway.com/plan-your-trip/coronavirus-and-travelling-to-norway/ https://www.helsenorge.no/en/coronavirus/international-travels/

Scotland

Borders Open: Yes

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? Yes

Ski Season Already started? No

Entry Rules: No travel restrictions from within the UK.

Pandemic Operations in Scottish Ski Resorts: In Scotland masks must still be worn in indoor public places such as cafes, bars and gondolas cabins.  

Latest Info: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-international-travel-quarantine/

South Korea

Borders Open: No

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? No entry whether vaccinated or not.

Ski Season Already started? No

Entry rules: Borders closed.

Pandemic Operations in South Korean Ski Resorts:  These differ between resorts and regions but mask wearing and distancing is generally the norm.

Latest Info: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/TRV/TV_ENG_1_COVID.jsp

Spain

Borders Open: Yes

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? Yes from some countries including UK but you must show a negative recent test result.

Ski Season Already started? No

Entry Rules: In order to enter Spain you must present a digital vaccination certificate, showing that you have received the full vaccination programme or a Diagnostic Certificate, showing you have tested negative for COVID.

Pandemic Operations in Spanish Ski Resorts: Masks and 1.5m social distancing remain mandatory indoors in Spain.

Latest Info:  https://travelsafe.spain.info/en/

 

Sweden

Borders Open: Yes – to EU and Schengen countries and selected other nations.

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated?   Yes from some approved nations.

Ski Season Already started? No

Entry Rules: Sweden has complex entry rules if you do not live in the EU/Schengen area and are not fully vaccinated, but it is increasingly possible to travel there for leisure if you meet the requirements for arrivals from the destination you’re coming from.  

Pandemic Operations in Swedish Ski Resorts:

Latest Info: https://www.krisinformation.se/en/hazards-and-risks/disasters-and-incidents/2020/official-information-on-the-new-coronavirus/travel-restrictions

https://polisen.se/en/the-swedish-police/the-coronavirus-and-the-swedish-police/travel-to-and-from-sweden/

 

Switzerland

Borders Open: Yes

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? Yes from selected countries.

Ski Season Already started? Yes

Entry Rules: Entry without restriction for people who can show they are fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated arrivals need to present a negative PCR test (not older than 72 hours) or a negative rapid antigen test (not older than 48 hours). A second test is required four to seven days after entry. You can check your position here:  https://travelcheck.admin.ch/home

Pandemic Operations in Swiss Ski Resorts: To enter indoor hospitality venues you need to be able to show proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid, or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours/antigen test within 48 hours. Face masks are compulsory on public transport and indoors in public areas.

Latest Info: https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home/krankheiten/ausbrueche-epidemien-pandemien/aktuelle-ausbrueche-epidemien/novel-cov/empfehlungen-fuer-reisende/quarantaene-einreisende.html#2138737834

USA

Borders Open: From November 8th to citizens of 33 countries including UK and EU.

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? No

Ski Season Already Started? Yes

Entry Rules: Travellers above the age of 18 must prove they received WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines. Those below 18 must show negative test results from three days before travel.

Pandemic Operations in US Ski Resorts: These vary from state to state, country to county, company to company and resort to resort. However mostly restrictions are limited.  Many do require face coverings indoor and a few require evidence of vaccination in limited circumstances (indoor cafeteria dining) but not to ride lifts.

Latest Info: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/noncitizens-US-air-travel.html

Disclaimer

We’ve compiled these notes to the best of our ability, where possible consulting the countries/regions concerned. We are providing a brief summary of top-level advice from each country but there are many terms and conditions in each country and there many be added levels of complexity that may or may not impact your travel. The rules are also constantly adapting.  So these are very much a starting point and you should ask for more precise information from your travel provider if you plan to travel and study this to check there’s nothing in it that might impact your ability to travel at the present time.