Coronavirus Information for Ski Holidays 2021/22
Welcome to our dedicated section for Coronavirus and COVID information, and how this may relate to your ski holiday in France for the next Winter 2021/22 ski season.
After being forced to sit out the 2020/21 ski season there are encouraging signs that travel will continue to get easier going forward. We are therefore cautiously optimistic about being able to offer a full Ski Weekender programme across all our resorts during Winter 2021/2022.
We feel that there are reasons to be positive, although we continue with our policy of being honest and transparent with all of our guests.
This is a policy which has been appreciated by many of our guests who have had bookings affected by Covid during the past 2 seasons.
Unlike some other travel companies – we are proud of how we have treated all of our affected guests, and we have refunded all of our affected customers 100% of their monies paid in less than 14 days from their request.
Looking Forward and Working Towards Ski Season 2021/2022
We continue to look forward to Ski Season 2021/22 but we cannot ignore the risk of disruption to international travel, or the challenges that this could pose for next winter’s ski holidays.
Whilst we will do our best to adapt and be flexible where we can, we do want to stress that we can’t be expected to assume all the risk!
Please understand that we’re not being pessimistic, and we hope it’s going to be a fantastic season and really hope you’ll all be able to join us for some amazing fun in the snow!
We want to be as transparent and up-front with you as possible so that if you are unable to join us for whatever reason, it will avoid any difficult conversations further on down the line!
An Equal Acknowledgment of COVID and Travel Risks
We want to ensure you are happy to book with us, and that you have an awareness of the possible risks with forward planning international travel in this new Covid-world.
As we did in 2020 and 2021, we fully recognise our responsibility as a Tour Operator. Unlike some other operators who are trying to avoid this responsibility – we are governed by, and you are protected by the Package Travel Regulations.
If we are unable to operate your holiday safely and legally for you, offering all the elements of the holiday that you have signed up for (airport transfer, accommodation, ski pass) then we would be forced to cancel your holiday.
This would also be the case when borders are closed, or the Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to France. Equally, if (as they did so in March 2020) local laws and regulations mean that the resort and/or ski lifts, or your accommodations are closed then we will be obliged to cancel the holiday.
If we have to cancel your holiday for whatever reason, we will offer you a 100% refund of all monies paid.
Equally, by booking a holiday with us you are accepting that you have certain obligations and acknowledge a degree of risk in agreeing to these. It is always your responsibility to get to the starting point of the holiday (which is either Geneva or Annecy), and that all issues related to travel restrictions, international entry requirements, health requirements, tests, forms or visas are your responsibility and will be at your expense.
If we are able to safely operate the holiday, but (for whatever reason) you are unable to join us and take up the holiday then this would be treated as a cancellation of the booking by you. This is covered by our Terms and Conditions and specifically – Section 6 – Cancelation by You.
Expectations for a Ski Holiday in 2021/2022
As with so many things in the post-Covid world, a ski holiday is likely be a little different this year!
Whilst it’s impossible to fully predict what measures may be required when you travel we have outlined a few issues we think you should all take into consideration before confirming your holiday!
We strongly advise you keep an eye on these issues, and start planning now. Being organised and preparing in advance is likely to help you save money, and avoid any last-minute stress when travelling.
At all times, we recommend that you consult the official government websites to get the best advice.
For the UK you can find that here >>> https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Covid Vaccination and Passes
It looks likely that there will be more choices and greater freedoms for people who have been double vaccinated.
This will allow you to obtain a UK Covid pass, which is also accepted across the EU.
It is likely that the status of being fully vaccinated will reduce the barriers for international travel. It may limit or remove the need for testing to cross international borders.
Currently, if you are fully vaccinated then you are able to visit France without any entry restrictions.
If you are not fully vaccinated then travel to France is restricted to essential reasons only, and you would be subject to quarantine.
Additionally – a Covid Pass (or Pass-Sanitaire as it is called in France) is presently required for access to bars, restaurants and other inside public spaces. Whilst it is not legally required for hotels at present, it is required for anyone taking dinner and so will by default be required for guests wishing to stay at the Aravis Lodge and all our other partner hotels on a half-board basis.
Within France, to access these restricted services without being vaccinated you will require proof of a negative test, or antibody status in order to generate the Pass-Sanitaire and the QR code which is scanned to gain entry to these establishments.
Please be aware that the requirement for a Pass-Sanitaire applies to all people aged over 12 years in France, so if you are travelling with kids you should ensure you are prepared for this.
Issues Related to International Travel
You should be aware of the requirement to adhere to certain testing requirements, and administrative procedures when travelling internationally. It will be your responsibility to ensure all of your party are compliant with these when you travel.
Additional documentation and test results/certificates may be required for all travel. You may need to submit/upload these before travel as well as to present them to officials at departure points/arrival hubs (such as airports, Eurotunnel and ports) at the time of outbound and inbound travel.
Testing may also be required in resort a day or so before your return flight home.
You will need to make sure that you allow enough time in order to be clear on what is needed at the time of your travel and so that you can get everything ready, and have the available technology to do this when travelling abroad.
Presently, for entry into France there is no requirement for a negative test or quarantine if you are fully-vaccinated and have the Covid Pass/ certificate.
For the return to the UK you currently need to complete a Passenger Locator form within 48hrs of travel. In order to complete this form you will need to provide details of a pre-booked test in the UK which you must take before day 2.
All of these tests can currently be pre-arranged and bought before you depart, and its worth taking the time to select the best option for you, and to find the best value and most suitable type of test. Prices do vary considerable.
Please make sure you know all about the requirements for entering Switzerland (Geneva), France and for returning to the UK. You can find latest information here>>> – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
If you are travelling with children please check carefully all the relevant age related requirements, as they do differ from country to country. You can find details here >>>
It’s even more important than ever that you ensure that you get a suitable travel insurance policy, and that you are aware of the cover provided and, perhaps more importantly, what is not covered!
We would highly recommend that you take out additional Covid-19 travel insurance. Many travel insurance policies will no longer cover you as standard if your holiday is disrupted due to Coronavirus. It is important that you check the small-print about what is covered before purchasing your policy.
There could be Covid-related mitigation measures required at your destination to ensure the Health and Safety of our team, guests and partners. These may have an impact on the operational delivery of your holiday.
This will be dictated by the local French legislation in effect at the time of your holiday, and it could be different to our normal operating procedures, and also to what you have become used to in the UK.
Whilst it’s impossible to fully predict what measures may be required, you should be aware that they may impact our operations in the delivery of your trip, or possibly in the feel of the holiday for you as a guest.
It is highly likely that face masks will be required when inside public buildings (including communal areas of hotels, and telecabines).
Social distancing measures will also likely be in place to manage queues and crowds. Entry to cafes, bars and restaurants will also likely require the Pass-Sanitaire to be shown for all people over the age of 12 years.
Again – you can have confidence in us to do our best for you, but we do ask that you think about these things in advance and don’t just expect it to necessarily be like the good old days!
We will keep you updated as the situation evolves and becomes clearer as we approach Winter 2021/22.
Implications of Brexit
As a result of the UK leaving the EU, British passport holders should be aware of the following points related to travelling in Europe. For full details of travel requirements in the EU please see here >>>
Your British passport must have 3 months left after your return date, and it must have been issued within the last 10 years.
Some travellers who renewed passports before their previous one expired were given extra months beyond the 10-year expiry date to cover the period between when they renewed and the expiry date of their old passport. Those extra months may not be valid because of Brexit changes.
You can check yours here >>> https://www.gov.uk/check-a-passport-travel-europe
You do not need a visa to visit the EU for short stays as a tourist. However, if you are travelling regularly, or for a sustained amount of time, in the Schengen zone – please be aware of the 90 day limit (within a 180 day period) and make sure you aren’t close to the limit.
EHIC to GHIC
We recommend you apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). If you already have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), this will still be valid until its expiry. The GHIC or EHIC entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip to an EU country (it is not valid in Switzerland). Any treatment provided in France is on the same terms as French nationals. The GHIC and EHIC do not cover all health-related costs, for example medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment and non-urgent treatment.
Driving in Europe
For anyone driving, an International Driving Permit will only be required if you only have a paper licence or if your driving licence was issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man. This can be easily obtained from UK Post Offices for an approximate cost of £5.50.
For anyone driving with their own car, you’ll need a Green Card from your car insurance company. These can be obtained free of charge from your insurer in most cases. You’ll also need a new UK sticker from the September 2021.
In summary, all of us at Ski Weekender are hoping for a normalisation ahead of the 2021/22 Winter Season, but accept that there may be some ongoing disruption and challenges to overcome!
We require you to do the same and make an informed decision before committing!