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What are the Covid rules in place at ski resorts around Europe this February?
The winter spike in Covid infections across Europe means another ski season will take place under health restrictions and recommendations. Here's what you need to know about the rules in different countries.
Austria’s Tourism Minister summed up the country’s approach to winter tourism as “strict rules, safe winter”, but the rules have been tightened further several times through the winter.
Proof of either full vaccination against Covid-19 or recovery from the virus (called 2G in Austria and Germany, which stands for ‘Vaccinated or Recovered) will be mandatory for tourists in cable cars. Negative tests are not sufficient proof, except in some specific situations such as with an official proof of medical exemption from vaccination. FFP2 masks are also required in cable cars and all other enclosed areas.
Children under 12 are exempt from the 2G requirement. Teenagers aged 12-18 can either use proof of vaccination if they have received at least two doses, or otherwise they can use the 'Holiday Ninja Pass' scheme (see the English version here and an FAQ here) to enter 2G venues by using negative tests.
Apres-ski venues meanwhile are completely closed as of late December, with no set date for their re-opening. Ordinary restaurants are open with a curfew of 10pm.
Note that individual states may introduce their own additional rules going beyond those that apply nationally. For example Vienna has stricter rules around testing for children and teenagers.
Photo: Julien Flutto/Unsplash
Not everyone is welcome in French ski resorts this winter as unvaccinated travellers from orange list countries can only travel to France for essential reasons - which does not include a quick whizz down the slopes. The UK, USA and Canadz are all on the orange list.
In ski resorts the vaccine pass is required to use ski lifts.
In addition to this, the standard French health rules apply. This means that the vaccine pass is compulsory to enter venues including bars, cafés, restaurants, tourist sites and leisure centres. It's also required for long-distance train journeys, so if you're taking the train to a resort, expect to be asked for it.
The pass requires either proof of fully vaccinated status or proof of recent recovery from Covid. Visitors may also need a booster shot in order to be considered fully vaccinated.
Children over the age of 12 also need either a vaccine pass or a health pass - full details HERE.
Most people use the French TousAntiCovid app, but you can also present proof on paper as long as there is a QR code on your paper certificate. People vaccinated in the EU or Schengen zone can use their home vaccine codes for this, those vaccinated outside the EU must either obtain a French QR code or - if vaccinated in England, Wales or Scotland - upload their NHS certificate to the French app.
Mask rules in France remain in place for all public transport and all indoor public spaces, including those covered by the health pass. Many local authorities - particularly in busy ski resorts - have imposed extra rules that require masks outdoors as well.
There are no medical exemptions to mask-wearing and failure to wear a mask can net you a €135 fine.
Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP
After being one of the few countries to open its slopes last winter, Swiss ski resorts will again be open across the country in 2021/22.
After a longer than expected wait, the Covid rules for skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports were released in mid October.
The Swiss government agreed with ski resorts on Tuesday, October 21st, that the Covid certificate will not be required to hit the ski slopes this winter.