More Skiing Countries Added to UK Quarantine List
2nd October 2020 | James Cove, PlanetSKI editor
Last modified on May 20th, 2021
Quarantine is now needed from Poland and Turkey. All the countries in the Pyrenees, North America and many in the Alps are currently under the restrictions. There are though some options. Fancy skiing in Cyprus?
People coming back from Poland and Turkey from 4AM on Saturday now need to self-isolate for 14-days.
The seven-day rate of new coronavirus cases in Poland stands at 25.9, up from 15.6 last week.
20 is one of the key figures used by the UK government to decide which countries people need to quarantine from.
Turkey’s rate has dropped to 12.9 cases, down from 14.2 over the previous 7-days.
However the Department for Transport said it had been added to the quarantine list as the Turkish health ministry revealed it has been recording new cases differently to other international organisations.
Both countries have a number of ski resorts.
They have been touted recently as possible destinations for next winter given that at the moment Italy is the only main alpine ski country where quarantine is not required on return to the UK.
However Italian numbers are creeping up.
Germany is also free of quarantine restrictions but has a much smaller ski industry, though there are some good ski areas in the Bavarian Alps.
Coming back to the UK from the ski nations of France, Austria and Switzerland require 14-days of isolation.
As does Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Plus Denmark and Iceland.
Countries go off and on the list so things will very likely change before ski resorts open in December, but at the moment it is not looking good.
Scandinavia is OK, the only trouble is Norway and Finland have restrictions on UK visitors arriving.
Norway requires a 10-day quarantine.
Finland requires a negative test certificate from the previous 72-hours, and then people have to quarantine for 72-hours.
Then take another test.
There are currently no restrictions going into or out of Sweden, though its cases are increasing.
The country has seen 31.7 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period which is well above the UK’s threshold.
Much of Greece is off the quarantine list and it has a handful of ski resorts, Skiing in Greece.
The ski resorts in the countries of the Pyrenees – France, Spain and Andorra – all currently require quarantine on return to the UK.
See here for a related PlanetSKI article as we look at what measures are in place on people travelling from the UK to the ski countries in the northern hemisphere.
Italy looks the best bet at the moment, but much may change between now and the beginning of the ski season.
Cases in Italy are rising with its weekly rate increasing to 24.3 cases per 100,000 of population this week – again it is over the 20 threshold.
Last Thursday the number of daily infections rose to more than 2,000 for the first time since late April.
This Thursday it may even be added to the UK quarantine list.
Masks now have to be worn outdoors in the Italian capital Rome and surrounding areas from last weekend.
Recently masks were only mandatory in enclosed areas such as shops.
Other regions, including Naples, have already introduced similar outdoor rules.
However compared to other ski countries Italy is doing remarkably well and has not seen a second wave.
Ski resorts have implemented all the necessary regulations this summer.
Here is a video from Ski Solutions who visited the ski resort of Cervinia in the Aosta Valley to see what things will look like next ski season under covid-19 regulations.
While on a trip to Aosta this summer we picked up the feeling that the rules were being obeyed and enforced, hence the smaller number of cases.
Plus the country went into an earlier lockdown and came out later.
Italy’s testing rate is not exceptionally high – the UK is carrying out over three times the tests of Italy.
But the swabs are widely available and rapid testing is now in place at some airports, train stations and schools.
There have been little sign of the problems in accessing tests that have been seen in the UK.
Quarantine rules change on a weekly basis and the countries could come off the UK list if cases fall.
This is only the situation at the moment and there is a while before the ski season starts.
There are several trial schemes taking place for testing at airports that could influence any quarantine restrictions by the time the ski resorts open.
The UK government is expected to announce this week the start a trail project at Heathrow and it could then be rolled out to other airports.
Testing is seen as key to getting people flying again and booking ski holidays.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said $7 tests could be available within weeks.
The IATA Director General, Alexandre de Juniac, said such tests would ‘boost passenger confidence’ and could mean an end to current quarantine measures.
The German airline Lufthansa is trialing a rapid testing programme before certain flights to detect Covid-19 in passengers.
It starts this month and if successful will be expanded to Lufthansa subsidiaries Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS), Austrian and Edelweiss.
The tests are being developed by the Swiss pharmaceutical giant, Roche.
If quarantine restrictions remain that lets not forget it is possible to ski in Scotland.
It has five resorts.
“We expect to see an increase in visitors from within the UK this year, which should provide a good boost to the local economy as these guests are more likely to visit for long periods of time and stay in local accommodation,” said Andy Meldrum, chair of Ski Scotland and managing director of the Glencoe Mountain Resort, to the Guardian in a recent interview.
Then there are those who are working from home in the UK on a full-time basis who might want to look further afield.
Perhaps accept quarantine going in or out of a country and stay there for a long period of time to make it worthwhile.
PlanetSKI has plans to head to Italy or Scandinavia where we will be based for much of the winter if circumstance nearer the time allow.
Plans are “at an advanced stage” as they say.
Anecdotal evidence tells us that we are not the only ones.
“I am working from home in the UK so why not work from a home in the mountains?” is the question some are asking.
Obviously there will be social distancing measures to follow in ski resorts with local rules and regulations in place.
As they are at home in the UK.
One aspect that will need to be thoroughly researched is insurance – not least because the UK is leaving the EU on December 31st 2020.
From January 1st 2021 the European Health Insurance Card will likely no longer be valid.
We have looked at insurance in some detail in this related article on PlanetSKI.
So, perhaps this is the winter to go and live in the Alps for a month or two if your personal circumstances allow and you can work from there.
It is an option perhaps only a few will have, but it is an option.
And if you want to consider a random European country for skiing with low levels of Covid-19 then how about Cyprus?
It is not on the UK quarantine list and has around 13 new cases out of 100, 000 people over a 7-day period.
Overall it has had 1,824 cases of coronavirus with 22 fatalities.
It has just one resort, Troodos-Mount Olympos, that has 4km of slopes and the skiing goes up to 1,951m.
Perhaps some winter sun with a spot of skiing thrown in?
However, there are currently entry requirements with people needing to provide a negative coronavirus test on arrival that has been obtained 72-hours before traveling.