Will Italy and Sweden Go on UK Quarantine List This Week?
6th October 2020
Last modified on October 8th, 2020
They are the last major ski countries that do not have travel restrictions for people returning to the UK, but their Covid-19 cases are rising. Travel remains possible with all the skiing nations in Europe, but arrival/departure quarantine rules are growing.
The rate of infections for 100,000 people in Italy over a 7-day period is now 25.6.
In Sweden it has risen to 31.7.
The figure normally used by the UK government for putting countries on the UK quarantine list is 20, though other factors are also taken into account.
It is rarely completely black and white as countries go on and off the UK list.
So, what is the situation like in the two skiing countries?
Italy has so far seemed to be avoiding any second wave, but hopes of that remaining so are now evaporating.
The Italian government will be issuing an emergency decree on Wednesday as cases in the country climb.
Government ministers and scientific advisors held talks on Monday over measures to be included in the decree.
The decree will be signed into law on Wednesday October 7th and will include further restrictions.
Italian media suggests there may be evening curfews and possibly localised or even regional lockdowns.
The government plans to crack down on gatherings/parties in the new decree, with stricter rules and more police enforcement.
The current requirement to wear masks at all times in public between 6pm-6am may be extended to 24 hours a day.
The Health minister, Roberto Speranza, has said that, although the country has fewer new cases than many other European countries “we are now in a phase of significant growth in the infection rate”.
He warned people in Italy to expect “a difficult 7-8 months ahead”.
Currently people are allowed to travel freely between the UK and Italy with only paperwork to fill out.
It is the same for Sweden, but positive tests for Covid-19 are on the rise there too.
Sweden’s public health director has said that measures to curb the spread of coronavirus will likely remain in place for “at least another year”, with the possibility of additional local restrictions.
The rise has been linked to cluster outbreaks, such as sport and university parties, and officials have also linked it to people returning to work after the summer holidays.
Government recommendations still state that everyone should work from home if possible until at least the end of the year.
Sweden tightened its restrictions on people who live in the same household as someone infected with the coronavirus last week.
A doctor can now order household members to stay at home, and they would get compensation for loss of earnings.
The situation in Sweden and Italy will be examined closely by British officials over the next few days ahead of any quarantine decision.
There remains no quarantine requirement coming back into the UK from Sweden’s fellow Scandinavian ski countries of Norway and Finland, but both nations have restrictions on people arriving from the UK.
Norway requires a 10-day quarantine period.
Finland demands a negative test certificate from the previous 72-hours, and then people have to quarantine for 72-hours.
Then take another test.
The UK government usually makes its announcements about which countries are on and off the quarantine list on Thursday afternoon via a tweet from the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps.
Measures then come into force at 04.00 the following Saturday.
Here at PlanetSKI we will be keeping a close eye on the numbers over the next few days.
For anyone, skier or snowboarder, looking at the season next winter it is important to remember that these are quarantine restrictions.
They are not bans on travel.
Some, including us at PlanetSKI (at time of writing), feel that if quarantine measures are needed before and/or after a long stay in the mountains, then so be it.
With tighter measures in many parts of the UK, and more expected, the reality of self-isolation may not be that much different from the so-called ‘normal’.
Many people are to continue working from home for the foreseeable future and some are simply thinking of moving their ‘home’ to the mountains on a long let.
Following all the local rules and regulations, while being able to ski or snowboard too.
In some cases a base in the mountains might be much safer than staying in the UK.
Covid-19 Numbers for Main European Ski Countries
New cases per 100,000 of population:
- Andorra – 353
- Austria – 58.2
- Bulgaria – 21.7
- Finland -15.5
- France – 120.3
- Germany – 18.4
- Italy – 25.6
- Norway – 14.2
- Slovakia – 74.4
- Spain – 156.4
- Sweden – 31.7
- Switzerland – 29.4
Source: European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control(ECDC)/Statista
We have recently reported on the measures needed for people coming back from ski countries and the requirements for arriving in them.
All in all, it is perhaps an increasingly bleak prospect with the ski season getting closer.
However there is some good news as the UK government is set to announce in the next few days a trial testing scheme at Heathrow that may reduce the number of days any quarantine is needed.
Testing at airports is seen to be the key to opening up travel.
Scotland might be a destination of choice for this winter too if the Alps and the Pyrenees are problematic for those who can only take a short break.
Let’s not forget Greece as it is (currently) off the quarantine list and it has a handful of ski resorts, Skiing in Greece.
However it’s cases on the mainland are now also on the rise with 22.3 cases per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period.
But fear not, there is always Cyprus.
Cyprus is not on the UK quarantine list and has 14.6 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?
People need to provide a negative coronavirus test on arrival that has been obtained 72-hours before travelling.
No isolation is required.