Will a Vaccine Certificate be Needed for Summer in the Mountains?

It is becoming more likely as some beach destination countries are introducing them and mountain ones are discussing it. Recent research shows the majority of British travellers are happy to use them, many though oppose the idea. It remains illegal for people in England to go abroad for a holiday until at least May 17th.

If you are planning a trip to Austria and Switzerland this summer when conditions allow, both countries have expressed an interest in some form of vaccine passport.

Spain, too, is in support of the idea, thus giving access to the Pyrenees.

France and Germany have expressed reservations about some aspects of a vaccine passport, but do not disagree in principle.

After a poor, or non-existent, winter season for ski resorts across Europe it is hoped that summer will begin to see some sort of normality return.

“After a difficult winter we are hoping, and planning, for a return to a more normal summer season,” said Sara Burdon from the Morzine tourist office to PlanetSKI.

The resort is highly popular with the British summer market.

“With vaccination campaigns progressing, we hope that travel will have resumed by the time our lifts open on the 10th of June, and even the 2nd date of 21st June, allows plenty of time for summer holidays in the mountains.

“Village resorts, like Morzine, have a lot to offer with a great climate, pretty village centres and plenty to do.

“Last summer we saw huge numbers of holidaymakers choosing mountain destinations for the fresh air and wide range of activities. We think this will still appeal to people this year.”

Here at PlanetSKI we are hoping to be heading to the Alps for some summer skiing and to enjoy the host of other activities on offer – if conditions allow.

Chamonix in the summer

Chamonix in the summer. Image © PlanetSKI

Chamonix in the summer

Chamonix in the summer. Image © PlanetSKI

Non-alpine nations are already are acting.

Cyprus has said it will open its borders to vaccinated Britons from the start of May.

However, UK government travel restrictions will still be in force at the time.

Portugal hopes to be able to welcome UK visitors from 17th May, the country’s tourism minister has said.

For UK residents returning from Portugal that likely means hotel quarantine as the country is on the UK’s so-called ‘red list’.

Other countries and travel companies have also said they may require proof of vaccination for tourists:

Greece will admit people from Israel if they have had a negative Covid-19 test.

In Scandinavia Denmark and Sweden are working on vaccine passports for the summer.

The Australian airline Qantas says passengers will eventually have to be vaccinated to able to fly with it.

The alpine nations and authorities are looking at all the measures being drawn up.

Recent research by Skyscanner and OnePoll found that 59% of people in the UK said they would carry health information in a digital pass if they needed to in order to travel.

24% said they would do so to avoid travel quarantine restrictions.

8% said they would not carry digital health information.

“With vaccine roll outs and news of a roadmap out of lockdown renewing international travel hopes, the question now is how we return to travel safely, once it’s possible to do so again,” said Hugh Aitken from Skyscanner.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, travellers have shown they are willing to react and adapt to changing requirements in order to be able to travel safely.”

Innsbruck airport

Innsbruck airport. Image © PlanetSKI

This summer it looks like many more are opting for a ‘staycation’ or holidaying in the UK.

Prices, though, are going up for a holiday in the UK.

A survey by Which? says prices could be an average of 35% higher this summer compared with last year.

Which? says: “Demand for UK breaks this year is high as travel abroad has so many stipulations, from hotel quarantine costs, to testing and countries not permitting entry to UK nationals.”

Current Travel Rules

It remains illegal to go on holiday.

What are the current rules and when will they be lifted?

This from the BBC:

With a new mandatory form being introduced from Monday 8th March for passengers travelling internationally from England, here’s a look at the current rules around travel in the UK.

The earliest date people from England will be able to travel abroad for a holiday is 17th May when the country moves in to step three of its lockdown exit plan.

That’s if the government is satisfied its four tests are being met.

Passengers travelling internationally from England will now need to carry a new form setting out that their trip is permitted under the current stay at home restrictions.

It says carriers will be legally obliged to set out on their website that the form must be completed before travelling.

They will also be checking the forms have been completed before boarding, and passengers without one may not be allowed on to the service they have booked.

Anyone identified by police as attempting to travel internationally for reasons that are not currently permitted will be asked to return home and risk receiving a fixed penalty notice for breaking stay at home rules.

These fines start at £200 and ladder up to a maximum of £6,400.

Stay at home rules are still in place, which means it is illegal to travel abroad without a permitted reason, such as for education or work.

Here at PlanetSKI we will be keeping a close eye on vaccine passports and other measures that may be needed to travel to the mountains this summer.