Ski Holidays to Switzerland Suspended

UK operators have cancelled holidays in December after a mandatory 10-day quarantine was introduced alongside a testing requirement. Ski events have been cancelled.

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Inghams has announced that it has suspended all its December 2021 departures to Switzerland.

People are being offered the option to move their booking free of charge or to cancel their booking with a full refund.

“Following the news that Switzerland has imposed a 10 day quarantine on all UK arrivals, we have sadly suspended all December 2021 departures to Switzerland,” said the CEO of Inghams, Joe Ponte.

“We are extremely disappointed for all our customers who were looking forward to a ski holiday in Switzerland in the coming month.

“Switzerland accounts for around 6% of the holidays in our winter programme, and booking numbers for the coming ski season have been strong.

“While many of our customers remain eager to return to the slopes, we understand that some customers with later departure dates may be feeling apprehensive about their holiday following this latest update.

“With this in mind, we continue to offer flexibility via our ‘No Fee to change up to 28 days before departure’ policy.

Allowing our customers the option to move their holiday to a later date or different destination.”

Other operators have taken a similar course of action

TUI, operates the UK’s largest ski tour operator, Crystal Ski Holidays.

“Any customers who do not wish to travel and are due to travel up to and including 13 December can change their holiday fee-free using the Crystal Ski Holidays free changes policy,” it said in a statement.

“We will continue to monitor the restrictions and if quarantine is still enforced for all UK arrivals, we will cancel holidays and customers would receive a full refund within 14 days.”

There are calls for government support.

“These changes will add cost to people’s holidays which will undoubtedly impact consumer demand and hold back the industry’s recovery, so it’s vital that this decision is kept under careful review and restrictions are lifted promptly if it becomes clear there is not a risk to the UK vaccination programme,” said a statement from the Association of British Travel Agents, ABTA.

“The government must also now consider offering tailored support for travel businesses, which have been among the hardest hit during the pandemic.”

Zermatt, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Zermatt, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

The largest winter sports event after the Olympics, the Lucerne 2021 Winter Universiade, has been cancelled.

It was to have taken place December 11th to 21st in Switzerland and the event is the largest multisport competition for students.

It is the International University Sports Federation’s flagship winter sports event.

“We are incredibly sad that we cannot hold this great event and thank everyone who has done and invested so much in the past few years,” said the President Swiss University Sports, Mike Kurt.

There had been concerns for World Cup ski racing after Canada was also placed on the Swiss list of countries with a variant of concern, with people arriving from Canada needing to go into quarantine.

There is a World Cup race in St Moritz set for December 11th -12th.

This weekend the women racers are competing in the Canadian resort of Lake Louise.

“A ten-day quarantine as prescribed by the Federal Office of Public Health? That’s impossible for [Swiss ski stars] Corinne Suter, Michelle Gisin and co,” said the Swiss newspaper, Blick.

However, on Thursday (2nd December), the International Ski Federation said the St Moritz races would go ahead after the Graubunden canton granted participants exceptional entry to Switzerland.

It means that all those people ‘who are necessary for the races’ are able to travel to St Moritz without the need to quarantine.

The new restrictions are having a huge impact on Swiss tourism and its hotel trade with a large number of cancellations.

“Due to the quarantine regulation for guests from important source markets and the worsening epidemiological situation in Switzerland, many establishments are struggling with a wave of cancellations,” said the organisation, Hotelleriesuisse.

The Swiss Federal Council is due to meet for an extraordinary on Tuesday afternoon and we expect further updates later.

Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt, Switzerland. Image c/o PlanetSKI.

Related Articles:

Swiss Covid restrictions impact travel

Switzerland imposes further restrictions on UK arrivals

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Image © PlanetSKI

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