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Coronavirus outbreak

Face Masks No Longer Required on Flights & Airports in the EU

From next Monday, May 16th, the guidance will go.  It puts air travel into line with other modes of public transport across Europe and will impact those heading to mountain destinations this summer. UPDATED

It’s a Wrap! PlanetSKI Ends the Season of 2021/22 in Val Thorens

The resort closed at the weekend, and we were there for The Grande Derniere ski race and more. We also assess VT’s winter with skier visits back to pre-pandemic levels. It was a fabulous way to end the season.

PlanetSKI Set for its Final Ski of the Season

We’re in Val Thorens in France for its closing weekend – La Grande Derniere. We were in resort for its opening back in November when there were worries about Covid-19. Now things are back to near normal and we’ll be looking at how the winter went. UPDATED

Kings of Leon Play Ischgl Closing Concert

11,000 people gathered for the Top of the Mountain concert in the resort in the Tirol. It capped off a successful season despite Covid-19. NEW

New Zealand Re-Opens Borders – Skiing this Summer Now On for International Visitors

From this month international visitors are now able to enter the country if they’re vaccinated and Covid-negative. Summer skiing awaits.

Skiers Urged to Check Covid Entry Requirements

Tens of thousands of people are still arriving at UK airports without the required Covid test certification for their destination country. Many ski countries do not require a negative test for vaccinated travellers but do for unvaccinated. UPDATED

Off-Piste Delights in St Anton

PlanetSKI reporter George Eykyn was in St Anton in March 2020 when Covid struck. His off piste course ended, the resort shut and he returned suffering from the symptoms of Covid-19. Now he’s returned to finish what he had started – the ‘Black’ class in the Arlberg Ski School.

Italy Lifts More Internal Covid-19 Restrictions But Travel Rules Apply

Green passes are not needed for ski lifts, mountain restaurants and other facilities.  A Covid vaccination certificate, recovery certificate or negative test result is needed for travellers entering Italy.

Masks Return to Ski Resorts in Austria in Certain Circumstances

They now need to be worn in all indoor public spaces including cable cars and gondolas. Alternatively people will need to show proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test, the so-called 3G rule.

All UK Travel Rules Scrapped

The remaining Covid travel restrictions are gone. The passenger locator form and tests for the unvaccinated are not needed. It has been welcomed by skiers returing this weekend & those heading out over the rest of the season. UPDATED

French Ski Resorts Return to ‘Normal’ as Covid Rules Go

The vaccine pass and the requirement to wear masks indoors are being dropped in France from this Monday. It’s good news for the ski resorts as they go into the last six weeks or so of their season.

Austrian Ski Resorts Welcome Relaxation of Covid Restrictions

It is the last major alpine county to do so and the move brings it more into line with Switzerland, France and Italy. PlanetSKI reports from the Tirol on the welcome change and how hopes are rising for a good end to the season. UPDATED

Italy Scraps Covid Tests for Vaccinated Travellers on Tuesday 

It’s the last major European ski nation to require visitors from the UK to take pre-travel Covid-19 tests.  PlanetSKI reacts from the ski slopes of Italy as the news is widely welcomed. UPDATED

French Ski Resorts Reported to be ‘Back to Normal’

Bookings are almost at pre-pandemic levels according to a new report.  PlanetSKI has been on the slopes of France and can report it has been busy over the February holiday period. UPDATED

Austria Eases Covid Entry Rules

People arriving to ski will just need proof of double vaccination or recovery or a negative test when entering Austria. It has been widely welcomed in the snowsports world, and will give a boost to the second half of the season and spring skiing. NEW

Skiing & Snowboarding is Back with Surging Interest for Spring

Resorts and Tour Operators report growing interest as Covid rules ease. A new report backs up the situation for France. EasyJet has put on an extra 50,000 additional seats on flights departing to ski destinations. UPDATED

Switzerland Drops Most Covid Restrictions

People in Switzerland will no longer have to show a Covid certificate to enter bars, restaurants and other indoor venues.  Ski resorts will continue to get back to normal, but masks remain needed in cable cars & gondolas. Border restrictions to enter Switzerland have been dropped.

Late Season Bookings Rise as Ski Nations Ease Covid Rules

If you want to get away later in the season now is perhaps the time to book. Easter is nearly sold out in some places. We look at the easing of restrictions, the reality of skiing under current rules & growing pressure on holidays.

France and Switzerland Ease Some Covid-19 Restrictions

France loosened some rules on Wednesday with Switzerland easing some of its restrictions on Thursday, plus outlining a path to end all measures. We report from the slopes of the two alpine nations and assess the likely impact on skiing for the rest of the winter. NEW

Austria to Ease Covid-19 Rules Further

The Austrian government has announced it will take more steps to ease restrictions gradually in February. Some relaxation has already taken place, making it easier for skiers and snowboarders to travel from the UK. UPDATED

Norway Scraps Entry Quarantine Rules

The change came into force on Wednesday and applies to all visitors.  It means skiers and snowboarders heading to the Scandinavian country will no longer have to quarantine, regardless of their vaccination status or whether they have a Covid-19 certificate. 

Boost for Ski Holidays as UK Scraps Travel Tests

The need to test for Covid-19 when you arrive in England or Scotland is being scrapped for fully jabbed travellers from 4am on 11th February. The other home nations say they will follow suit. The change comes in time for the school half-term break and bookings are already said to be up. UPDATED

New Covid-19 Measures Affect French Ski Resorts

From this week a vaccination pass will be needed by everyone over 16. A negative test will not be enough.  Cases continue to grow but ski resorts remain open. PlanetSKI reports from the slopes of La Rosiere in France.

Austria Eases Border Rules for Some People from UK

Austria removed the UK from its so-called ‘virus variant list’ on Monday. Triple jabbed skiers and snowboarders are now allowed to enter without the need for a test. It has been widely welcomed by the Austrian ski resorts and those eligible wanting to head to Austria. UPDATED

Switzerland Relaxes Travel Testing Leading to Increase in UK Skiers

Testing rules for entering Switzerland were relaxed on Saturday. It’s been welcomed by the ski resorts & UK operators that offer ski holidays in Switzerland, but cases in the country remain high with health services under pressure. UPDATED

PlanetSKI is Back on Snow

We are in one of our favourite alpine bases, Aosta in Italy, until the end of February. We are finally back on snow and report on what it is like in these Covid-19 times. It followed a somewhat traumatic experience even to get here.

Surge in Ski Bookings to France As Covid Border Rules Eased

The news that France is now open for vaccinated skiers and snowboarders travelling from UK has led to a spike in bookings and enquiries. Ski holidays in France are back on and it seems there’s a huge pent-up demand, though some are angry at the ban in the first place.

VIP SKI Optimistic as France Welcomes Back People from the UK

Many people are now eager to return to the slopes of France as the border opens up from today. However pressure on options is mounting.

France Now Open to British Skiers & Snowboarders

Travellers from the UK are now welcome in France. It’s a huge relief to the UK ski industry. The decision was announced by the French tourism minister in a tweet. There are still some restrictions in place but it means the remainder of the season looks set to go ahead. UPDATED

Italy Introduces New Covid-19 Measures as Ski Regions Go into Further Restrictions

Italy is now in the grip in a surge of cases with new measures coming into force on Monday 10th January. The Aosta Valley and Abruzzo head into the Yellow Zone, joining Piedmont Lombardy, Veneto and Trentino. The Trentino region may soon become an Orange Zone.

Where Can We Go Skiing & Snowboarding?

That is the question from the UK ski agent, Absolutely Snow. We asked the company to provide some answers. There are plenty of hoops to jump through, but skiing and snowboarding remains entirely possible. NEW

PlanetSKI Reports from the Ski Slopes of Austria

We have been in Zell am See, Saalbach and Kaprun. Experiencing skiing under the Covid rules and enjoying some fresh powder on empty New Year slopes. Has it been worth it? You bet!

Austria Tightens Covid-19 Restrictions as Omicron Spreads

Another lockdown is not ruled out as the country’s Covid Crisis Coordination Commission meets. Masks are now needed outdoors & other measures are tightened. Ski resorts are watching developments closely with World Cup ski racing called off. NEW

Pre-Departure Test to England Scrapped

It has been widely welcomed by skiers, snowboarders and the wider snowsports industry. The risk of testing positive out in the Alps and being unable to come home until a period of self-isolation is completed has been removed. UPDATED

France Eases Border Restrictions with UK

Exact details have not been revealed but France has eased restrictions on ‘work travel’ to and from the UK with immediate effect. It follows earlier remarks from the French government spokesman. There is no easing of border rules for skiing and tourism. UPDATED

Are Some UK Travel Restrictions Set to Ease?

It seems so judging by the briefings and media reports. The travel industry is urging for the change with renewed gusto, If so it will be very welcome by skiers, snowboarders and the UK snowsports industry. UPDATED

What May Skiing Look Like for Rest of the Season?

When will France reopen its borders to UK skiers?  Will Switzerland continue it open-door policy? What about Austria and Italy? What is the situation in the Pyrenees and Scandinavia? UPDATED

GB Snowsport Industry Criticises Lack of Government Help

The trade body, Snowsport Industries Great Britain, says a plea for additional financial support has been rejected.

British Skiers Refused Entry at Innsbruck Airport

The gateway airport to ski resorts in the Austrian Tirol turned more than 100 travellers from the UK away at the weekend.  They are reported to have failed to follow newly-imposed Covid-19 restrictions. UPDATED

UK Skiers Continue to Monitor When France May Open Borders

New rules are being introduced in response to the Omicron variant as the number of cases in France continues to rise and hits record levels. It does not bode well for British skiers wanting to head to France. UPDATED

Mikaela Shiffrin Tests Positive for Covid-19

The US skier has the virus and misses the World Cup races in Lienz, Austria on Tuesday and Wednesday. She is the latest female alpine ski racer to be hit by the virus. UPDATED

Italy Makes Wearing Masks Outdoors Compulsory

The re-introduction of the rule comes as Omicron continues to spread. High quality masks will need to be worn at certain venues at ski resorts including cinemas, theatres, sporting events and on public transport.

Austria Imposes Further Restrictions

The UK and three other European countries have been added to Austria’s virus variant list. It comes into force on December 25th. The measures are less stringent than had been feared.

UK Travel Ban Hits French Resorts Hard

PlanetSKI reports from Les3Vallees on the impact as some resorts may see 40% of their business wiped out. The French government has promised some compensation, but not for UK companies and likely not for many seasonal and part-time workers. NEW

Will More Ski Nations Introduce Travel Bans on UK Skiers?

Austria introduces new entry rules for UK visitors as Switzerland continues to welcome British skiers. France & Germany have imposed travel restrictions & worries continue for further travel rules to the ski nations. We have indications that further border controls are coming. UPDATED

Switzerland Increases Restrictions as Cases Rise

There will not be closure of restaurants, bars and events, as had been forecast by some. Instead there are further restrictions mainly targeting the unvaccinated. Its intensive beds are more than 80% occupied.

Further Easing of Restrictions in Austria

Unlike many other countries in Europe covid-19 cases are falling in Austria with restrictions easing. It follows a national lockdown, but there are growing concerns about the omicron variant as ski resorts open for Xmas. UPDATED

France Restrictions on Travel from UK Come into Force

People need ‘compelling reasons’ to travel with mandatory tests for departures and arrivals. It deals a heavy blow to those planning to ski in the French mountains over Christmas and the resorts waiting to welcome them. The key question is how long the rules will remain in place. UPDATED

Reaction to French Travel Ban for Skiers & Snowboarders

We have reaction from skiers, resorts, UK tour operators and local businesses in the French mountains that will be impacted. Some have described it as a ‘hammer blow’ with most angry and bewildered.

How are the Covid-19 Rules Being Interpreted in French Ski Resorts?

It is a complex yet simple situation in reality out in the mountains. PlanetSKI has reporters in Les3Vallees and Les Arcs in the Paradiski area this final week of people from the UK being able to ski in France. NEW

France Imposes Tough New Restrictions on Travellers from UK

People need ‘compelling reasons’ to travel and there are mandatory tests for departures and arrivals. It deals a heavy blow to those planning to ski in the French mountains over Christmas and the resorts waiting to welcome them.UPDATED

Further Worries for Skiers as France Looks at Tightening Border Controls with UK

It comes as omicron cases grow in the UK with predictions of a sharp rise in new cases. The French government says it is looking at new measures and will reach a judgement ‘in the coming days.’ UPDATED

12-15 Year Olds Now Eligible for Covid-19 Travel Pass

The UK government has announced that the under-16s are now eligible for an NHS Covid Pass for international travel. It’s good news for families planning a ski holiday, though only if the children are double jabbed. UPDATED

More Austria Ski Resorts Reopen as National Lockdown is Lifted

They open after the national lockdown in the country ends. Restrictions remain in place with some of the provinces having their own tougher regional rules.  NEW

VIP SKI Offers Covid Guide For Getting To and From France

The specialist operator has produced what it calls an ‘Easy Guide’ to help its guests steer a path through the rules while taking a ski holiday in France.

Covid-19 Rules Unveiled as Austria Lockdown Ends on Sunday

The end of the national lockdown is welcome news for skiers, snowboarders and the ski industry.  However cases remain high & some restrictions will be in place, with the nine provinces deciding some of their own rules in what will be a complex situation. UPDATED

No Lockdown For France Despite Rise in Covid-19 Cases

France has ruled out another lockdown or curfew for the time being despite the number of cases of Covid-19 in the country soaring. Some measures have been tightened.

New Measures for Switzerland & Italy

Switzerland sees more testing & mask wearing with Italy introducing its so-called ‘super green pass’. Cases of the omicron variant continue to grow across the ski nations of Europe as more ski resorts open and it’s hoped the measures will help skiing to continue as normally as possible.

Skiers Heading Back to UK Now Need Negative Test from Today

Travellers heading to the UK will now have to take a Covid test before departure.  It’s thrown things into further chaos with the ban being described as a ‘hammer blow’ for travel. Some skiers will be prepared to accept the risks & point out it that testing was required for travel last summer. UPDATED

Switzerland Scraps Quarantine Requirement

In an about turn the Swiss authorities have altered some of the measures announced last week that threw the start of winter into chaos and brought travel misery for many. It has been welcomed by the Swiss ski industry, with stricter testing ordered. UPDATED

Snow report

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Today marks the beginning of @ukantidoping #CleanSportWeek. We are committed to keeping snowsport clean and supporting British snowsport athletes and coaches with the education and training needed to adhere to all anti-doping regulations.🙌

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