Ski holidays season is kicking off, but rising numbers of Covid cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant have caused some disruption to the start of the ski season.
There are a number of countries tightening up entry rules due to Omicron - and that includes popular ski hotspots like Switzerland and Austria.
For example, Switzerland has imposed a new mandatory 10-day quarantine for Brits, causing Inghams to suspend ski holidays to the country for December. Meanwhile, TUI-owned Crystal Ski is offering free amends for Swiss holidays due to depart before December 21.
Other ski hotspots such as France and Italy are currently open to UK holidaymakers, but have their own rules regarding face masks and other Covid rules for those heading into the resorts.
We take a look at the current Covid rules and entry requirements for some of the biggest ski holiday destinations below...
Austria is currently on a national lockdown, with hotels closed to tourists. Currently, Brits can't travel to Austria whether vaccinated or not. According to Austria.info the lockdown could last until December 13, and "travel to Austria for touristic purposes will only be possible again after that date".
When lockdown does lift, you'll need to be fully vaccinated if you want to access hotels, restaurants, bars and other venues.
If you have a package holiday booked that's due to depart before this date, your travel firm will likely offer you the option to either rebook for a later date, or receive a full refund.
If you booked your flights and accommodation separately, it gets a little more complex. Airlines only have to refund you if they cancel the flight, which they're not obliged to do - in this case, you may have to settle for a compromise such as rebooking for free. As for your accommodation, whether you can get a refund depends on your booking policy - again, you may need to look at rebooking.
Fully vaccinated Brits can visit without needing to self-isolate, provided they can show proof of vaccination, fill out a pre-departure passenger locator form, and also have a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours before entering Italy.
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated Brits will need the passenger locator form, negative PCR or antigen test and will need to self-isolate for five days with another PCR or antigen test at the end.
Children under 18 do not need to quarantine if they are travelling with a fully vaccinated parent and have a negative PCR or antigen test. Children under the age of 6 are exempt from testing.
Anyone aged 12 or over will need a 'green pass' to access ski lifts (this shows proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid), and face masks will need to be worn on the lifts as well as in common spaces. There will also be social distancing measures on the slopes.
You may also be required to show the 'green pass' to access venues such as restaurants and bars.
France is set to introduce new Covid test requirements for Brits due to Omicron; anyone arriving from outside of the EU (including the UK) will be required to show proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours before travel, regardless of their vaccination status.
The UK is currently on France's amber list meaning only fully vaccinated travellers can visit without needing an essential reason, and without needing to self-isolate. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated for non-essential reasons.
This means that fully vaccinated travellers can visit without needing an essential reason, and they won't need to self-isolate. If you're not fully vaccinated, you won't be able to visit unless you have an essential reason.
Face masks are mandatory in all enclosed public spaces. As for outdoors, it's mandatory in certain regions of France - check the rules for the department where you're heading.
From 15 December anyone 65 or over who have been fully vaccinated for more than six months and five weeks will need an approved booster jab to be able to use the 'pass sanitaire'.
This will also apply to those aged 18-64 from January 15, 2022, for those who have been fully vaccinated for more than seven months. This also applies to tourists.
Arrivals from the UK must have proof of vaccination and proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to enter Switzerland, and self-quarantine for 10 days.
However, if you've booked flights into Geneva but plan to travel on to a ski holiday outside of Switzerland, you may not be required to quarantine.
According to the Foreign Office: "There is no quarantine requirement for travellers arriving in Switzerland from the UK who wish to travel onward to another country, as long as travel through Switzerland is less than 24 hours and does not involve a stopover."
If you have a holiday booked
You're only entitled to a refund if the travel firm cancels your holiday. However, most firms during the pandemic are offering flexible booking policies including free amends - double check the terms of your policy or get in touch with your holiday operator directly if you have any questions.
The rules and restrictions above are correct at the time of writing, but they can be subject to change quickly due to the developing situation. If you have a ski holiday booked, check the latest Foreign Office advice for your chosen destination for more updates, or get in touch with your travel firm/tour operator if you have any concerns.
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