Skiers ‘cautiously optimistic’ about changes to quarantine rules

24th November 2020, by Abi Butcher

Covid quarantine measures in the UK have been welcomed by British skiers

Covid quarantine measures in the UK have been welcomed by British skiers

The news that the Government is reducing quarantine from 14 days to five on 15 December has been cautiously welcomed by a ski industry keen to take desperate UK skiers to the mountains this winter.

Under the new rules, travellers will be able to cut their quarantine to five days, provided they take a privately purchased Covid test which will cost in the region of £120-150 (and the test proves negative of course).

Elizabeth Cahir of Stanford Skiing said: “For us, the new quarantine rules are a step in the right direction and will hopefully encourage more people to come skiing especially as Covid cases are falling dramatically in France. However, for many a 5 day quarantine will still be unworkable and so I am not sure as to how much impact this will actually have. I know we’re all desperate to get back on the slopes though so let’s hope for the best!”

Ceri Tinley, managing director of Consensio Chalets said: “We are cautiously delighted to hear that the government is introducing five days quarantine using a test and release system from 15 December which would be perfect timing for this winter season. However, we are waiting clarification on the implications of the Tier system on international travel, especially for those living in Tier 3.

“This news will allow those clients keen to enjoy their ski holiday to travel, it does still pose a problems for those families with children, as taking time out of school for quarantine is something that is not acceptable. We have many clients who have been waiting for this news, as many of them are already working from home so 5 days self-isolation is not too much of a concern or disruption to their life.

“Additionally we are awaiting the news in the next 10 days on whether the resorts will be permitted to open for Christmas.”

Editor’s note It now seems clear that French and Italian resorts will not open for Christmas. Read our more up to date item here.

Skiers bent on getting to the Alps face a further hurdle in the form of insurance. At present, countries not currently on the UK’s travel corridor list are still subject to a warning against “non-essential travel” — and this currently covers all of Europe. Finland is the only skiing country currently included on the UK travel corridor. Where to Ski & Snowboard understands FCDO advice might change at the end of the current UK lockdown on 2 December.

Meanwhile, earlier this week Intersport France released the results of a survey taken last weekend of more than 1500 British skiers, which found that 80 per cent are still expecting to hit the slopes this winter — with more than half (59 per cent) happy to take a five-day quarantine in exchange for a week on the slopes.

While 69 per cent of skiers questioned by Intersport have not yet booked, 41 per cent said they intend to be “last-minute travellers” this winter.

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