Covid Ski Passports And Skiing This Winter As An Unvaccinated Person

11th November 2021

Covid Ski Passports And Skiing This Winter As An Unvaccinated Person

It was around a year ago that ski resorts in Europe announced their plans to open in 2020 wouldn’t happen as infection rates across Europe started to increase and we all missed a whole winter without skiing thanks to Covid.

Fast forward a year and the 2021/22 ski season is already underway with several of the ski nations already opening the higher snow-sure glaciers and ski areas.

In the UK, we have seen restrictions easing, such as the wearing of masks, but in other ski nations, these and other restrictions remain in force.

It’s already clear that the rules on entering skiing nations this winter will be a lot simpler for those who have already been fully vaccinated. The unvaccinated who have already confirmed their ski holiday reservation for the 2021/22 ski season, won’t be entitled to a refund.

ABTA’s legal department advised us today, that unvaccinated travellers cannot rely on getting a refund if the entry country isn’t allowing entry to unvaccinated visitors, if the holiday was going ahead, tour operators are under no obligation to offer a refund or credit note. Perhaps this is one more reason to get vaccinated. This has already upset a number of our clients.

Here is our understanding of what the entry requirements are, but the situation can change by the hour. Please check the FCO website for the latest updates.

France

France flag

Are Frances borders Open now: Yes

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? Yes – if the country you’re arriving from is on the list of accepted countries and you take tests and get a negative result.

Ski Season Already started in France? Yes

Entry Rules: France is operating a traffic light system, the UK is currently on the amber list, which allows fully vaccinated visitors to enter for winter sports, however, unvaccinated people must have an essential reason to visit, which sadly, a ski holiday isn’t essential. All arrivals need to fill out a pre-travel form.

Pandemic Operations in French Ski Resorts: Currently visitors won’t need a Covid pass to access ski lifts, although this could be subject to change if the Covid situation changes in the country. However, you will still need to show the ‘pass sanitaire’

Austria

Austria Flag

Are Austria’s borders Open now: Yes

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? Yes (but you will need to quarantine)

Ski season already started? Yes

To enter Austria: Show proof of full vaccination to enter without quarantine. You can enter with a negative Covid test or evidence of recovery for a recent infection but will need to quarantine for 10 days with the option to reduce to 5 days with a PCR test on day five.

Pandemic Operations in Austrian Ski Resorts: You’ll need proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test or of recovery for a recent infection to use the ski lifts and apres-ski venues. Restrictions will increase if the number of people in hospital rises above certain pre-set levels.

Italy

Italy Flag

Are Italian Borders Open now: Yes

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? Yes (but quarantine required if not fully vaccinated)

Ski Season Already started? Yes

Entry Rules: The country you are arriving from must be one Italy allows entry from and you normally need to be fully vaccinated and show a negative test taken within 48 hours before entering Italy. Unvaccinated arrivals are allowed but must also show proof of the negative test and will need to self-isolate for five days. All arrivals need to fill out a pre-travel form.

Pandemic Operations in Italian Ski Resorts: A ‘green pass’ is required for everyone aged 12 and over to access public spaces including bars, restaurants, exhibitions, spas, gyms and indoor pools. Covid passes are required for anyone aged 12 or over. Face masks must be worn in enclosed spaces including public transport, as well as outdoor spaces where social distancing is not possible.

For rules on ski destinations, the best thing would be to consult the relevant regional tourist board website as the Regions in Italy have a certain amount of independence to decide their own rules.

Andorra

Andorra Flag

Are Andorra’s borders Open now: Yes

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? Yes

Ski Season Already started? No

Entry Rules: Anyone aged over 6 years old will also need to be able to show either proof of Covid vaccination, a negative PCR test result within 72 hours before arrival or proof of recovery from Covid. Travel in is via France or Spain so you need to adhere to entry rules in whichever country you arrive through as well as Andorra’s.

Pandemic Operations in Andorran Ski Resorts: Face masks are mandatory for everyone aged 8 or older in enclosed public spaces such as bars, restaurants and shops. Everyone aged eight or older is required to wear a mask. Limit of eight in groups in bars and restaurants and social distancing measures remain in place.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria Flag

Are Bulgarian borders Open now: Yes

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? Yes from, EU/Schengen and other areas but more complicated.

Ski Season Already started? No

Entry Rules: Simplest if fully vaccinated arriving from EU/Schengen with EU digital COVID certificate proving this, more complex but possible from all but red list countries otherwise.

Pandemic Operations in Bulgarian Ski Resorts: The Bulgarian government has said skiers will not have to have the digital vaccine certificate to be able to ski at this stage, and that the same protocols as last season including mask-wearing by resort employees and visitors and other normal covid spread prevention measures will be in place.

Norway

Norway Flag

Are Norway’s borders Open now: Yes

Entry Without being Fully Vaccinated? Yes from some countries.

Ski Season Already started? Yes

Entry Rules: Entry allowed from a number of countries (EU/UK and others) if fully vaccinated or with evidence of recovery from a COVID infection in the previous six months. Unvaccinated travellers can also enter from these countries without needing to take a test if the country has a low infection rate. At the time of writing the UK had a high infection rate and testing and quarantine was required along with the need to fill out a location form. Countries status changes according to infection rates.

Pandemic Operations in Norwegian Ski Resorts: Most rules have been relaxed in Norway but individual ski resorts may still require COVID measures to be adhered to.

USA

USA Flag

Are American borders Open now: From November 8th the borders are open to citizens of 33 countries including the UK and EU.

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? No

Ski Season Already Started? Yes

Entry Rules: Travellers above the age of 18 must prove they received WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines. Those below 18 must show negative test results from three days before travel.

Pandemic Operations in US Ski Resorts: These vary from state to state, country to county, company to company and resort to resort. However, mostly restrictions are limited. Many do require face coverings indoor, and a few require evidence of vaccination in limited circumstances (indoor cafeteria dining) but not to ride lifts.

Canada

Canada Flag

Are Canadian borders Open now: Yes

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? No

Ski Season Already started? No – but Lake Louise is opening Friday Nov 5

Entry Rules: If you’re fully vaccinated (at least 14 days before travel) travellers can once again travel to Canada, on a few conditions. You must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test less than 72 hours old and you may be asked to take another test on arrival (this is done at random) or proof of a positive test result taken between 14 and 180 days. You also need to upload proof of vaccination, quarantine and travel information up to Canada’s Arrive CAN portal at least 72 hours before you travel.

Pandemic Operations in Canadian Ski Resorts: From the start of November several Canadian ski resorts began announcing skiers would need to be fully vaccinated to use lifts to meet provincial/national public health guidelines to operate at capacity. Otherwise, operations vary by province and by resort to some extent and can change frequently. Capacity restrictions and indoor mask-wearing can be a factor. Some resorts have required that all staff be vaccinated. Some report issues hiring enough staff due to work visa issues.

Finland

Finland Flag

Are Finland’s borders Open now: Yes – from low-risk EU/Schengen area countries.

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? Yes from EU/Schengen area and other approved low-risk countries but more complicated. Not usually just for leisure from the UK, however UK citizens can enter if fully vaccinated.

Ski Season Already started? Yes

Entry Rules: Double jabbed people from low-risk EU/Schengen area countries can enter without a test. Entry is possible for those with single jabs and other circumstances but testing is required.

Pandemic Operations in Finnish Ski Resorts: Social distancing and indoor mask-wearing remain the norm.

Sweden

Sweden Flag

Are Sweden’s borders Open now: Yes – to EU and Schengen countries and selected other nations.

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? Yes, from some approved nations.

Ski Season Already started? No

Entry Rules: Sweden has complex entry rules if you do not live in the EU/Schengen area and are not fully vaccinated, but it is increasingly possible to travel there for leisure if you meet the requirements for arrivals from the destination you’re coming from.

Switzerland

Switzerland Flag

Are Switzerland’s borders Open now: Yes

Entry without being Fully Vaccinated? Yes from selected countries.

Ski Season Already started? Yes

Entry Rules: Entry without restriction for people who can show they are fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated arrivals need to present a negative PCR test (not older than 72 hours) or a negative rapid antigen test (not older than 48 hours). A second test is required four to seven days after entry.

Pandemic Operations in Swiss Ski Resorts: To enter indoor hospitality venues you need to be able to show proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid, or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours/antigen test within 48 hours. Face masks are compulsory on public transport and indoors in public areas.

Japan

Japan Flag

Are Japan’s borders Open now: No

Entry Without being Fully Vaccinated? No entry whether vaccinated or not.

Ski Season Already started? No

Entry rules: Borders closed.

Pandemic Operations in Japanese Ski Resorts: These differ between resorts and regions but mask-wearing, and social distancing is generally the norm here.

Notes: COVID-19 cases have fallen dramatically since the peak of its third wave in August. At the beginning of October, the country dropped its coronavirus state of emergency for the first time in six months.

Covid Cases Per 100000

Useful website links

ABTA advice on travel regulations with regular updates.

Foreign office website