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Ski resorts reopen after Covid 2021-22

Meribel area of the Trois Vallees

Europe’s skiers and boarders prepare for a return to the slopes

After almost two years of waiting, European ski resorts are getting ready to welcome skiers and boarders back to their pistes and it will be an emotional return for millions of skiers and boarders. British vaccination certificates will be accepted across more than 40 countries and traveling abroad to ski is almost as pain-free and easy to do as it was before the pandemic, with no test required, just a pre-booked PCR test to take before day two after you return home. There is talk of airports providing tests and results within a few hours of your arrival back to the UK to negate any waiting for test results.

 

 Panoramic Restaurant, Tignes

Le Panoramic restaurant on Tignes glacier, patiently waiting for customers to return

Past the point of return 

With the sheer amount of preparation and investment that’s gone into readying resorts for our ‘new normal’ kind of a ski experience, it is past the point of return for most resorts. 

Some of the high altitude ski areas have been open for a number of weeks already, such as Tignes. Val Thorens and Val d’Isere will open this weekend, Nov 27th, swiftly followed by these firm favourites of many Brits: Méribel on Dec 4th, La Plagne on Dec 11th, Morzine-Avoriaz on Dec 10th. 

Skiers everywhere are getting very excited for an emotional return to the pistes. “Skiing is our favourite family holiday - enjoying an activity where we are all having fun together - and with almost two years of no skiing, it’s fair to say that I am desperate to get the kids back onto their skis again.” says James Hardiman MD of iGOSKI Ltd

 Of skiing in Tignes - in November!

James H enjoying a quick ski on the glacier in Tignes November 1st

It’s happening!

Although parts of Austria are on the brink of further lockdowns this week, it is all set to be released by early December and even resorts like St Anton [Austrian Arlberg] are planning to be open on December 11th, promising that the ‘ski season will return normally’ before Christmas.

At the moment things are looking good in resorts, there’s a lot of positivity and locals are getting excited to get back in the saddle and do what they do best - and that’s to welcome tourism from multiple nations. 

“It’s been a long time since we have had guests and my staff and I are very excited to get back to work again. I do not think that we could be better prepared, we have had a long time to think about this much anticipated return to the winter.” Says Mike Pratt Head of Operations for iGOSKI Ltd and leading ski holiday brand Alpine Elements

Tignes lift pass office

Skiers buying their liftpasses in Tignes 

The rules

In a break from previous Covid-confusions, the rules are fairly simple across French resorts. And there is not a lot to trip you up, other than you need to be fully vaccinated to travel to France (on holiday) and enter bars, restaurants and use lifts. And face mask wearing within indoor spaces, such as the funicular railway (e.g. Tignes’ glacier train) and certain other lifts where people are close together. You will have to wear a mask inside lift ticket offices, shops, restaurants and bars. A mask can be a ski buff, which, for most will be a very normal appendage and result in no bother at all. Once, up-on-the-hill of course, the air is as fresh as ever and can be enjoyed entirely mask free!

A few of us (lucky industry types) have already had a chance to stretch our rusty ski-legs back on the slopes of Tignes during October half term. Read more on what it was like to get back on skis for the first time since Covid.

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