What we know as of 01/03/21
Our bookings for the 2021/22 season are already open and you can book now with a low £200 deposit (per apartment not per person) - find out more about booking early. We are fully ABTA bonded so you can book your 2021/22 ski holiday now with confidence knowing that any payments you make to use are protected.
Travelling to France
When current restrictions are lifted, those returning to England can benefit from what the government call 'Test to Release' (introduced from 15/12/20 in England). This can reduce the current 10-day UK quarantine period by half. You can find an explanation here but in a nutshell it means that the 10-day self-isolation period is reduced by half on receipt of a negative COVID-19 test from a private provider after five days of isolation.
Read the latest information - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france
Brexit - travelling to France from 01/01/21
We've summarised key points below. In the main, this will have no impact on travelling to France for holidays aside from:
- No visas will be required for UK citizens. Passports will still be required as before but they will require 6-months validity and must not be over 10 years old (you can check your passport online). The UK has never been part of the Schengen passport-free European travel area, and therefore there have always been identity controls for UK travellers coming into the EU. This won't change and you won't see any difference in queues. You'll need to use separate lanes from those for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens.
- For those driving, an International Driving Permit will only be required if you only have a paper licence or if your driving licence was issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man. This can be easily obtained from UK Post Offices for an approximate cost of £5.50.
- For those driving with their own car, you'll need a Green Card from your car insurance company. These can be obtained free of charge from your insurer in most cases. You'll also need a GB sticker.
- You should get a free UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) before leaving the UK (if you have a current European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) this will be valid until its expiry date). These are valid for EU countries. Travel insurance (which we have always insisted our clients have in place, as this is good practice) should also be in place as the GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. You should be prepared to show proof of travel insurance for your trip on entry to France.
- Procedures for those wishing to travel with their pets will be more complicated and we would urge anyone wishing to do so to look into this well in advance of travel. Find out more about the new process - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-from-1-january-2021
French ski resorts
On 26/11/20, French Prime Minister Jean Castex confirmed that all French ski resorts were allowed to open from 02/12/20 and that shops could open too. A decision on the re-opening of bars and restaurants across France has been delayed for now. Restaurants are however allowed to open for takeaway and delivery and many in our ski resorts have done so. Each local tourist office has compiled a list of those that offer this service.
Outdoor activities (aside from downhill skiing) are allowed to take place across France and will be available in ski resorts from 02/12/20. Indoor activities will be closed until a decision is made on these.
Hotels and apartment residences are allowed to open as normal. Health and safety measures to prevent the risk of COVID-19 have already been tested during the summer, Christmas and New Year period and will continue to be in place. Our featured accommodation did open as scheduled on 19/12/20 in most cases.
SKI LIFTS AND SKI AREAS
On 20/01/21, French Tourism Minister, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne announced to French resort representatives that ski lifts would not open for 01/02/21. A decision on an opening date has been deferred.
As with all measures, the situation is under constant review by authorities in light of the situation with the pandemic. We will therefore continue to monitor the situation closely.
Any other questions?
Many questions our clients have been asking us over the few past weeks are covered on a dedicated ABTA page found here https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak
Peak Retreats is a member of ABTA and this helpful page provides the answers to some frequently asked questions relating to coronavirus and travel.
Our team is available to help clients on our usual office number during our office opening hours. For the time being however, we currently no longer accept holiday enquiries in person. Please call us for any enquiries relating to new bookings.