Mountain restaurant on Alp Trida in Samnaun, Switzerland: 2G?
The main thing is snow!
Eibner press photo / EXPA / Groder / IMAGO
Omikron makes everyday life difficult for us - and travel plans are again being scrutinized in view of the highly contagious coronavirus variant.
The rapid rate of infection in Germany as well as in the rest of Europe leads to two types of behavior among those who wanted to start the year with a winter holiday:
Omikron has thoroughly spoiled the travel mood for one of them.
They consider vacation in the middle of the fourth wave to be inappropriate, fear the risk of infection in the ski area or prefer not to go for other reasons.
You cancel your holiday booked for the winter.
stick to their plans
- and pack their ski underwear in their suitcases.
But there is still a lot more in the luggage this year: vaccination cards and current test confirmations, for example.
And enough masks, of course.
What documents do you currently need to enter Austria, Italy, France and Switzerland?
Which rules apply on site on the slopes?
And what do winter sports enthusiasts have to consider when traveling home?
The overview (as of January 7, 2022).
What is the situation like in the countries?
“Despite Omikron, the slopes are almost normal” - this is how the Austrian newspaper “Der Standard” recently headed an article about winter tourism in
There's a lot going on on and off the ski slopes.
"The gondola up to the Rüfikopf is full, as is the feeder lift," says the report on the situation in Lech Zürs am Arlberg.
"In some places it seems as if there is no Corona."
But this appearance is deceptive.
The number of infections is currently increasing sharply in Austria.
In the middle of this week, according to the authorities, 9,761 people were infected within 24 hours - this almost doubled the number of new infections every day compared to the previous day.
The Omikron variant of the coronavirus has dominated the infection rate in Austria since the end of the year.
The curve rose particularly steeply recently in the federal states of Tyrol and Salzburg, which are popular with holidaymakers.
Individual voices from the tourism industry are already calling for a short, quick lockdown in order to save at least the rest of the winter season.
Due to the numerous quarantine cases among the staff, some of the hotel operations could hardly be continued anyway, it said.
"If we don't do anything now, we'll have a de facto lockdown anyway, the system is already about to collapse," said the head of the Kitzbühel tourism association, Christian Harisch, of the Austrian news agency APA on Wednesday.
The deliberations of the federal and state governments on Thursday did not bring any decisions in this regard.
But Austria's Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer does not want to rule out a new lockdown.
He appealed to the population that they should "do everything together to prevent a next lockdown as far as humanly possible."
, the corona situation has also worsened significantly recently.
More than 13,000 new infections within 24 hours are currently counted.
The seven-day incidence is 1624 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants.
, the number of infections is currently increasing even more violently.
The omicron variant is now predominant.
As of the middle of this week, the country peaked with more than 332,000 reported infections in one day.
The seven-day incidence on January 7th was 2,141 new infections per 100,000 population.
That is seven times higher than in Germany on the same day (seven-day incidence of 303.4).
In view of the worsening corona situation, the French National Assembly approved the introduction of drastic restrictions for unvaccinated people on Thursday.
In the future, they should no longer have access to places such as restaurants, cinemas or long-distance trains.
The government wants to replace the so-called health pass, which so far provided proof of vaccination, current negative corona test or survived illness, with a new vaccination pass (“pass vaccinal”). A negative test should then no longer be enough. The government plans to finalize the status of those who have recovered at a later date. Now the Senate has to deal with the new rules.
has been a high-risk area since the beginning of the year, it recorded a new high in the corona numbers on Thursday with 219,441 new infections.
According to data from the Ministry of Health, however, the number of newly reported deaths fell to 198 from 231 the previous day.
In South Tyrol (Autonomous Province of Bolzano), which is popular with winter holidaymakers, the seven-day incidence at the end of this week was 1234 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants.
In December, the country significantly expanded its protective measures against infection with the corona virus.
Anyone who wants to go to the theater, the cinema, to live music or to major sporting events must now be fully vaccinated or have recently recovered from an infection.
The necessary 2G proof (“Super Green Pass”) is also required for all restaurant visits.
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From January 10th, 2G will be extended to many areas of life.
The South Tyrol region, known for winter sports, provides a good overview on its website.
Among other things, the "Super Green Pass" is valid from Monday for the consumption of food and drinks in bars and restaurants - indoors and outdoors - for skiing using the lifts, for overnight stays in communal bedrooms in mountain inns and youth hostels and for the use of all local and long-distance public transport.
In all of Italy, the mask requirement also applies outdoors.
You can find out where an FFP2 mask needs to be in the travel information from the Federal Foreign Office.
Is skiing even possible - and how?
, the ski lifts operate in compliance with strict safety rules.
Winter tourism is only possible for vaccinated and convalescent people (»2G«) - this also applies to gastronomy, accommodation and the cable cars.
Until now, you had to wear an FFP2 mask in all closed, publicly accessible areas, including the cable cars.
The FFP2 obligation is now being expanded.
In future, such a mask will also have to be worn outside of buildings if the safety distance of two meters cannot be guaranteed.
Winter sports are
Switzerland - basically without 2G or 3G rules.
However, there are two exceptions: Special rules apply to the Samnaun ski area because it is connected to Ischgl in Austria.
In the canton of Graubünden there is a ski area that relies on 2G: the Fideriser Heuberge.
In contrast, 2G generally applies in huts, restaurants and for cultural events in Switzerland: access is only granted to those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered.
In the ski resorts, similar rules apply to the cable cars as to buses and trains: mask compulsory only in closed rooms including gondolas.
Chair lifts and drag lifts may be used without a mask.
Large gondolas and wagons are only used up to a capacity of 70 percent, according to the Switzerland Tourism website.
, guests at ski resorts must have a full vaccination, recovery or a negative test (3G). The health pass (“Pass Sanitaire”) is required at the ski lift and for ski courses, among other things, according to the Atout France tourist office website - for anyone aged twelve and over two months. The hygiene measures that have been in force in the ski areas since December 8th are compiled in this overview. In ski lifts and queues, a mask requirement applies from the age of eleven.
and thus also in the South Tyrolean ski areas - holidaymakers currently still have to have the EU Covid vaccination certificate (3G, »Green Pass«) with them in order to be able to use closed lifts such as cable cars and gondolas. From January 10th, the 2G rule will apply here and in hotels as it has been in restaurants, museums and theaters. A negative test is then not enough. The German digital vaccination certificates work.
In closed ski lifts such as lifts and cable cars, wearing an FFP2 mask is also mandatory
A distance of at least one meter must be maintained.
On January 1, Italy also introduced strict requirements for alcohol consumption on the slopes.
From a level of 0.5 per mille, drunk skiers face a fine of between 250 and 1000 euros - from 0.8 per mille it is considered a criminal offense.
What are the rules for entry?
Even entering the holiday country is tough.
It is worth reading the linked entry rules carefully so that there are no nasty surprises such as a missing test result.
without vaccination or convalescence for vacation purposes is »de facto not possible«, according to the country's official tourism portal. In fact, the “2Gplus” principle applies: You need 2G evidence (vaccinated or recovered) and an up-to-date PCR test or a booster vaccination. This does not apply to children under the age of twelve. You do not need 2G detection or a PCR test when accompanied by an adult.
During their stay in Austria, on the other hand, »2Gplus« does not apply to holidaymakers, but only the 2G rule. For school-age children and adolescents who are neither fully vaccinated nor recovered, according to the information, there is "the possibility of equating themselves to 2G status with regular tests". There is the so-called Holiday Ninja Pass for this. "With two PCR and one antigen tests per week, all facilities that require 2G detection can be used," says the tourism portal austria.info. More details here too. Further information: Travel advice from the Federal Foreign Office and the Austrian Ministry of Health.
Anyone wishing to travel to
only needs a negative PCR test (carried out no more than 24 hours before the start of the journey) if he or she is unvaccinated - or comes from a country classified as "scarlet". This is a newly introduced category for countries where the virus is particularly rampant or a worrying variant is circulating. Currently only South Africa, Lesotho and Eswatini, the former Swaziland, are on the list.
The deadlines that must be observed after a vaccination in order to be considered fully vaccinated or recovered and vaccinated in France can be found in the travel advice of the Federal Foreign Office. There it also says: Unvaccinated children from the age of twelve must show a test (PCR or antigen test) regardless of the vaccination status of the adult accompanying them. For entries from Germany, the rule is that the test must not be more than 24 hours ago. More information: French Tourism Agency website.
After extremely strict entry rules were in effect in
in December - everyone who wanted to enter the country had to show a negative PCR test, even Swiss people - these were somewhat eased again shortly before Christmas. Since December 20, vaccination or convalescence no longer has to be a PCR test (not older than 72 hours), but a rapid antigen test (not older than 24 hours) is sufficient. However, those who have not been vaccinated have to be tested again four to seven days after entering the country - and report the result to the canton. The information is clearly presented in this information sheet. More information: Travel advice from the Federal Foreign Office and the Swiss Federal Council.
A negative PCR (not older than 48 hours) or antigen rapid test (not older than 24 hours) is required
This also applies to those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered, but not to children under six years of age.
Unvaccinated people must also present a negative test, quarantine for five days after crossing the border and then have another molecular or antigen test carried out.
More information: Travel advice from the Federal Foreign Office or the Italian Ministry of Health.
And what applies to the journey home?
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) currently no longer has any states or regions as virus variant areas.
However, it currently classifies
as high-risk areas .
, on the other hand, was removed from the list at Christmas.
Anyone returning from a high-risk area must fill out an entry form.
This can be done online, but if necessary also on paper.
Children under the age of twelve are exempt from this rule.
The same applies to vacationers who only drive through a high-risk area on the way home.
Travelers aged six and over returning from a high-risk area must also provide evidence of being fully vaccinated, recovered or tested negative.
In principle, a ten-day quarantine is due - unless you have been vaccinated or have recovered.
The quarantine can then be ended immediately by submitting the relevant evidence via the digital entry registration upload portal.
According to the Federal Ministry of Health (BGM), children under six years of age are exempt from the obligation to provide evidence.
For them, the quarantine ends automatically five days after entry.
The BGM describes the requirements for earlier free testing on its website.
With material from dpa
With material from dpa