*** TRAVEL ADVISE UPDATED – 13/10/2020***
The Chalet Edit are experts in Alpine Summer Chalets and Luxury Ski Chalet Holidays, with over 20 years experience in the industry. We know all of our chalet owners personally and have first-hand knowledge of all of our resorts. We hand-craft each client’s holiday from scratch, offering guidance on the best resorts and chalets; alongside booking transfers, childcare and local mountain guides.
Many of our clients are already exploring the idea of an extended Summer stay in the mountains away from overcrowded beaches or thinking of snapping up an early booking deal for a luxury chalet for Winter 2021. But is now the right time to book?
Here our Director Anna Sampson takes a look at some of the questions we are being asked about Covid-19, to provide an insight into the current climate and assist you with your booking decisions.
When can we travel again?
As lockdown eases and the borders open you may feel ready to travel again…and why not?
Many of Europe’s top resorts are starting to welcome clients for the Summer season, including Verbier, Zermatt and Chamonix who are already open for business and practicing social distancing and enhanced take-away services.
These resorts know that clients safety is paramount and social distancing is in place at all lifts stations, with hand washing facilities or hand sanitiser available on site. We have been told by locals that the lifts are fairly quiet at present and that large groups are uncommon, with everyone obeying social distancing rules. Alongside this face masks and gloves are also compulsory on many forms of public transport.
Restaurants throughout the resorts have a minimum distance of 2 meters between tables and many will not allow groups of more than 4 guests per sitting. Take-away services are also being offered where possible to prevent large groups waiting around.
The tricky part about leaving the UK right now is that we currently have a 14 day quarantine period in-place upon return from any of the countries mentioned below. However this may change with the ‘Air Bridge’ scheme that looks set to be in place by the 04 July 2020. If it goes ahead the ‘Air Bridge’ scheme will allow you to travel more freely whilst avoiding quarantine on return from your holiday.
Before you book your trip, don’t forget that purchasing a valid travel insurance policy is vital, as it forms part of your booking contract. We recommend clients look into this before travelling to their chosen destination to ensure they have the cover they need.
And finally we always recommend checking the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for up-to-date travel advice before travelling at any time to check the Covid-19 travel corridors.
What are the current rules for travelling to European resorts for UK nationals?
Don’t forget – You must complete the Uk Government passenger locator form online before you arrive in the UK from any country.
- AUSTRIA – Travellers from the UK and UK residents can freely enter Austria, without the need for a medical certificate or self-quarantine. This only applies if you have not been to any countries considered a COVID-19 risk area in the past 10 days. When you return from Austria to the UK, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.
- FRANCE – Travellers from the UK can arrive as normal and you will need to self-isolate for 14 days on your return.
- ITALY – Travellers from the UK must present a negative Covid test taken 72 hours before travel. You must arrange a private test only. Alternatively, you can get a free test on arrival at some airports, or at a testing facility in Italy shortly after you arrive. If you test positive within Italy, you will be required to quarantine. The time spent in quarantine can vary greatly from a few days to several weeks. Travellers should be prepared for this eventuality.
- SWITZERLAND – Travellers from the UK can arrive as normal and you will need to self-isolate for 14 days on your return.
Which Alpine Summer Resorts Lifts are open for the 2020 season?
- Chamonix, France – Lifts – Aiguille du Midi open daily. Flegere/ Brevant open on weekends from 13 June then daily from 04 July 2020. Grand Montets open daily from 04 July 2020
- Courchevel & Meribel, France – Lifts open daily from 05th July – 28th August 2020
- Les Gets, France – Lifts open daily from 27 June 2020
- Morzine, France – Lifts open daily from from 20 June 2020
- Tignes, France – Lifts open daily from 27 June – 30 August 2020
- Val d’Isere, France – Lifts open daily from 04 July – 30 August 2020
- Verbier, Switzerland – Lifts open daily from 06 June – 21 September 2020
- Zermatt, Switzerland – Lifts open daily throughout summer
How will social distancing work in the ski resorts?
It is too soon to say how things are going to work next winter, however we know measures have already been put in place to adapt to the ‘new normal’ of social distancing in both the chalets and resorts we offer.
As the summer season is already underway we hope that the resorts and chalets will be able to learn from this and adapt accordingly for the busy ski season ahead.
In resort social distancing is likely to continue in the bars and restaurants with specific restrictions put in place in regards to lift queues and capacity. sanitiser will be available at lift stations and face masks may be required.
How will social distancing work in the chalets?
We work closely with all of our owners and know they are already adapting to protect clients against Covid-19. Taking measure to ensure guests are safe by implementing:
- Tighter cleaning controls and changeover procedures, including contactless guest services.
- Offering accommodation only or self-catered services with minimal housekeeping.
- Working around meal service in ‘fully serviced’ chalets by allowing guests to serve themselves, but still ensuring staff are on-hand if required.
- Ensuring social distancing measures are maintained between staff.
How will I get to the chalet?
Our in-house team can ensure you arrive in resort safely and distanced, by private jet, private transfer, or help you to arrange a self-drive route and private parking on arrival.
If you are travelling by scheduled flights we know that the airlines are currently temperature checking all passengers before they board and that flights are not allowed to be fully booked, to ensure social distancing rules are maintained.
Should we book now? What if Covid-19 returns?
It’s tricky to know what will happen in the next six months and we understand that you may be hesitant to make a commitment right now…however it is actually a very good time to book and take advantage of some great early booking offers; as several of our owners are choosing to cover the liability for any loss if anything changes.
With chalets offering flexible booking conditions and smaller booking deposits, plus the option to cancel by the 01st September without any cancellation fees. Alongside this some are even going as far as offering full refunds if the resort or chalet is closed again due to Covid-19.
As it’s always such a busy time, it would certainly be wise to start thinking about a lovely family friendly ski chalet for February Half term or the perfect ski-in/ski-out Chalet for New Year, all booked to your specification and to the terms that work for you.
Travelling now or in Winter may seem like a daunting prospect but I really hope you have found this useful and that it has given you some reassurance that the Alpine industry is listening and making every effort to be prepared.
Whatever the future holds, rest assured we are here to negotiate the right contractual terms for your needs and assist with any questions or concerns you may have. We’d love to hear from you, so please do reach out to us with your travel plans.
Contact us via e-mail on email@example.com or give our team a call on +44 (0) 208 133 1130.