More and more states are becoming high-risk areas again. Does the ski vacation have to be canceled?

Michaela Seiser

Business correspondent for Austria and Hungary based in Vienna.

Basically, more is possible for vaccinated and convalescent people than for unvaccinated people – including children. This can be seen on the return trip to Germany. Anyone who comes from a high-risk area, including the Alpine countries Austria, Switzerland and France as well as all neighboring countries of Germany except Luxembourg, must be in quarantine, unless recovery or double vaccination can be proven.

The quarantine lasts ten days, but can be shortened by a test from the fifth day. It is always five days long for children under the age of twelve. For families who are planning to ski until the end of the holiday, this means that their children are not allowed to go to school directly, but have to separate themselves. That is why customers are already canceling trips.

Travel anyway? What can visitors to Austria expect on site?

Gastronomy, hotels and cable cars are open, nationwide exit restrictions have ended. Evidence of vaccination and recovery is required for entry, with the exception of children. A PCR test or a booster test is required. Vaccination certificates are only recognized if the second appointment was a maximum of 270 days ago or if a booster took place. Single vaccinations with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are only accepted until January 3, 2022.

An FFP2 mask is required in indoor public spaces and in cable cars, as well as in restaurants on the way to the square and in generally accessible hotel areas. Après-ski is prohibited, curfew is at 11 p.m. So far there has been no rush of guests, but those responsible express optimism and speak of increasing demand for New Year’s Eve.

Great Britain is virus variant territory. Is it possible to travel there?

On the way there, visitors must take an antigen or PCR test on the second day after entry and remain in quarantine until the result is available. The big hurdle follows on the way back: You need a negative test, and everyone – including those who have been vaccinated – is required to quarantine for two weeks, which cannot be shortened. The travel industry on the island complains that the season before Christmas and over the New Year was practically destroyed by the steep increase in the number of infections and new restrictions. According to the Tourism Alliance, there was a deep slump in December. 58 percent of the companies reported a cancellation rate of at least a quarter.

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