Megan Hughes & Patrick Thorne
Recently updated information from the Swiss and UK Governments appear to clarify that British skiers and boarders will be able to travel through Swiss territory when landing in Geneva Airport on their way to the French Alps without needing to self-isolate or take a virus test.
The issue became apparent at the weekend as Switzerland responded to a number of new variant Omicron cases in the UK by announcing all British arrivals in the country would need to take a test and self-isolate for 10 days on arrival regardless of the test result.
But thousands of Brits fly into Geneva airport each day en route to ski areas in the French Alps, often leaving Switzerland less than an hour after they arrive. So far France does not require Brits to quarantine or take tests.
However a media spokesperson for Geneva Airport told InTheSnow today,
“There has been a lot of conflicting information. The truth is this: provided you have a covid passport, transit through Switzerland to France or Italy is allowed without testing or quarantine,” said Geneva Airport’s Ignatius Jeannerat.
Mr Jeannerat also directed enquirers to an official Swiss web address for further info.
British government advice had initially been, “only arrivals who are transiting through Swiss airports without going landside will be exempt from the quarantine rule.”
However this has now been updated today to: “There is no quarantine requirement for travellers arriving in Switzerland from the UK who wish to travel onward to another country, as long as travel through Switzerland is less than 24 hours and does not involve a stopover.”
The clarified position was also confirmed by British ski tour operator SkiWeekends.
“In short. UK passenger will be able to go through Geneve without a test and will be able to travel to/from France for skiing this winter,” said company boss Dan Fox.
Geneva Airport actually has a terminal in France but most international flights disembark at the Swiss terminals and the French terminal is believed to be undergoing building work at present.
Meanwhile Swiss-owned tour operator Inghams has cancelled its Swiss ski holidays in December due to the Swiss government’s decision.
Inghams CEO, Joe Ponte said;
“Following the news that Switzerland has imposed a 10 day quarantine on all UK arrivals, we have sadly suspended all December 2021 departures to Switzerland. Customers impacted by this news are being offered the option to move their booking free of charge or to cancel their booking with a full refund.
“We are extremely disappointed for all our customers who were looking forward to a ski holiday in Switzerland in the coming month. Switzerland accounts for around 6% of the holidays in our winter programme and booking numbers for the coming ski season have been strong.
“While many of our customers remain eager to return to the slopes, we understand that some customers with later departure dates may be feeling apprehensive about their holiday following this latest update. With this in mind, we continue to offer flexibility via our ‘No Fee to change up to 28 days before departure’ policy. Allowing our customers the option to move their holiday to a later date or different destination.”