International travel from the UK – What it’s like?
Traveling from the UK to Switzerland and France with current restrictions
Published before France introduced temporary travel restrictions for UK travelers in December 2021, for up-to-date information please seeUK government website.
We know many people are eager to get away this Ski season, but are concerned about current covid restrictions and the steps they need to take to get there. This week one of our operations team, Martyn, had the first hand experience of traveling between the UK, Geneva airport and France, to our office in Morzine.
To find out how he fared and the steps he should take, we interviewed him about his experience.
Martyn, you traveled from Manchester to Morzine this week. When did you decide to do that?
Martyn: It was a last minute decision, I actually booked my flight this Tuesday to fly Wednesday morning.
That’s last minute! How did you manage to book your tests and return them in time for the flight?
Martyn: I booked an express PCR test for the morning of my flight within the airport for £80.00. I got there just over three hours early and got tested there where they guaranteed me a 1-3 hour turnaround time for my results, I got tested at 7:40 am and got my results at 09:30 A.M. In that time I had breakfast at the airport and filled out my passenger locator form for Switzerland and France.
I thought that to fill out a passenger locator form you need your test reference, right?
Martyn: No, to enter the UK you must include the PCR test number on the passenger locator form, however, to enter Switzerland or other European countries such as France and Spain, you do not have to include the test number, for so you can fill out the form before your test.
And what about check-in? Were you able to do that without your test results?
Martyn: I checked in online before I left so I had my boarding pass and covid shot ready on my phone. I couldn’t get through security until the results came in via text, which they did within two hours. This meant I was at the door in plenty of time with all my documents ready on my phone.
Excellent! Sounds almost painless… and how was the trip between Geneva and Morzine?
Martyn: It was actually quite easy. Once I passed through border control in Geneva using my passenger locator form and negative test result, one of our team members picked me up and took me to Morzine. We drove straight through border control into France without having to stop and I was at the resort by mid-afternoon.
Fantastic! And now for the more interesting news, what is it like in Morzine? Is the complex opening?
Martyn: It’s lovely. The stores are starting to open for the season and my favorite bakery The candy box is open as is our local pub. It’s still quiet,but there’s a buzz of anticipation and you can see the resort gearing up for Ski season, which is exciting.
That’s exciting, when does the Morzine Ski season open this year?
Martyn: Avoriaz actually opened today and Morzine opens next Saturday the 18th. Although Morzine also opens this weekend for the weekend as the snow conditions are very good.
So I guess it’s been snowing a lot?
Martyn: It doesn’t stop! There has been heavy snow all week and a lot last week as well, so snow conditions are perfect. I’d say for this start of the season it’s the best coverage I’ve seen in years, particularly the mountaintops that have almost 3 meters Snow already.
Perfect, and what do you plan to do this weekend?
Martyn: This weekend I’m going to take advantage of all this snow and go up the mountain!
Have you arranged everything you need to get home?
I can go to the pharmacy in Morzine for my test before I go home next week and my day 2 PCR is booked so I can relax knowing all I have to do is fill out my passenger locator form and I’m set for my flight home next week.
How can I travel internationally this ski season?
Flying outside the UK
- Check if you need a PCR or rapid antigen test for your destination country at the government.uk website.
- Book your test inside the airport or in a place near you. Money Saving Expert have a guide to the most affordable options.
- Take your test and screenshot or save the test document to your phone.
- Download the NHS app and get your Covid digital pass through the app.
- Fill out any locator form for the country you are visiting – in this case bothSwitzerlandandFrance.
- That is all!
Flying back to the UK
- Book a day 2 PCR test. If you don’t want to isolate yourself until you get your result, you can reserve one at the airport upon arrival with a response time of 1-3 hours.
- Complete yourpassenger locator form, including your test booking reference number.
- Save your passenger locator form to your phone with your boarding pass.
- Take a Covid test (PCR or antigen) within 48 hours of your return to the UK – these are easily arranged at the resort.
- Take the PCR test 0-2 days after your arrival and isolate yourself until the results come back.
- Upon receipt of a negative result (3-48 hour lead time depending on cost), you may travel and depart as normal.
Lastly, as with all vacations, make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance. Most major insurance providers now offer protection if you are unable to travel due to contracting Covid, or cover any of your medical expenses,quarantine costs or repatriation costs, should the worst happen while you are away. It is important to have peace of mind knowing that you are financially protected.
For flexible airport transfers with free cancellation up to 7 days before, book with Ski lifts. Also, check out our Covid Guaranteeee which we introduced in 2019 to fully protect our customers.
PostingInternational travel from the UK – How is it in December?first appeared inChairlifts.