Further information, advice and protocols to help you choose the best trip and to ensure that your trip is as practicable, covid-safe and enjoyable as reasonably possible – both for you and fellow travellers.
Download and print off these guidance notes for your reference and convenience.
COVID-19 UPDATE TO OUR BOOKING CONDITIONS
Please read the following which is now included in our Booking Conditions:
You acknowledge that you are choosing to travel at a time where you may be exposed to the COVID-19 virus. You also acknowledge that you must comply with all advice and guidance issued by relevant health authorities. We will take all reasonable steps to ensure your safety and may require you to follow additional safety protocols on your trip. We use information from government foreign departments and reports from local suppliers in assessing how your itinerary should operate.
However, it is also your own responsibility to acquaint yourself with all relevant travel information, including applicable health risks, and the nature of your itinerary. You acknowledge that your decision to travel is made in light of consideration of this information and you accept that you are aware of the personal risks attendant upon such travel.
To the fullest extent permitted by law, we accept no liability in relation to these additional risks. In the event that you do feel unwell whilst abroad, we ask that you comply with instructions given by the health authorities. For the latest advice please visit the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office website. Please follow any government advice while you are in resort, too. We advise that before booking, you check any travel restrictions that may be in place for your chosen destination. You can view this on the FCDO website.
Currently, government policies across the globe in the light of Covid mean that changes in travel and border regulations are likely and unpredictable. For example: changes in quarantine requirements for passengers returning to the UK; or lock down or quarantine obligations in the destination country or region may occur. Also, changes to entry requirements or the closing of borders at the destination country may be possible; or changes to FCDO travel advice.
Cancellation and refunds: Please note that whilst we will take reasonable steps to obtain refunds from our suppliers in any of these events, if we are unable to do so, we will not always be able to offer a refund or alternative travel. We are only obliged to offer a refund or alternative travel arrangements in the event that we are constrained to make a significant change or a cancellation. The situations above generally will not constitute us being so constrained. See our changes and cancellations clauses for full details.
NB if a change of Covid-19 related travel, prevention of the spread of infection and/or quarantine regulations mean that we are obliged to cancel a trip then we will refund all amounts that we are able to obtain from our suppliers and as allocated for our own programmed services, less a £95 administration fee. This fee will be retained in all such Covid-19 related circumstances and is necessary to cover costs incurred in planning and organising your trip.
If you choose to cancel, cancellation charges will be payable (please refer to the 'If you cancel' section of our Booking Conditions) but if the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges.
CHANGES TO THE BOOKING & TRIP CONFIRMATION PROCESS
Because of the uncertainties surrounding trips running this winter we are making the booking process as flexible as possible.
• Please contact us first by e-mail to check the current status of the trip you are interested in. We will also be able to discuss the Covid status in the destination country and outline strategies in case of change prior to your departure date.
• Complete the Booking Form in the usual way.
• We will require the payment of a deposit (for 'Full Package' and 'Part Package' trips) or full payment (for 'Instruction Only' options) at the time of booking, via the on-line payment page of the Booking Form.
• We will acknowledge your booking in the usual way.
• We will keep you updated with the Covid-19 status both in the UK (in relation to travel options and plans) and in the destination country.
• We will confirm the trip at a time (approx. 6 weeks prior to departure, if not before) when we feel that there is a very good chance that the trip will happen and once we have also checked with you that you are still happy to travel.
• Any outstanding payments will then be due.
NB Once we have taken deposit or full balance payments and in the event of cancellation due to any Covid-19 issues, you will be refunded your total payment for the trip, less an amount of £95 which will be retained to cover the fixed costs of business administration and setting up trips on behalf of clients.
GUIDANCE PRIOR TO DEPARTURE
• Read our 'Covid-19 update to our Booking Conditions' above. Be fully aware of potential risks whilst travelling and in the destination country and check the FCDO advice for your destination country before departure
• Check your travel and winter sports insurance to ensure the maximum level of cover in case of cancellation due to Covid issues, in case of infection whilst abroad and in the case of lockdown and/or quarantine measures put in place whilst in the destination country.
NB Quarantine advice can change in both the destination country and in the UK whilst you are abroad!
• Ensure you have a valid Covid vaccination or recovery certificate. Many countries now accept the 'NHS COVID Pass' with a verifiable QR code..
• Testing for Covid protocols have become a well-established part of pandemic control measures. Ensure you are familiar with testing requirements both on arrival at your destination country and on your return to the UK. Ensure you have the appropriate certification available for when you travel.
NB At present (Sept., 21) some countries require both a vaccination certificate and a negative PCR test.
NB Advice and requirements do change! Check destination country requirements via the FCDO advice; look under 'Entry Requirements' on the country's FCDO advice page
• Ensure you are aware of and have allowed for any extra costs of Covid tests.
• Ensure you have an EHIC or GHIC.
• Check your own health and declare if you have any possible Covid symptoms before travelling – see self-questionnaire at the end of this section.
• Are you able to travel with those who are already in your social bubble (i.e. friends and families) and organise accommodation accordingly?
• As a single skier, we can offer single hotel rooms, if available, or you can decide whether you would be content to share a twin room, ensuring appropriate social distancing when sharing that hotel room.
• We have received, or will be receiving, Covid Protocols from all service providers (transport, ski areas and hotels) and this information will be passed on to you prior to departure.
• Bringing your own ski and safety equipment is recommended to reduce the possibility of infection transmission from hire equipment.
• Check and familiarise yourself with expected Prevention of the Spread of Infection (POSI) protocols when travelling in, and from, the UK and in the destination country.
• Buy sufficient items for personal hygiene and hand cleaning to last the duration of the trip:
a] A small bottle of hand sanitiser plus a spare.
b] Anti-viral wet wipes and tissues.
c] Small plastic bags for disposal of wipes and tissues.
d] Sufficient face masks to use in compliance with local regulations.
e] Sufficient sun-cream for your own use throughout the course.
f] A small personal first-aid kit.
• Limit and deter contact with people not within your immediate social bubble prior to travel.
• Be ready to wear a face covering when travelling and abide by locally enforced regulations throughout the journey to the course or tour venue.
• Ensure when wearing a face-mask that it is worn correctly and covers both mouth and nose.
Prior to departure: do you have or have you had within the previous 14 days:
Current 'Top 5' symptoms (as mid Sept.,2021)
After 2 vaccinations:
2) Runny nose
4) Sore throat
5) Loss of smell (after 2 vaccinations); persistent cough (after 1 vaccination)
'Traditional' Covid symptoms (as mid Sept.,2021)
If not vaccinated:
2) Sore throat
3) Runny nose
5) Persistent cough
Considerations for all:
1) Someone in your household with symptoms of COVID-19?
2) Someone in your household in isolation because of COVID-19?
3) Been in close contact with anyone else who is or has been symptomatic of COVID-19?
NB It is essential that you contact us if you answer 'YES' to any of the above questions prior to departure.
GUIDANCE WHILST ABROAD
• We will monitor and pass on any new information concerning:
a] The infection.
b] Any change to the rules and regulations either nationally or locally.
• On first meeting at the week's venue, confirm to The Off-piste & Telemark Ski Company (OpTSC) leader or instructor that you have been symptom free for at least 7 days.
• Maintain personal hygiene by regularly washing hands and wearing face coverings when necessary and feasible.
• Keep within the social bubble i.e. your skiing group.
• Deter others from entering your social bubble and keep out of other people's groups.
• Wear a face mask if the leader/instructor needs to approach closely in order to attend to your safety or to administer first-aid.
• Social distance from room-mates when sharing accommodation in hotels (unless you are from the same social bubble before the week).
• Open windows in accommodation to allow the free circulation of fresh air.
• Clean hard surfaces in hotel rooms after you have touched them.
• Avoid crowded venues, if possible, or wear a mask.
• Avoid après-ski bars and restaurants. In Austria 'après-ski parties' have now been banned by law.
1) Agree a staggered meeting time with other groups, so as to reduce the number of people meeting together, in one place at any one time.
2) Meet clients outside, if possible, for the course or tour Intro Meeting.
3) Ask skiers as soon as possible if they have had symptom(s) within the previous 7 days. Ask any that have to isolate themselves and not take further part in the course.
4) Define and allocate social bubbles i.e. skiing groups.
5) Protect social bubbles and ensure social distancing throughout the week.
6) Stagger mealtimes as far as reasonably possible.
7) Ensure you adhere to transport, hotel and ski-lift/ski area protocols.
8) Select ski areas and routes that maximise social distancing, if possible.
9) Ensure we keep more than 2 metres away from other ski groups or individuals wherever possible e.g. lift queues, mountain restaurants, gondolas and chairlifts.
10) Keep social distancing within your ski group. If this is not feasible only reduce this when outside, wear a face covering and keep the interaction to less than 2 minutes.
11) When stopping for a break, for instruction or other discussion, consider wind direction and the potential dispersion of virus particles in the air.
12) First Aid:
a] If someone has a symptom of COVID, we will assume it is COVID and isolate as soon as practicable.
b] In assessing a situation we will factor in the risk of COVID-19 transmission and infection to yourself and others.
c] We will wear appropriate gloves and face coverings.
GUIDANCE & CONSIDERATIONS ON YOUR RETURN
• If you have a symptom of COVID-19 within 14 days of return from the week:
a] Inform the UK's Track and Trace System (or as appropriate to your home country).
b] Inform the OpTSC.
• Ensure you complete Covid tests as may be required for all travellers returning to the UK – check FCDO advice for up-to-date information in this respect (find the 'What you need to do to return to England/Wales/Scotland/Northern Ireland' section, a part of the 'Travel Abroad: Step by Step' pages).
• Seek medical advice and a test following notification (via Track and Trace) that you may have come into contact with someone who has since developed COVID-19.
• Inform the OpTSC if you think these COVID-19 guidance notes could be improved.
• Inform the OpTSC if you believe there were any shortcomings in the COVID-19 safety practices and measures adopted by any of the service providers during the week e.g. airport transfers, hotels, ski area facilities and restaurants.
Download and print off these guidance notes for your reference and convenience.