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Any brave families planning go to Switzerland this Christmas?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Just wondering if any brave families with kids is planning or already booked to go to Switzerland this Christmas? If so where are you going ?I have almost accepted the fact that we may need to postpone our annual ski trip to Easter but with the news of possibly not being able to travel to EU at all from Jan - just thought maybe it is our last chance to ski this season?
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Our family self drive Xmas trip to France was cancelled. I wanted to replace it with something in CH but my wife got cold feet.

So instead, as a compromise, I'm off to Verbier for three nights before Xmas with just my eldest, by plane and hire car. Can't wait!
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Wow, lucky you ... hope you have an amazing time! Was also looking at Verbier too but maybe a bit too complicated with kids and all the restrictions and uncertainty... really tempted though
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Yes...maybe...had a hotel booked in Wengen but cancelled it for free and will decide next week whether to reinstate it

I have the mindset too that this is highly likely to be the only possible ski trip for us this season

Eurotunnel is booked (flexiplus) and we have our own gear. So can really just decide next Friday and drive the next morning

The equation I’m going through in my head is whether it is worth the risk for a minimum of 2 days skiing (20/21 Dec) up to when the resorts need a permit. Then if it all goes pear shaped, are we happy to do some walking, maybe a day trip to Bern? At the worst, just come home and take the 5 days quarantine (assuming we test and release).

On the plus side, the French situation seems to have resolved in that there should be no problems driving down and back through France
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I have booked ibis styles Sierra which according to google is 20 minutes drive to Cran Montana. I travel with my 10 year old and a friend who is trying skiing for the first time. We fly from Gatwick to Geneva and hire a car.
I was considering either feb half term or Easter but all the uncertainty put me off. We are two weeks out and I am hoping Switzerland remains open.
I just have insurance to buy (covering COVID and helicopter rescue, the later I have previously paid for out of my own pocket due to lack of insurance! Not sure if the insurance offered with the ski pass £30 covers these?

I Pretty much always go to Solden and the few times I have been elsewhere am disappointed by the unfamiliarity of it. If anyone is familiar with the above resort or any other differences between Austria and Switzerland I’d be grateful for any tips.
One point on the ski passes I usually buy 5 days in 6. Having a day off for a rest or bad weather. That option did not seem to be available in CM.

Bella I hope you make the correct choice, so hard to know what to do. Incidentally, I have been looking at accommodation availability over the last week and this morning noticed a lot of the accommodation that was available, is no longer.

Tom
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Working over Christmas but heading out first day off for new year, all being well. Flying to Geneva then driving to self catering accommodation in Saas Fee. Three of us.

Not sure about brave - is it more dangerous than usual routine at home / work? Can't say, but would rather not hide behind sofa

Insurance - skicover.com was pretty reasonable for single trip and covers Foreign Office advice against travel due to CV19 and helicopter rescue (for our policy anyway, things might have changed)

Will quarantine for the 5 days subject to clear test. Little fella will have to bunk off school for a week but have got pretty good at home schooling this year..

Wouldn't normally go at this time of year (or to CH) but half term trip to Austria got canned and thought this might have been the only time stars aligned..

Fingers crossed wink
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I think it’s brave but not from a catching covid perspective, just all the moving parts are putting me off, quarantines, closures, insurance, EU pressure etc.
We canned half term, fell out with usual tour operator over ludicrous attempt to slap excessive rebooking fees on repeat clients, and have booked flights to go it alone for Easter. Beginning to wonder if we made the wrong call and Christmas was the better shot! Hope it works out!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Tom H, @obmij, sounds like you have it well organised ...hope it all goes to plan!
About bravery l mean more in terms of uncertainty rather than risks of the virus ( which l think are about the same anywhere now).
My kids and husband are not the best in dealing with unexpected changes. We usually plan ski trips about a year in advance, so not sure we can just up and go but will see
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Cheers!

Agreed, it's really difficult to know what to do, and there has already been faffing with cancelled and rescheduled flights. Second guessing yourself will send you bonkers - just gotta go with it and hope for the best. Hope it works out for Easter! Hopefully things should calmed down by then

What a time to be alive
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Thanks Bella - still prepared for it all to go pear shaped though
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You only live once...
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I'm going down to Verbier with my 11-year old son from Saturday until just before Christmas. We prefer to self-cater so the restaurant restrictions won't affect us much, and we're happy to quarantine when we get back to the UK. If you're in a similar situation I'd say go for it!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
diaphon wrote:
I'm going down to Verbier with my 11-year old son from Saturday until just before Christmas. We prefer to self-cater so the restaurant restrictions won't affect us much, and we're happy to quarantine when we get back to the UK. If you're in a similar situation I'd say go for it!


Perfect timing. With another 20-30cm this weekend conditions should be great from Sunday

I just arrived and it’s already much better than last weekend
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@BobinCH, ah so tempting...
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Skimum1, hope your Easter trips works out!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@obmij, good shout out on Skicover.com, got my policy from them too - they do still cover travel against FCDO advice, and it's very affordable.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@diaphon, we also prefer to self cater so not bothered about restaurants too much but would be nice to have a chance to warm up/ have some lunch/ hot chocolate on the slopes during the day...kids are 6 and 10 and the 6 year old is not very resilient..so will try to see if there any accommodation options where we can go back to the apartment for lunch easily
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Myself and my partner are booked to fly to Geneva on the 19th and we’ll get the train from there to Les Diablerets for the week. Hotel booked and cancellation deadline is Friday 11th! Keeping everything crossed they stay open!! We chose Les Diablerets because other half has only skied once last Xmas and is still nervy. I heard that there are lots of nice easy blues for him in Les Diablerets. Also a good toboggan run too which should be fun. I’m gutted not to be going to Austria this year, but looking forward to trying something a little different. Switzerland is very expensive though... Xmas bonus can’t come soon enough!!
One question-how have others managed the virus testing when they return? Where did you book and when?
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In all of this craziness, one thing we can be thankful for is that the Swiss like to publish when they are having their discussions and the outcomes. From admin.ch we can see that there is a meeting today where the federal council will announce new restrictions starting tomorrow (these are the firming up of those announced on Tuesday, restaurants needing to close by 7pm and on Sunday etc - the ones they said weren't aimed at ski resorts).

Then there will be a further meeting next Friday - this seems to be the last time they meet before Christmas - where they will consider whether they need further measures in case the number of cases continues to rise.

Finally, they have already announced that ski resorts will need a license to operate from the canton authorities from the 22nd (Tuesday) depending on the epidemiological situation. So there is still the possibility that, even whilst we are out at Christmas, lifts may suddenly be forced to stop. Fortunately the currently worst hit cantons right now (St Gallen, Ticino) aren't host to the big ski resorts.

For any of us considering Christmas week away, we'll need nerves of steel. Probably the best tactic is to wait for the press statement next Friday (18th), book a hotel then, and then travel straight away. Of course that leaves the possibility that your accommodation of choice is no longer available...

I've been there first hand and survived. In March we were out in Arosa for a weekend when, in the space of an hour on Friday night, we went from happy drinking in a bar, to a statement that the ski resort would close after the weekend, to the ski resort would close straight away. And I'm still considering risking Christmas week!
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@ma94jcg, That's a really helpful post. I am planning to drive with the family on 21 December. Nothing booked so will be following announcements of 18 December keenly - is there a good news source to find this ?
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Yes as poster above said if I was travelling I’d be keeping an eye out for this afternoons federal update. Thelocal.ch is usually pretty quick to update in English.
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@Snowsartre, go to admin.ch . You can select English language at the top. The media releases are on the right hand side.

I've also been keeping an eye on Bern canton's website as we're looking at Wengen. It has the case numbers which are unfortunately rising right now again
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Conditions in Wengen are awesome at the moment.
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Bern, December 11, 2020 - At its meeting on December 11, 2020, the Federal Council stepped up its measures against the spread of the coronavirus. The aim is to further reduce the number of contacts and avoid crowds. For restaurants and bars, shops and markets, museums and libraries as well as sports and leisure facilities, there will be a curfew from 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 12th. With the exception of restaurants and bars, they must remain closed on Sundays and public holidays. Cantons with favorable epidemiological developments can extend the curfew to 11 p.m. Events are prohibited with certain exceptions, sporting and cultural activities are only allowed in groups of up to five people.

The number of infections with the coronavirus is still very high and is rising again in many cantons. The hospitals are close to capacity and the health workers are under enormous strain. This situation is worrying, not least because the risk of an additional and more rapid increase in the number of infections in the coming days is high. With the cold weather, people spend more time indoors and the number of private contacts increases over the holidays.

After consulting the cantons, the Federal Council decided on measures to reduce the number of contacts and avoid crowds. The measures apply from tomorrow, Saturday, December 12, 2020, and are limited to January 22, 2021.

Curfew from 7 p.m. and closure on Sundays and public holidays
Restaurants, bars, shops, markets, museums, libraries and sports and leisure facilities must close between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. Shops, markets, museums, libraries as well as sports and leisure facilities remain closed on Sundays and national holidays. Restaurants and bars, on the other hand, may be open on Sundays and public holidays. On December 24th and for New Year's Eve, the curfew does not apply until 1 a.m. Takeaway offers and delivery services can remain open until 11 p.m.

Exception for cantons with a favorable epidemiological development
Cantons with a favorable epidemiological development are allowed to extend the curfew to 11 p.m. The prerequisite for this is that the reproduction value is below the
Swiss average for at least 7 days and the 7-day incidence for at least 7 days . In addition, sufficient capacities in contact tracing and health care must be available in the canton. If a canton wants to extend the opening times, it must coordinate with the neighboring cantons.

Events prohibited
Public events are prohibited. Religious celebrations (up to a maximum of 50 people), funerals in family and close circle of friends, meetings of legislatures and political rallies are excluded.

Private meetings: Still a maximum of 10 people.
The Federal Council waives any further restrictions on private meetings. He remains with the previous regulation with a maximum of 10 people. The children are also counted. The Federal Council also urgently recommends limiting private meetings to two households. This regulation is clear and enables Christmas parties on a small scale.

Sports and culture: A maximum of five
sports activities in leisure time are only allowed in groups of up to 5 people. Contact sports remain prohibited. Group activities are also limited to 5 people in the non-professional cultural sector.

Sports and cultural activities (without competitions) by children and young people before their 16th birthday are still allowed. Likewise, trainings and competitions by members of a national squad as well as trainings and matches in the professional leagues, but without an audience. Rehearsals and performances by professional artists or ensembles are also allowed.

Opinions of the cantons differ widely.
In the consultation, the cantons basically shared their assessment of the epidemiological situation. A greater standardization of the measures is welcomed by a majority. Many also call for immediate federal measures to
cushion the economic impact. However, a large majority does not agree with the Federal Council's approach.

At its meeting on December 18, the Federal Council will discuss how the Federal Council intends to proceed with any further tightening.
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All the French speaking cantons will have bars and restos open until 2300.
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Does that mean ski resorts are staying open?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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so far so good. but there are another couple of hurdles for christmas week - 1) another meeting of federal government next Friday and 2) possible withdrawal of the ski resort permits at any time based on a few criteria including hospital capacity
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Steve Sparks wrote:
All the French speaking cantons will have bars and restos open until 2300.


Bonus! Got a link?
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Quote:

For any of us considering Christmas week away, we'll need nerves of steel. Probably the best tactic is to wait for the press statement next Friday (18th), book a hotel then, and then travel straight away. Of course that leaves the possibility that your accommodation of choice is no longer available...



Spot on.

We're yet to book anything. Pencilled the 26th Dec to 3rd Jan for 'winter sports', but where?! If at all........Switzerland? Scotland? Romania? Bulgaria?......
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
After Austria bowed to external pressure, we abandoned the planned (independent travel) Schladming holiday and booked flights, trains and a hotel in Arosa.

Other than the train cost, all the other elements will give a full refund if the holiday is curtailed.

Also Express CV19 tests at Gatwick on our return.

Nothing’s guaranteed, I keep a constant eye on the laws/reg’s at both ends.

We’re in a nice hotel with loads of facilities, so I’m not bothered about a lack of apres ski.
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BobinCH wrote:
Steve Sparks wrote:
All the French speaking cantons will have bars and restos open until 2300.


Bonus! Got a link?

Reported it today's Valasian newspaper Le Nouvelliste.
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Love Arosa... looks like the season is really getting going there now @Snow&skifan, have a marvellous trip! Don’t miss the munggapfumpf at the Carmennahutte if it’s serving... snowHead
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
LaForet wrote:
BobinCH wrote:
Steve Sparks wrote:
All the French speaking cantons will have bars and restos open until 2300.


Bonus! Got a link?

Reported it today's Valasian newspaper Le Nouvelliste.


Yep saw that but is it actually confirmed that Valais is exercising the exception from Monday?

I saw this on FB but can’t see any Cantonal communication?
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@BobinCH Yes, here on the Cantonal Etat du Valais site under official press releases: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Nouvelles mesures fédérales and also available in PDF
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LaForet wrote:
@BobinCH Yes, here on the Cantonal Etat du Valais site under official press releases: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Nouvelles mesures fédérales and also available in PDF


Thanks. So restos open until 22:00 from 14th
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I'm planning to arrive Lauterbrunnen 31 Dec by car. Have apartment booked till mid March.
Prefer any lockdown in CH rather than GB January!!
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You don't really need to be 'brave' to come here at the moment. Things are pretty normal for the time of year - it’s the quiet period before Christmas. Of course we have no idea what will happen when / if things get busy, but at the moment it’s business as usual as long as you can make your own entertainment in the evening.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Skimum1 wrote:
Love Arosa... looks like the season is really getting going there now @Snow&skifan, have a marvellous trip! Don’t miss the munggapfumpf at the Carmennahutte if it’s serving... snowHead


Thanks. Is that a drink or food?
Madeye-Smiley
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telford_mike wrote:
You don't really need to be 'brave' to come here at the moment. Things are pretty normal for the time of year - it’s the quiet period before Christmas. Of course we have no idea what will happen when / if things get busy, but at the moment it’s business as usual as long as you can make your own entertainment in the evening.


I think it will be busy, I hope they have sorted out distanced, single file queuing, I usually have no choice but to join the scrum, avoiding giving an inch (at least that’s my experience of Austria).
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@Snow&skifan, a shot. Not for nut allergies though mind. Have a great trip.
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