Swiss ski resorts see influx of Brits abroad after France closes

Swiss ski resorts see influx of Brits abroad after France closes

After France closed its borders to British travellers, holidaymakers have switched from resorts in Savoie to ski resorts in Switzerland. However, health officials in the mountainous cantons have warned of an already deteriorating situation in their healthcare systems.

France blocks travel from the UK

France officially tightened restrictions for arrivals from the United Kingdom on December 18, in an attempt to stop the spread of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19. Arrivals from Britain must now give a “compelling reason” to enter France, and must test and self-isolate for two days. 

This has played havoc with French ski resorts, as the area relies on British tourism during the winter. Now, with added restrictions, Brits are choosing to go to Switzerland to get their skiing fix, as vaccinated travellers only require a COVID test upon arrival.

British tourists raise health concerns in Valais

Swiss ski resorts have seen some Brits switching their bookings to Switzerland, confirmed Simon Wiget, tourism director for Canton Valais. Experts say a good ski season is vital for communities in the Swiss mountains, who rely on the resorts for jobs.

However, there is some concern about the entry of so many Brits. Fresh in the memory is the case of a British skier at the end of 2020, who was the first to bring and spread the Alpha variant of COVID in Switzerland. Among doctors, there is also an increased nervousness, with a Valais hospital communique calling on the population to be careful because of the “sharp increase in the spread of coronavirus.”

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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