Countries like England, Holland and Belgium are new on the quarantine list. Guests from these countries are now canceling their winter holidays. A hard blow for the ski areas.
Swiss ski areas have been looking forward to a good winter. The new quarantine list is now putting a spanner in the works.
Because of the new Corona variant Omikron, 19 countries are on the list …
… including the Czech Republic, Belgium, Holland and England.
Belgium, Holland and England have been on the quarantine list again since Friday.
The guests from these countries are now canceling all of their planned holidays in Switzerland.
This is a disaster for the winter sports areas.
< p> The fifth corona wave is rolling over Europe. In addition, the new Omikron variant creates uncertainty. The Federal Council therefore revived the BAG quarantine list on Friday. 23 countries (as of November 29th) are on it, including the Czech Republic, Belgium, Holland and England.
That hits the local tourism industry hard. Last week, numerous ski regions spoke of a very good winter. Now there is a hail of cancellations. “Guests from England, Belgium and Holland are canceling their holidays in a row,” says Andreas Züllig, President of the Hotelleriesuisse industry association.
Even German guests are already canceling bookings: “Germans are always very careful and therefore prefer to say straight away the holidays are over, ”explains Züllig. In some cases, stays booked for February have been canceled.
A severe blow for many hotel businesses. After all, foreign guests book holidays of up to 14 days because of the long journey. Swiss people, on the other hand, tend to stay for a shorter time. “The ski areas are now dependent on local guests again,” said Züllig. Fortunately, they have not canceled their vacation yet.
Ski areas suffer differently
Not all holiday regions suffer equally from the new quarantine list: In Bern, Adelboden-Lenk-Kandersteg and the Jungfrau region in particular are losing many foreign tourists. “Above all, guests from the United Kingdom will be absent,” says Pascale Berclaz, Director Made in Bern.
In Valais, it hits the big ski resorts such as Verbier, Zermatt and Crans-Montana. “In Valais, around 25 percent of the guests are currently from Europe,” explains Damian Constantin, Director of Valais/Wallis Promotion. The quarantine rule is a disaster for the winter sports areas.
This must therefore be lifted again soon. “Quarantine only makes sense if the new Corona variant is not yet in Switzerland, but that could no longer be the case now,” said Constantin. There is already a suspected case of Omikron in Switzerland.
100,000 people from Belgium
Mostly Swiss guests spend their winter holidays in the canton of Graubünden. Nonetheless, the cancellations from abroad hurt: This year up to September almost 100,000 people from Belgium, 33,000 from Holland and 14,000 from England visited the holiday region.
«It's a shame that these holiday guests are no longer available. Now we have to see what happens next and how long the new restrictions apply to you, “says Luzi Bürkli, media spokesman for Graubünden Ferien.
This is Omikron:
The Omikron variant (B.1.1.529) was first detected in southern Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies them as “worrying”. The EU health authority ECDC speaks of serious concerns that the variant could significantly reduce the effectiveness of the corona vaccines and increase the risk of reinfections. The exact effects of the variant have not yet been determined.
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