FAQ about your trip during COVID-19

We have been living with the new Corona virus for almost two years now. What does that mean for your holiday with Bekker Mountain Travel? Here you can read the answers to frequently asked questions.

 

 

Update December 4, 2021


As of today, the temporary quarantine obligation for travelers from countries where the Omicron virus has been detected (including the Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Denmark...) has been lifted. This has been replaced by a PCR test obligation prior to entering Switzerland, whether you are vaccinated or not. For the time being, the current travel restrictions are no reason to cancel our winter programme and we hope to be able to carry out our winter season as planned, taking all precautions carefully, of course.

Covid certificates and QR codes

Country info

Trips carried out from the Bekker Chalet

Cancellations and insurances

General questions

covid certificates and QR codes

A Covid certificate is mandatory in many places in Switzerland. This applies to restaurants, indoor sports facilities and entertainment venues, but a Covid certificate is also requested in our chalet and in mountain huts. The so-called "Pass Sanitaire" has also been in effect in France for some time. From January 15, such a sanitary pass is also mandatory in the ski lifts in Haute Savoie, which includes Chamonix.

 

What is a Covid Certificate?

The COVID certificate is a way to show that you have been vaccinated against COVID-19, that you have been cured (max 6 months) from a Covid infection with a positive PCR test as proof or after a negative test via an official test location. The latter is valid in Switzerland as a rapid test (antigen test) for a maximum of 24 hours and as a PCR test for a maximum of 48 hours. It is expected that a distinction will be made between a 2G or 3G certificate in the short term.

  • 2G: you must have been cured of a previous Covid-19 infection or have been vaccinated
  • 3G: You must be Vaccinated, Cured or Tested.

I do not want or cannot be vaccinated. Can I still travel with you?

All our guests are required to present a valid Covid certificate. In the new rules (as of December 6th) of the Swiss government we have the legal possibility to apply a 2G policy. This gives us the opportunity to move more freely within our chalet and to consider our groups as our own bubble.

Practically speaking, it is not even possible to carry out our trips if you are not vaccinated or cured. In theory, you would then have to test every day (antigen) or every two days (PCR) at an official test location, the prices of which range from CHF 60 to CHF 150 per test. And even if you would agree to that, the number of test locations is limited. For example, from Finhaut you have to go to Chamonix or Martigny to test and the rest of the group can't wait for you when while testing. Without a valid QR code you cannot ski in Chamonix, visit a restaurant or stay with us.

The exception are day trips that do not make joint use of lifts, transport or meals in an indoor location.

Travel Requirements per country

Bearing the recently discovered Omicron variant in mind, the conditions per country are subject to changes on an almost daily basis. So always check the websites of the country (in the direct links below)

European Union

Official website regarding travelling during Covid

Switzerland

You can check whether and under what conditions you can enter Switzerland with the Travel Check of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health. In general, vaccinees are not required to submit a negative test result (except for travellers from countries classed as having dangerous mutations). You do however need to fill in an online entry form in advance.

The current applicable restrictions and conditions regarding COVID-19 QR codes, vaccination, other precautions and face mask obligation  can be read here.

A brief overview:

  • On entering Switzerland, everyone aged 16 and over intending to enter Switzerland must be able to show the negative result of a PCR test (performed no more than 48 hours prior to entry). You must have taken this test in your country of departure.
  • You must test again within 4 to 7 days after arrival in Switzerland. Since our trips usually last no more than 6 days, this will not be of your concern
  • All travelers must complete an online entry form in advance.
  • Everyone can travel freely in the border area. This means that there are no restrictions on being able to move freely between Finhaut and Chamonix, for example.
  • In all public indoor areas (including public transport and ski lifts) a face mask is required. This also applies in restaurants, unless you are sitting and consuming at the table. For our chalet we use a 2G policy, which means that everyone can move freely inside without a face mask.

France

Check the conditions on the website of the French government. Here you can also download the necessary forms

In short:

  • If you have been vaccinated; a valid vaccination certificate (QR code) and a completed form with which you indicate that you have not been in contact with a Covid infection in your area, you are healthy (no complaints that could indicate a Covid infection) and that you have completed your form truthfully .
  • If you have not been vaccinated or cured of a previous infection: negative PCR test of a maximum of 72 hours old and one form.
  • A valid QR code is required for taking most ski lifts
  • From December 15 2021 on, people over 65 must have had a (third) booster shot.
  • From January 15, 2022, your last vaccination should not have been more than 7 months ago.

Italy

In Italy, the measures may vary by region. Check the website of the Italian Tourist Office for a global overview and the website of the Italian Government about traveling in Covid times.

In general, you must have a valid QR code and complete a Passenger Location Form.

 

Norway

Check the website of the Norwegian Tourist Board for updates and applicable conditions and restrictions.

In general, you must be vaccinated or cured of a previous Covid infection. If this is not the case, you have to go into quarantine in a quarantine hotel (not a serious option if you go to Norway for a holiday)

 

TRIPS CARRIED OUT  FROM THE BEKKER CHALET
 

How do you deal with the Covid rules and restrictions?

All our guides are in possession of a valid Covid certificate. We expect the same from our guests. We apply the 2G policy; you must have been vaccinated or cured (max 6 months) from a previous Covid infection.

We also try to offer a product that is as Covid-proof as possible by means of the following rules:

  • We work with small (largely private) groups
  • We apply mandatory, strict hygiene measures (distance, ventilation, cleaning, etc.)
  • We offer a product in the healthy outdoors for fit people
  • For travel from our own chalet: Our own freshly cooked healthy meals can be served as usual
  • Swiss mountain and ski guides, hiking guides and climbing instructors adhere to the behavioral and hygiene regulations of the BundesAmt für Gesundheit (BAG) and ensure that the guests also comply with these rules.

 

insurances

Does a travel and cancellation insurance cover Corona related expenses?​

Travel insurance with cover for the booked activity (off-piste skiing, ski safari, mountaineering, mountain biking, etc.) is always compulsory; this is and will remain unchanged. Read more about travel and cancellation insurances.

We have always strongly recommended a cancellation insurance, but now even more so. Even without Corona, you have to be in top shape for an active trip, climb or expedition and a good cold is sometimes enough to cancel. During the Corona crisis, however, we are also obliged to refuse you if you arrive with us with a cold (without a recent negative corona test).

Many (or maybe most) continuous travel and cancellation insurance policies do not cover Corona-related expenses.

In accordance with the Corona protocol imposed by the Swiss government, we are forced to refuse you if you have Corona-related complaints (cough, fever, loss of taste and / or smell, respiratory problems), provided you have a recent (maximum 48 hours old) can submit a negative Corona test.

The Swiss travel and cancellation insurance of allianz-travel.ch does however cover the following Corona-related expenses: 

  • Cancellation costs if you or fellow travelers are on the same policy are tested positive by COVID-19 (in short; if you are traveling with friends or family, book together and take 1 insurance policy as a family or as a group).
  • Cancellation fee if you have to quarantine because you have Corona-like symptoms (while waiting for your test or for the test result)
  • Medical costs if you get corona-like symptoms during your trip; costs of the test and medical treatment. This also applies if your holiday country changes to code red or orange during your vacation (and your continuous travel & cancellation insurance would not pay) - only ith Premium or Premium plus cover
  • Medical and quarantine costs if a travel companion (someone from your ski group) develops Corona-like symptoms  - only ith Premium or Premium plus cover
  • Replacement transport if you have traveled to your holiday destination by plane or public transport and you are refused the return trip due to Corona-like symptoms or contact with a Corona-tested person

    In any case, almost every cancellation insurance covers the cancellation costs if you are forced to cancel because something changes in your family or work situation (for example, divorce, loss of a loved one or loss of your job).

    You can take out such insurance yourself via the following link:

http://allianz-assistance.onlinetravel.ch/ibe/WWW378/products?language=en 

The price for the travel & cancellation insurance of Allianz is 6% to 7.5% of the travel sum, depending on the chosen coverage.

Only a cancellation insurance (so without travel accidents, search & rescue) amounts to 4% of the travel sum.

You can choose to have this insurance taken out by our organization or to take out yourself for the amount chosen by you. The latter is useful if, for example, you book flights and you want to insure the flights.

 

What do you do if the country where I live or the country of my travel destination has a lock-down or travel restrictions?

This cannot be covered with an insurance and we as a travel provider and you as a customer will have to come to a mutual agreement. You can imagine that these are also uncertain times for us as a travel provider and we obviously prefer carrying out all planned trips. But sometimes it simply isn't possible. Even the best cancellation insurance does not cover these types of costs, so we have to find a solution together.

Travel restrictions include a travel ban or mandatory quarantine. A test obligation is no reason for us to cancel (unless this test turns out to be positive and that can be insured)

We prefer to rebook you to another date. For all trips booked from 1 August 2020, you may reclaim the paid travel sum from us in the event of a cancellation due to travel restrictions by your government or the government of your trip destination (closed borders, lock-down or quarantine restrictions). However, for private arrangements, the organization costs already incurred will be charged to you.

In that respect, this is no different than when we are forced to cancel a trip due to lack of snow, for example.

With regard to the trips that are arranged with third parties (for example the heliski trips in Turkey, Iceland and Sweden) or the ski & sail trips for which we work together with an external shipping company, their cancellation conditions apply. 

Please note: unfortunately we cannot refund the costs already paid for the travel & cancellation insurance. You can rebook free of charge to a comparable trip on a different date and the insurance will then be transferred to the new date. However, the insured amount cannot be adjusted.

Is my (down)payment safe with you?

A large part of our trips takes place from our own Bekker Chalet, where we also live. That house is there, we live there all year round. We do not work with booking agents, do not have expensive office staff or rent an office building. We do as much as possible ourselves and with this approach we keep overhead costs low. This gives you as a customer the guarantee that we have a financially sound policy and that we can refund your down payment, if travel restrictions between countries do not allow us to carry out your trip.

However, we can only do this if we do not have to bear the risks that can be insured. Therefore: take out cancellation insurance or accept that you have lost your money if you are forced to cancel for reasons other than travel restrictions between countries or a lockdown.

 

Contact

We spreken Nederlands, we speak english, nous parlons français, wir sprechen Deutsch

info@mountaintravel.ch
www.mountaintravel.ch
Edward Bekker Ski & Alpinisme Switzerland Sàrl
Route d'Emosson 4
Espace Mont Blanc
CH-1925 Finhaut
Valais - Switzerland

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