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 Februari 16, 2022

Two years after the start of the pandemic, the end of the long, dark tunnel now seems to be in sight. Today, the Swiss government announced that it would abandon almost all measures from tomorrow, February 17, 2022. The relaxations are also following each other in other European countries. Here's a small update.

Covid certificates and QR codes

Country info

Trips carried out from the Bekker Chalet

Cancellations and insurances

General questions

covid certificates and QR codes

In Switzerland, a Covid certificate or QR code is no longer required. In France, however, the "Pass vaccinal" still applies for the time being, for example for access in ski lifts, restaurants and hotels.

 

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.
  • 2G+, this variant is slowly extinguishing here and there. This variant means that you are cured or vaccinated and tested negative (antigen test of max 24 hours old)

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

Since February 17, 2022, this is no longer mandatory for travel in Switzerland.

For the time being, this is mandatory in France. This means that for travel from our Bekker Chalet, located in the French-Swiss border area, we have to apply a 2G policy for the time being, otherwise we cannot ski in Chamonix (except for touring). An exception are private arrangements, because then we adapt the program to the group.

A Covid certificate (2G+) is also required for the ski & sail trips (Norway, Spitsbergen).

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. There are currently virtually no travel restrictions.

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:

  • There are basically no restrictions on entry (so no more entry form, no quarantines)
  • The QR code (2G, 3G, 2G+) is no longer required anywhere
  • There are no restrictions on group size, closing times, etc.
  • The only remaining restriction is the mandatory wearing of a mouth and nose mask in public transport (train, bus and closed ski lifts) and medical /health care centers

 

France

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

In brief:

  • Since February 15, 2022, a booster vaccination (3rd vaccine) is mandatory for everyone over the age of 18 for a maximum of 4 months after your second vaccination.
  • From February 28, the mask obligation will be lifted for all places where a 2G policy applies (including in the ski lifts)
  • There is a 2G policy for everyone from 12 years old in all closed areas (exception: see the above relaxation, valid from February 28th)
  • Entry: within Europe you can travel freely, whether or not vaccinated, without further restrictions.
  • A booster shot is not required for children aged 12 to 17 years.

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, a 2G+ policy (called the Super Green Pass) applies in the ski areas and you have to complete a Passenger Location Form upon entry.

 

Norway

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

Like Switzerland, Norway has recently lifted almost all Covid restrictions.

For all our ski & sail trips, however, a strict 2G+ policy applies for the time being.

 

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. In principle, we also expect the same from our guests (see above). Exception: for private groups.

The virus is still going around and anyway we all try to stay as healthy as possible. If only because isolation in case of contamination is still mandatory and we try to avoid nasty surprises where possible. That is why we still work every day 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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