Dusseldorf 2G, 3G, or is a lockdown looming? Against the background of increasing numbers of infections, some worry about their winter vacation. How the corona situation in the countries should be and how it should be preventive in the event of dismissals.
For winter sports fans, a holiday on the ski slopes is just as much a part of the cold season as hot mulled wine and brightly decorated Christmas trees. But while skiers and snowboarders are longing to descend in front of a snow-white backdrop, the number of corona infections is increasing in many places. Burst due to vacation planning? An overview of the latest news and the rights for trips that have already been booked.
In spring 2020, the community of Ischgl, which is popular with winter vacationers, achieved dubious fame when it became a Corona hotspot. This year it is planned to open the ski area to day visitors from December 3rd. A longer stay is currently hardly possible for visitors anyway, because the lockdown in Austria is until December 13th. Hotels and holiday apartments are closed to holidaymakers, and restaurants, as well as cultural and leisure facilities, remain closed. Anyone who still wants to ski must either be vaccinated or have recovered. Wearing an FFP2 mask is mandatory in places where clearances cannot be maintained, for example in the gondolas of the ski lifts.
In general, vacationers should find out exactly whether and when the ski area of their choice is open. The Ski Arlberg area is not expected until December 13th. After the end of the lockdown, the 2G rule and the mask requirement will “from today’s perspective” that would mean that only vaccinated and recovered guests who are older than twelve are allowed to use cable cars and visit Advent markets. The submission of a negative corona test is also not sufficient for holiday accommodation of any kind, ski huts, restaurants and cultural institutions, should these regulations come into force.
The regulations that holidaymakers have to adhere to on and off the slopes depend on the ski area in question in Switzerland. Due to its proximity to Ischgl, the 2G rule applies in Samnaun, for example. Basically, the specifications in this are looser than, for example, Austria. A mask must be worn in closed cabins and lanes. Restaurants, museums and many other cultural and leisure facilities may only be entered by visitors who are at least 16 years old if they have been shown to have been vaccinated, recovered or tested negative. The EU’s digital Covid certificate is accepted in Switzerland.
The 3G rule does not apply to hotel stays. However, guests who do not meet any of the 3G requirements must either eat outside or in their room. The Federal Foreign Office points out that the individual cantons can also issue “further measures to be dealt with” at short notice.
From December 6th, the corona rules in Italy will be tightened. 2G is effective in many areas: only vaccinated and convalescent people then have access to restaurants (in closed rooms), parties, discos and sports events. In the “orange zones”, the 2G rule then also applies to ski lifts and systems. According to the Italian embassy in Austria, this means either an incidence of up to 150, 30 percent normal bed occupancy or 20 percent intensive bed occupancy in hospitals.
Currently, all regions in Italy are quickly classified as white (minimal risk), the only exception being the Friuli-Jul region. It is a “yellow zone”. Winter vacationers who want to hit the slopes here should keep an eye on the situation for reasons. At the moment, however, in this region, as in the other ski areas, the 3G rule is gold for all winter sports enthusiasts from the age of twelve. Anyone who drives in a closed ski gondola and is at least six years old must wear a mask. The cabins are only allowed to have an occupancy rate of 80 percent. If the corona situation on site has changed, new measures can be taken at short notice.
Because the incidence in the neighboring country is over 200, when everyone from twelve and two months of age has a 3G certificate with them, when they go to restaurants, shopping centers or want to cover longer distances by trains, buses and airplanes. Local transport, on the other hand, can also be used by people who do not die, have been vaccinated, recovered or have tested negative.
As long as the incidence is higher than 200, the 3G rule also applies in ski lifts to all persons aged twelve and over. This is what the organizer “Alpe d’Huez” from the mountain region of Oisans points out. Negative test results must not be older than 24 hours. There is also a mask requirement in closed gondolas and queues.
The start of the ski season in France also depends on the area: Alpe d’Huez “opens the slopes from December 4th, while the La Plagne area only opens on December 11th.
If you want to cancel your winter vacation, you should pay attention to a few points from a legal point of view. “When it comes to package tours, it is important that the time of cancellation is not earlier than four weeks before the planned start of the trip,” reports Karolin Sauer, lawyer at Kannengießer & Sauer. If the lead time is too long, it is not yet possible to foresee how the situation at the holiday destination will ultimately appear.
A decisive factor for the cancellation is whether the trip will be significantly affected by the pandemic. A travel warning from the Foreign Office is not absolutely necessary, i.e. Sauer. A classification as a high-risk or high-risk area could also be an indication of the health-endangering situation at the holiday destination. Likewise, a significantly higher incidence compared to the home country. “If the situation was already like this at the time of booking, the starting point is difficult. The vacationer finally knew about the risk, ”says the lawyer.
Even if the 2G rule is introduced at the holiday destination, this is not an exceptional circumstance, “because it is an individual decision if you decide against the vaccination,” explains Sauer. In the case of a lockdown with a ban on accommodation, as is the case until December 13th, it is an exceptional circumstance in which advantages cannot be fulfilled. This also applies to individual trips.
For all other cases, the legal situation in the holiday country is decisive for independent hotel bookings. Basically, the best way is to contact the hotel or tour operator if you want to cancel and look for a goodwill solution.
Lawyer Fritz-Martin Przytulla Reisender also has to take a close look at the respective contractual conditions before going on holiday and, if in doubt, have another written confirmation that a cancellation is possible due to the changing corona situation. “Many travel companies are now mostly accommodating to vacationers,” adds Przytulla. This is also confirmed by Ralf Ochsenbruch and Ramona Mohr from the Ochsenbruch Ski- und Aktivreisen company. “It is important to remain flexible and to accommodate the regular customers as much as possible,” says Mohr.