After Switzerland increased Covid entry restrictions, fears over the Omicron variant of Omicron, thousands of Britons lost their winter vacation plans.
Anybody wishing to travel to the Alpine countries from the UK must quarantine within 10 days of arrival. This applies even to those who have had double vaccinations against Covid or are otherwise healthy.
The rules will ruin the holiday plans of thousands of Britons who fly to Geneva in order to reach nearby French ski resorts such as Val Thorens, Courchevel, and Meribel – as well as resorts in Switzerland itself.
This comes just days after France said it would need a Covid vaccination pass in order to climb the skyscrapers. It also creates additional difficulties for Britons who want to travel.
Skiers in winter are now unable to travel to France after Switzerland has imposed a 10 day quarantine.
People wishing to visit the French resorts will now have to fly to Lyon. However, there is less capacity at Lyon than Geneva.
If you cannot get to Lyon by flight, it is possible to transfer three hours from Grenoble to Lyon or take an eight-hour drive from Calais to reach Calais.
Following two Covid-related cases from the Omicron variation, Switzerland’s new restrictions were imposed at 8pm Saturday.
Some travelers were caught by surprise by this sudden shift and ended up landing in Geneva only to have their visas cancelled by border guards.
Tim Woods (from Wigan) was traveling to Italy via Geneva Saturday.
The Times reported that he had been allowed to board EasyJet’s Manchester flight, but that he was later turned away in Switzerland and made to return home.
His baggage remains in Switzerland. To top it all, his insurance company won’t pay him out as it doesn’t cover Covid-related border changes.
The UK now has 14 Omicron cases, with the majority of Omicron discovered in Scotland during a South African rugby match.
Other cases have been identified in Nottingham, London and Essex.
The UK was followed by Switzerland, who was the first to place travel restrictions in seven countries of southern Africa where it was discovered last week.
Geneva is a favorite route for many people who want to visit the French Alps ski resorts. But thousands have to replan their trip in light of new rules.
Many other nations, such as France, Spain, Germany and Germany have since followed the lead. Japan even made it illegal to allow foreigners to travel.
Omicron is the most-mutated variant of Covid that has been discovered. Many of the 32 mutations have been shown to increase the risk of infection in vaccine-vaccinated patients.
Omicron’s variant is driving fears. It has the highest number of mutations of Covid, and many of these 32 mutations are known to make it more infective, even for those who have been vaccinated.
These suspicions are confirmed by early data from South Africa, where Omicron appears to be outcompeted by the dominant Delta strain.
However, there are still many questions about whether Omicron causes serious diseases in people who it infects as Delta.
Angelique Coetzee (a South African physician who found Omicron) says her patients so far have suffered from milder infections than Delta. No one has needed hospital treatment.
Omicron is considered a variant of concern by WHO. It poses a high risk for global recovery. But, WHO says that there has not been any death from Omicron anywhere.
That has led Karl Lauterbach, a professor in the running to be Germany’s next health minister, to suggest that Omicron could actually help the global recovery by wiping out Delta and replacing it with a less-serious form of the virus.
Switzerland is one of only a dozen countries to lift travel restrictions amid concerns about the Omicron variant. This strain appears more contagious than the Delta strain.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, virologists all over the globe have predicted that Covid would eventually mutate into something less serious and become endemic. This is similar to common colds or flu.
Leaders have been cautious due to the fact that there is not much data on Omicron, given the high number of Covid cases throughout Europe.
France declared last week that it will extend the Covid ski pass program to combat cases of erectile dysfunction (ED) which has been increasing for several weeks.
The new system requires that anyone over 12 years old who wishes to use the slopes must prove that they have been twice-vaccinated for Covid.
A booster shot will also be required for anyone who received a dose less than seven months prior to the last one.
British tourists face many difficulties due to the fact that children below 16 years old are not eligible for vaccine passports.
The government announced yesterday that children aged 12 and over can receive their second doses. Adults in the UK may also be eligible, although some people might have to rush to see a vaccine specialist to ensure they are available for them.
Because immunity takes time to build up, vaccine passports expire 14 days after they are given.