🦠 Covid-19 information
Europe this Summer: What you need to know

Travel to Europe in 2020
Covid-19 advice

Page last updated: 6 July 2020

Can I travel to Europe and what do I need to consider?

Good news! Most borders between EU countries (and the UK) have re-opened. As a British Company we are bound to the advice issued by the British FCO, and so we are delighted to say that as of 4 July we are able to run our trips in France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Norway and, of course, the UK. We are continuing to monitor the ongoing situation about further borders reopening, particularly to non-EU countries, and we will update this page accordingly.

Although some social distancing and hygiene measures are likely to be in place throughout Summer, we are determined to ensure that those who choose to travel in 2020 will have a great time! Please read about some of the likely changes to trips we will need to make. If you would like more information, please drop us an email at info@alpineexploratory.com.

Contents:
Current travel restrictions
General advice for travel during Covid-19

We understand that Covid-19 has caused uncertainty and disruption to many clients due to travel with us this summer and we’re so sorry if your trip has been affected. We want to thank you for your kind words and understanding at this time. We’re doing everything we can to get you back on the trails!

Existing trip in 2020
If you have questions about an upcoming trip this Summer please email us at info@alpineexploratory.com. We are offering free trip transfers to 2021 and 2022 if you would prefer not to travel this year.


New Holiday Bookings for 2020 and 2021
Due to the relaxation of lockdown restrictions in England from 4 July and Scotland from 15 July, we are pleased to say that our walking holidays in the UK will be able to recommend with start dates from 1 August 2020.

We are also accepting new holiday bookings for our Alpine trips with start dates from 10 August and our Hebridean Way route will recommence from 1 September 2020. We recommend you read the sections on travel and entry restrictions below before making a booking.

Please do email us at any point if you'd like further advice or guidance: info@alpineexploratory.com

View our Walking Holidays


Huts at Adelboden

Photo: The pretty village of Adelboden on the Via Alpina.

Current travel restrictions

British Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) Travel Advice

As a British company we are bound by the advice issued by the British FCO. As of 4 July the British FCO has lifted its travel restrictions for France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and Norway. This means that all our trips will be able to run as planned. Should the FCO advice change at any point before your trip, we will contact you with details of the options available to you.

The FCO Website

Restrictions by country

It is important that before departing for your trip that you double check the travel restrictions issued by your own government for travel to your destination.

United Kingdom

For UK residents: Hotels in England are being permitted to reopen from 4 July 2020 and from 15 July in Scotland. As such we are now accepting new holiday bookings for our walking holidays in England and Scotland for UK residents from 1 August 2020.

From EU countries: You may travel to England from one of these countries without having to quarantine upon arrival. If you arrive from any other EU country, or travel to Scotland, a 2-week quarantine on arrival still applies. This is due to be reviewed by mid-July. We await further details.

From Australia, Canada, New Zealand (and these non-EU countries on the EU Commission's 'safe list'): You may travel to the England without having to quarantine upon arrival, but please check your own government’s travel advice before travelling. Please note that travelling against the advice of your own government might invalidate your travel insurance. Travel to Scotland remains subject to a 2-week quarantine.

From other non-EU countries: Entry restrictions for tourism purposes remain in place and entry to the UK is subject to a 2-week quarantine. This is due to be reviewed in mid-July. We await further details.

Coast to Coast
Pennine Way
Lake District Tour
West Highland Way
Hebridean Way

France

From EU countries: Borders are currently open to citizens from EU countries and the UK. From 10 July onwards, citizens travelling from the UK may no longer need to quarantine for 2 weeks on arrival in France.

From Australia, Canada, New Zealand (and these non-EU countries on the EU Commission's 'safe list'): You may travel to France, but please check your own government’s travel advice before travelling. Please note that travelling against the advice of your own government might invalidate your travel insurance.

From other Non-EU countries: Entry restrictions remain in place. We await further announcements.

Tour du Mont Blanc
Walker's Haute Route

Italy

From EU countries: Borders are currently open to citizens from EU countries and the UK.

From Australia, Canada, New Zealand (and these non-EU countries on the EU Commission's 'safe list'): You may travel to Italy, but please check your own government’s travel advice before travelling. Please note that travelling against the advice of your own government might invalidate your travel insurance.

From other Non-EU countries: Entry restrictions remain in place. We await further announcements.

Alta Via 1
Tour du Mont Blanc

Switzerland

From EU countries: Borders reopened to all Schengen countries as well as Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and the UK on 15 June. Remaining EU states not belonging to the Schengen area incl. Ireland will be allowed to enter from 20 July.

From Australia, Canada, New Zealand (and these non-EU countries on the EU Commission's 'safe list'): You may travel to Switzerland from 20 July, but please check your own government’s travel advice before travelling. Please note that travelling against the advice of your own government might invalidate your travel insurance.

From other Non-EU countries: Entry restrictions remain in place. We await further announcements.

Via Alpina
Tour du Mont Blanc
Walker's Haute Route

Austria

From EU countries: Borders reopened for travel from most EU countries from 16 June. On arrival, travellers from the UK, Sweden, and Portugal will however still need to present a medical certificate confirming a negative Covid test in the last 4 days or else self-isolate for 14 days.

From Australia, Canada, New Zealand (and these non-EU countries on the EU Commission's 'safe list'): You may travel to Austria, but please check your own government’s travel advice before travelling. Please note that travelling against the advice of your own government might invalidate your travel insurance.

From other Non-EU countries: Entry restrictions remain in place. We await further announcements.

Adlerweg

Norway

From EU countries: Entry to Norway for tourism purposes is prohibited from most EU countries including the UK until at least 15 July. From 15 July, travellers from EEA/Schengen countries with acceptable levels of infection can travel to Norway. The list of eligible countries will be published on 10 July and will be updated at least every second week.

From non-EU countries: Entry to Norway for tourism purposes is prohibited from all non-EU countries until 20 August. This is due to be reviewed on 20 July.

Jotunheimen Tour

Balcony Path Bonatti

Photo: Balcony path to Rifugio Bonatti on the Tour du Mont Blanc.

General advice for travel during Covid-19

If you choose to travel this summer, you may benefit from quieter trails and a fantastic hiking experience. However there may be a number of ‘rules’ and guidelines which you’ll need to abide by. We describe them as best as we can below but encourage you to do your own research. Please note that these regulations can change and that you will need to check specific rules on arrival at each hut and hotel.

In order to protect yourself and others whilst on the trail, please:
  • Maintain social distancing measures:
  • France: 1m
    Italy: 1.5m
    Switzerland: 1.5m
    Austria: 1m
    United Kingdom: 1m+ in England and 2m in Scotland

  • If you feel unwell or develop a temperature or persistent cough, do not travel further along the trail. Please notify your hotelier or hut warden immediately.

  • Wear a facemask in accordance with local rules. For most countries this is advised or mandatory on public transport and when indoors in a public space.

  • Wash your hands frequently.

As Europe reopens, we are doing everything possible to ensure safety on your trip. It is important to understand that travelling may increase your risk of exposure to Covid-19, and that we all need to work together to minimise the risk of transmission. We’d like to ask you to familiarise yourself with the responsibilities and disclaimers contained within the document below.

Covid-19 Disclaimer (PDF)

Changes at Hotels

Hotels along the route will have new hygiene routines to protect you and their staff. This may result in some changes to the normal routines. For example you may need to book a time for your breakfast. The hotel will advise you of their own rules on arrival.

When staying in a hotel, you will need to bring with you:
  • Facemask: may need to be worn in shared indoor spaces such as a hotel lobby, restaurant or on public transport

  • Hand sanitizer/disinfectant gel

Changes at Huts and Auberges

Huts and auberges across all our routes have had to make some significant changes to the way they operate this summer. This includes operating at a reduced capacity and having to ensure they allow for sufficient distance between beds and tables throughout the hut.

Again, restrictions may be lifted and changed and may vary from country to country and from hut to hut. The current likely rules include among others:
  • Limiting where you are permitted to sit in the hut.

  • Breakfast and dinner may be served table by table and you may be allocated a time slot for your meal. The hut will advise on your arrival.

  • Showers may not be available at all huts or numbers might be restricted each night to allow cleaning between customers.

  • Changes to room types. Private rooms at most huts cannot be guaranteed this summer as huts may need to make last-minute changes to the sleeping arrangements in order to maximise capacity whilst ensuring social distancing and hygiene standards are maintained. We will do our best to inform you if this happens and are very sorry if you are moved to a different room type from that described on your itinerary.
When staying in a hut or auberge, you should bring with you:
  • Facemask: to be worn at all times in communal areas.

  • Hand sanitizer/disinfectant gel

  • Sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner, pillow and pillow case: blankets and duvets will not be provided at most huts. We can advise on compact hiking sleeping bags and pillows.

  • Hut slippers: walking boots, socks or bare-feet are not permitted.

  • Spare bags: to take away your rubbish.

  • Disposable gloves: required for some Italian hut stays.
Please note that without these items you might not be allowed into the hut. The rules may change slightly between huts and auberges and any specific rules will be outlined in your info pack.

Lamsenjochhutte

Photo: Lamsenjochhütte on the Adlerweg.

Page Disclaimer:
Please be aware that this page has been written to help our clients plan their trips this summer and is accurate to the best of our knowledge on the date of publication. It is still the responsibility of each individual hiker to check travel restrictions before they depart and ensure that they have the correct paperwork for entry to that particular country. We do not assume any liability for the accuracy and completeness of the information on this page.

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Alpine Exploratory
Alpine Exploratory is a system of knowledge on the best mountain trekking in our areas, giving clients superb holidays based on this exploration.

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