Australia Re-opens International Borders

Great news that your borders are opening and we can both visit! Here is some information to help you start planning your holiday.

In Canberra, Australia on the 7th Feb - almost two years after the government closed Australia to the world, Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia announced that the Australian international border is set to reopen to those who are fully vaccinated on February 21st.

Australia has had some of the world's strictest border controls throughout the coronavirus pandemic, having completely shut its borders to tourists in March 2020 and banned Australians from leaving the country last year. Internal travel will still be subject to restrictions dependant on territory (people who want to visit Western Australia still have strict rules to abide by for the moment.)

With around 80% of Australians now vaccinated, this statement signifies that the Government must be confident that it’s now safe for Australians to travel once again.

Can Australians Visit Europe?

Yes you can! We offer treks that are based in France or Italy or Switzerland (and some that include all three countries!) and the good news is that Australians CAN visit all of these countries!

We will explain the rule in more detail below, because Europe is a union of many different countries, and each country has taken whatever measures it has needed during the pandemic to protect its region. This is much like you have seen in Australia, with Western Australia, for example, having very different restrictions to people in other parts of the country.

Can Australians Trek with us in France?

Yes! So long as you are fully vaccinated.

Mont Blanc Trek’s base is Chamonix in France at the foot of Mont Blanc, so many of our treks begin here. The Tour of the Vanoise is a walking holiday that stays in the French Alps. We offer bespoke treks that are based on tailored day-treks from your hotel in Chamonix. And The Walkers Haute Route and Tour du Mont Blanc begin from Chamonix.

France introduced a “traffic light” system of Red, Amber and Green countries In June last year to control how it opened its borders back up to tourists. This has worked well, as countries are listed by colour according to their COVID status and entry is controlled accordingly.

Australia is on the Amber list, (as are most countries) and this means vaccinated tourists are able to visit.

Travel from Australia to France if Vaccinated

Vaccinated travellers can enter without restrictions. You must present the following:

  1. Proof of a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test or antigenic test (for travellers aged 12 years or over), taken within 48 hours of departure
  2. Proof of your vaccination status
  3. A sworn statement (déclaration sur l’honneur) certifying that:
    you haven't been suffering from symptoms associated with COVID-19
    you haven't been in contact with confirmed cases in the 14 days prior to travel.

Travel to France from Australia if Unvaccinated

Is NOT possible right now. If Australia moves to the “green list”, you will be able to travel, but whilst it’s on the “amber list”, you can only travel to France if you have a compelling reason to visit. And although our treks are compelling for our enthusiasts, we understand why Governments don't take the same view!

Useful sites for COVID Travel Rules in France

The info’ above comes direct from SmartTraveller, the official Australian Government travel website, where you will find more information that can help you and you can cross-check this with the French government website.

Travel in the Swiss Alps

Australians can travel to Switzerland whether they are vaccinated or not.

We run Swiss mountain trekking holidays that are solely based in Zermatt at the foot of the Matterhorn. The fabulous Tour of the Monte Rosa is a stunning mountain hiking trail walking through the Swiss & Italian Alps. The Walkers Haute Route, takes you from Mont Blanc in France to the Matterhorn in Switzerland and the Tour du Mont Blanc and passes through Switzerland during the trek.

Additionally, many of our Clients from Australia choose to arrive at Geneva airport in Switzerland.

Although “in” Europe, Switzerland is not part of the European Union (like the UK), and therefore have different rules (although they have worked with the EU to ensure that they maintain a similar outlook on border control.)

Travel from Australia to Switzerland if Vaccinated

Vaccinated travellers can enter without restrictions. Travellers who have the correct proof that they are fully vaccinated or who have recovered from COVID-19 are no longer required to provide a negative PCR or rapid antigen test to enter Switzerland.

Australian proof of vaccination is also accepted for Swiss transport as well as in bars, restaurants etc.

Travel from Australia to Switzerland if you are Un-Vaccinated

If you're not vaccinated, you CAN still travel. You must present a negative PCR test taken at your departure location and dated no more than 72 hours (PCR) or 24 hours (rapid antigen) prior to arrival in Switzerland.

It is important to remember, however, that you'll need to show negative test results to use transport internally and visit bars, restaurants etc. Unvaccinated travellers are also not allowed to cross the Swiss border without quarantine so you will only be able to choose our Swiss based treks.

Useful Sites for COVID Travel Rules for Switzerland

This information was updated on the 8th February by SmartTraveller for Australian citizens. Visit the Swiss Government’s Travelcheck website if you’d like more information.

Can Australians Trek with us in Italy?

Yes! We offer walking holidays in the Dolomites or the Italian Alps in the Gran Paradiso National Park. We also offer day-trek walking holidays from the quaint Italian town of Courmayeur at the foot on “Monte Bianco” (or Mont Blanc). The Tour du Mont Blanc hiking trail also traverses the Aosta Valley in the Italian Alps.

Milan international airport is often a good option for flights from Australia.

Italy (like the rest of Europe) has listed countries according to their COVID status, Australia is on list D (updated 1st Feb) and tourists are allowed to visit Italy.

Travel from Australia to Italy if Vaccinated

Vaccinated travellers can enter without restrictions. You must present the following:

  1. Proof of a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test taken within 72 hours of departure or an antigenic test, taken within 48 hours of departure
  2. Proof of your vaccination status
  3. And before travel you’ll need to complete a digital passenger locator form. If you can't access and fill in the online form, you'll need to complete a hard copy self-declaration

Travel from Australia to Italy if Un-Vaccinated

It’s not possible to come to Italy at the moment if you are un-vaccinated, without 5 days quarantine on arrival. Once quarantine has finished, it would also be difficult to travel internally as you need to show that you have been vaccinated to use public transport and enter bars, restaurants etc.

Useful Sites for COVID Travel Rules for Italy

This information was current on the 11th February using SmartTraveller for Australian citizens. Have a look at this site for more useful links for Australians travelling to Italy.

Australia we’ve missed you!

We have always enjoyed trekking with you guys. When I look back at all the years I have been trekking, I have found our Australian visitors easy going, adventurous and kind... I am excited that things are opening up after such a long time and really looking forward to seeing your faces again!

I hope that this info’ helps if you’re looking to come over, but please just get in touch if you have any questions.

We will continue to provide you with worldwide updates whenever they are announced. However, please check information in your own country to understand your ability to travel:

 UK, the FCO Travel Advice
 Ireland, the Department of Foreign Affairs
 USA, the State Department Travel Advisory
 Canada, use Travel Advice & Advisories
 Australia, the Smart Traveller Information Service
 New Zealand, it’s Safe Travel
 Switzerland, use SEM