Only a few more days until July – the month that we are now all waiting for as Europe opens its borders to non- EU citizens once again. We will update you with the EU Commissions list of included/excluded countries at the weekend…Whilst we wait to see exactly what that looks like, here is an update on what exactly is happening locally.
For those of you who are planning to hike through the wonderful Vanoise National Park or embark upon the Tour du Mont Blanc, you will be pleased to know that President Emmanuel Macron has announced that international borders with countries outside the EU "where the epidemic has been controlled" will reopen on July 1st.
Travellers from EU member states as well as Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, and the Vatican have been allowed to visit the county since June 15 without a health certificate or quarantine upon arrival.
Passengers from Spain and the UK have been asked to submit to a voluntary quarantine, "in reciprocity" to current regulations in place in both countries, France's Foreign Affairs Ministry has explained.
Italy opened its borders on June 3rd to EU, UK, Andorra and Monaco citizens, following the nationwide lockdown which came into force on March 9th. Borders also opened with Vatican City and San Marino on this date.
Travellers wishing to hike the Gran Paradiso or take the Tour of the Monte Rosa or Dolomites who are coming from the above countries don't have to undergo quarantine unless they have been in any other country in the 14 days before reaching Italy.
The government dismissed any possible attempt to apply different confinement rules in different regions as "unconstitutional" following spats between local governors. Therefore, the same confinement rules will apply in the same way to all regions.
The country entered lockdown "phase 2" on May 18, allowing restaurants, bars, hotels and cafe to reopen and it has not been necessary so far for any restrictions to be restored as the epidemiological situation hasn’t spiked.
Switzerland, who brought in border controls on March 13, brought forward the re-opening of its borders to all EU countries, the UK, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein on June 15th, instead of July 6th as previously planned.
On June 24th it was announced that the government will reopen borders to non-EU states on July 6th. However, at this time it is only for workers and not for tourists: entry for a stay of less than 90 days will only be authorised in cases of special necessity. Switzerland plans to lift these final entry restrictions at the same time as the other Schengen states. Good news for those flying in to Geneva. A gradual and coordinated approach to lifting the ban on entry is planned, in line with developments in the epidemiological situation in these third countries; for some states, restrictions may be lifted before 6 July. Therefore, we are looking daily and will update you again at the weekend.
The Swiss authorities have not imposed any quarantine measures on persons entering the country. However, you must comply with the government’s hygiene and social distancing rules.
**Please get in touch if you have any questions regarding trekking in the mountains. We will ensure that we keep you posted on what it's like over here and here are some updated resources to help you make informed decisions about future travel plans.
We recommend your own government’s travel advisory service information for your destination country:
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 SafeTravel.
Further details of our how we are protecting you and your booking see here: Coronavirus Client Protection
As ever, if you have any questions about your trip or our treks in general, we are here to help. Please give us a call or email us.
Jane at Mont Blanc Treks
UK: +44 (0)161 408 1222
FRANCE: +33 (0)7 81 58 69 03
USA: +1 303 800 5866
AUSTRALIA: +61 75660 6258