Test & Release for travel – FAQ’s

Ski Holidays to Austria : Travel Quarantine latest (16th December 2020)

On the 23rd November, the Government announced that, from the 15th December 2020, the period of quarantine for arrivals in to England from countries not on the travel corridor list will be reduced to 5 days following a negative test on day 5 (Test & Release).

The test is optional and you will need to book a private test (before travel from a list of approved suppliers on gov.uk/link here) with a cost per test from £65-£120. Results will be turned around within 24 hours and the cost is expected to decrease with time. You will still need to complete a PLF (Passenger Locator Form) before arriving back in UK (check devolved nations advice) and indicate on the form that you will be taking a Test.

What is the current situation in Austria?

There are currently (15th December) no restrictions on entry in to Austria. For the Christmas period through to early January 2021, arrivals in to Austria will be required to quarantine on arrival for 10 days or present a negative test. Currently (15th December), arrivals coming from Austria are required to quarantine for a period of 10 days. From the 15th December, with Test & Release, you will be able to reduce this to 5 days.

FCDO advice for travel to Austria is against ‘all but essential travel’’ and this impacts travel insurance cover. If you plan to travel, you should check you have suitable travel insurance in place.

Is the test compulsory?

The test remains optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to opt for Test & Release, you will currently be required to isolate for 10 days on return.

How much does the test cost?

The tests are expected to cost in the region of £65 – £120 per test with the cost expected to drop as uptake increases.

How do I book a test?

You will need to book a test before you travel from a list of Government approved suppliers. The test takes place on your 5th day of isolation back in this country and, provided it is negative, you are released from Day 5/ Day 6. You can also opt-in for this test after arrival in which case you will need to resubmit your passenger locator form (PLF).

What about arrivals in to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

The devolved nations are considering similar schemes and you should check the latest Government travel advice.

Will the situation improve?

The arrival and rollout of a vaccine by the year end together with the reduction in the quarantine period from what was 14 days to 5 days brings welcome news for Winter Sports Fans and the travel industry continues to work with the government and ask for a more efficient regime of pre-departure, faster and cheaper testing for all which, in time, may well see the removal of quarantine on return from travel.

It is also expected that the blanket ban on ‘all but essential travel’ to countries across Europe will be lifted in the New Year and we would expect the situation to improve early in 2021.

The BIG Question : When can we realistically go skiing this Winter?

We are all desperate to get skiing this Winter and there will be a ski season of sorts with Hotels and Lift Companies offering Covid-secure environments. The hurdle is overcoming the quarantine situation and the lifting of ‘all but essential travel’ advice. Being perfectly honest, we do not foresee being able to offer holidays to Austria until mid to late January. However, there is now light at the end of the tunnel for skiing later this winter season.

When should we book our Ski Holiday?

We are taking bookings now for all dates this Winter Season and remain fully flexible with measures in place to rebook, credit or refund in the event you cannot travel due to Coronavirus measures here and in Austria. Whilst bookings remain lower than normal, we expect a flurry / avalanche (!) of late bookings as soon as travel news improves again. Demand will outstrip supply.

Either way, we are here poised and ready to get you to the mountains when the time comes. Those first turns will be sweeter than ever!


For further advice or for a tailored quote for your ski holiday, ski weekend or flexible stay to Austria this Winter, click on ‘Contact Us’ at the top of this page.