Crystal Ski suspends trips to Austria, yet another blow to winter sports holidays

A leading winter holiday specialist has been forced to cut travel to Austria during the holiday season due to restrictions on UK visitors.

Crystal Ski Holidays began contacting travelers on Thursday to notify them of the move with refunds offered to those leaving before January 1. Customers departing between January 1 and January 8 will be able to change vacations without paying a fee until December 29.

All UK holidaymakers aged 16 or over will need proof of a recall and negative PCR test, otherwise they will be forced to self-isolate for 10 days under the new travel rules between day of Christmas and January 31.

Families with children aged 16 or 17 who are due to travel in January will be contacted directly due to the challenge of the additional recall requirement, according to the TUI-owned company.

Those booked to fly to Italy via the Austrian destination of Innsbruck on December 27 will be offered alternative flight arrangements.

The Crystal Ski website said: “Unfortunately, due to short notice of the new Austrian entry requirement, we made the difficult decision to cancel our holiday in Austria on December 27th.

“We know last minute testing is extremely difficult, especially since testing should be done on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

“With limited availability and testing capacity nationwide, we recognize that the vast majority of our customers would not have been able to meet this new travel requirement. We are sorry for the disappointment this caused.

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“We know that customers have been eagerly awaiting their trip to the mountains with their friends and family, and we have emailed all affected customers with an incentive to rebook. Customers will receive a full refund to their original payment method within 14 days. For customers who have already purchased their test packages, please contact your vendor directly to make changes.

“We understand the challenge of this additional recall requirement for people aged 16 to 17 traveling in January, so we will be in direct contact with affected customers.”

Customers who need to travel from February 1 and want to change their vacation can do so up to 28 days before departure.

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