Exciting on the vaccine rollout front, but still not good if you were holding out hope of a Christmas or New Year snow trip. Find out more with COVID saving snow tips in Ed Leigh’s latest video.

The Italian government has essentially said no skiing and snowboarding until Jan 7th at least, both for holidaymakers and those with second homes. French resorts are also still looking like they’re going to be closed but resort workers are gathering in protest and petitions are flying around calling for the government to open resorts.

Have a link at the Twitter account CetHiverJeSkie so you can see what I mean, and here’s a petition is about to sail past 30k signatures https://www.change.org/…/professionnels-du-ski-cet…?

Macron understandably also wants to stop French skiers and snowboarders from sneaking off to Switzerland and bringing the virus back. As I mentioned last week, France, Germany and Italy still want a Europe-wide consolidated response on Covid but Austria and Switzerland still look to be doing their own thing and opening. For Austria it’s just the mountains for locals and no hotels, while Switzerland is opening beyond that as long case numbers don’t get too high. But given there is always a two-week lag on those numbers, how smart an idea it is to invite international travellers to their resorts remains to be seen. I can see both sides, the economic worry about resort workers’ livelihoods and the risk of the virus.

No easy calls to make. Should UK residents be heading to Switzerland if they can? I just think it’s far better to wait this one out. Wait for the vaccine rollout to start, the weather to be warmer, your risk of spreading the virus to go down. Plus, the risk of your holiday being cancelled at the last minute is still very high.

As I mentioned last week, Easter is still the winning time to go for me, here is a link to that episode: https://fb.watch/28XdcEyOyw/ The other thing I did want to talk about this week is remote working in a ski resort, and whether that’s something you should consider later in the season (usual caveats of if things open up safely & you’re confident in your insurance apply here).

Intersport did a survey of their customers and found almost half would consider remote working this winter, buoyed by the fact most people won’t be going into their actual office until late spring at the earliest anyway, and that many of us are bored of zoom/flatmates/family/endless months of looking at the same four walls. Switching your workplace for a ski resort could be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Not suggesting you go for long, given Covid, and now that it looks like the new rules on Jan 1st will cap how long we can spend in Europe (read more on that new 90-day rule here: https://metro.co.uk/…/brits-wont-be-able-to-spend-over…/). But a few weeks of late-season shred, could be just the ticket. I maintain that driving is your best option still (see my guide to driving from the other here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1066194473850973

And I would consider some of these budget-friendly hostels, Moontain in Oz en Oisans, beds from 23 euros a night http://www.moontain-hostel.com/en/rooms/ or the ho36 hostels in Les Menuires or La Plagne with beds from £39 https://www.ho36hostels.com or RockyPop in Chamonix who have doubles for £100 https://www.rockypop-chamonix.com/en/Self-catered apartments from booking.com and Airbnb would be a good shout too.

Though don’t book without valid insurance in place, I’ll be talking more about insurance next week.If you have nailed your dates, you might as well book your ski or snowboard hire. Intersport have a last minute no questions asked refund policy, and are still offering 50% off on rental here: https://www.intersport-rent.fr/?utm_source=intersport.fr…

And if you’re heading out by yourself and don’t know anyone in a resort, a friendly hire shop is actually a great place to start. As they’ll tell you the best spots on the mountain for your level. And let’s face it – if you make it out to the mountains this winter it won’t be busy, so you’re going to be looking at fairly decent customer service, especially at Intersport, where they do always seem to recruit sound staff. As long as it isn’t banned this is a good year to try splitboarding or ski touring.

Again ask at Intersport about that, they’ll hire out touring kit and give you some local tips as well.