Tens of thousands of Brits canceled their cruise vacations and New Year’s ski trips yesterday as European border restrictions were tightened.

Crystal Ski, the UK’s largest winter sports operator, canceled its departures to Austria next week after local ministers tightened their stance on arrivals from the UK.

Anyone arriving from the UK will have to provide evidence from tomorrow that they have been double-vaccinated, have received a booster and have a negative PCR test. Anyone who does not meet the criteria has to be quarantined for ten days.

A spokesman for the operator said: “Due to the short notice of this announcement and the difficulty of getting a PCR test during the holidays, we have unfortunately made the difficult decision to cancel our Austrian vacation with a departure on December 27th, understand the great disappointment that will cause this. “

The company contacted affected passengers yesterday evening. You will be offered refunds, travelers who arrive on January 1st and 8th can rebook their vacation free of charge until December 29th. Families with children aged 16 or 17 now also have difficulties entering Austria and will be contacted.

The extent of the problem became apparent when MSC Cruises canceled three more crossings from the UK due to European border restrictions. The departures of the MSC Magnifica from Southampton on December 28th and January 4th and 11th were canceled. You should call at Ijmuiden in the Netherlands, Hamburg in Germany and Le Havre in northern France.

The Netherlands has imposed a strict lockdown until at least mid-January and those arriving from the UK must be quarantined for ten days. Germany and France have banned tourists from the UK.

Antonio Paradiso, UK Managing Director of the line said, “It’s a shame. A cruise experience consists of two parts. People want to enjoy the ship and the destinations. It is better to pause for a while and continue when the time is right. “

Skiing holidays have been particularly hard hit by the recent tightening of the rules.

Travel companies reported a surge in bookings to Austria last week after France announced it would ban almost all arrivals from the UK from midnight on Saturday.

Hundreds of thousands of Brits had their Christmas vacation plans mixed up when the announcement was made by officials in Paris. French ski resorts are teetering on the decision, with some reporting that more than 40 percent of their business was wiped out during the holidays.

Most major tour operators, including Crystal, have canceled all departures into the country until at least mid-January. In a double pack, the French ski areas are celebrating their best start to the season since 2012.

The outlook for international travel next year is bleak as countries quickly implement tough new rules.

Eamonn Brennan, the director general of Eurocontrol, the European air traffic control group, said Christmas was a “dead duck” because of the Covid restrictions. The airline’s “no shows” rose to 20 percent in the past week, as passengers choose not to travel or entry into countries is prohibited.

Brennan said, “The next two months will be difficult. Now everyone is hoping for Easter, not Christmas.

“Politicians are in the spotlight. Opening up and then realizing that there is more of the virus in the community is not popular, so politicians are risk averse. Christmas is a dead duck.

Ryanair announced yesterday that it will cut its capacity by 33 percent for January due to restrictions. An airline spokesman said: “The impact of these recent government travel restrictions, in particular last weekend’s ban on UK arrivals in France and Germany, and the suspension of all EU flights to / from Morocco, have reduced Ryanair’s expected traffic as of December 10th Millions lowered to 11 million, on a lower range between 9 million and 9.5 million.

“In response to these restrictions, Ryanair has now reduced its capacity by 33 percent in January and reduced expected January traffic from around 10 million to 6-7 million.”

EasyJet, the UK’s largest airline, also said it would cut its capacities early in the new year.

Sophie Dekkers, Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We took some capacity in early January to reflect the lower utilization factors. But we’re still waiting to see the effects of Omicron. “

The travel restrictions


The vast majority of UK travelers are banned. Those who are allowed to enter must present a negative test at least 24 hours before arrival. All travelers must also isolate for 48 hours. A negative PCR or antigen test is then required to terminate the isolation. Transit is allowed.


All UK travelers are required to present a negative borderline PCR test performed within 72 hours of arrival or a lateral flow test no older than 24 hours.


Starting tomorrow, newcomers must be double-vaccinated and refreshed and provide evidence of negative PCR that is no older than 72 hours.


Visitors must have a double vaccination and a negative test. There is no need to quarantine children under 18 when traveling with a fully vaccinated parent and test negative (for those over six).


Only fully vaccinated British are allowed to enter. Applies to everyone over 12.


As of Tuesday, all people entering Sweden, regardless of their vaccination status, must have a negative Covid-19 test.


Visitors must be tested on arrival regardless of vaccination status. If there is no test center at your entry point, a rapid antigen test must be carried out within 24 hours. Anyone who is not fully vaccinated must also prove a negative test upon entry.

United States

Upon arrival, proof of double vaccination and a negative test must be provided within 24 hours of departure. Children under the age of 18 are exempt from vaccination requirements, but people over the age of two must take a test.