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Information Regarding Covid-19

Due to the ongoing pandemic we are experiencing a somewhat different winter season in 2021. We are doing everything we can to be able to offer our visitors a great winter experience while making sure that visitors, locals and seasonal workers can feel safe. Together, the buisiness owners in Åre have taken plenty of safety precautions to make Åre a safe destination this winter. This is where we gather information about what we do and which restrictions apply so that we can stop the spread of covid-19, together.

Apart from reading the information below, you can find more ways of how to experience Åre safely this winter here >>

Travelling to Sweden and Åre

If you are planning to travel to Sweden and Åre you should stay up to date on which rules apply during the covid-19 pandemic.

A temporary entry ban is in effect for non-essential travels for people travelling from countries outside the EU/EEA, Denmark, Great Britain and Norway. Read more here >>

Requirements for Negative Covid-19 Tests

From 00.01, Saturday 6 February 2021, new rules for entering the country are in effect in Sweden. All non-Swedish citizens, including citizens from other EU and EEA member states, are required to present a negative covid-19 test that is no older than 48 hours to be able to enter the country.

Exceptions to the test requirements include Swedish citizens (general restrictions apply), people who are not yet 18 years old and people who can claim humanitarian reasons for entering Sweden, such as emergency health care needs. The Swedish authorities make individual assessments of such reasons. Commuters need to be able to present a negative covid-19 test which is maximum one week old. 

The test requirements in short

  • All non-Swedish citizens need to present a negative covid-19 test from before crossing the border to Sweden.
  • The test cannot be performed on arrival in Sweden but must be presented on arrival. 
  • The test cannot be older than 48 hours when the traveller cross the Swedish border. 

Read more about the requirements here >>

Visit the following website for more travel information:

Visit Sweden (Sweden’s official website for visitors)

Krisinformation (Emergency information from Swedish authorities)

Folkhälsomyndigheten (Public Health Agency of Sweden)

Sweden Abroad (Official Website for Sweden’s Embassies and Consulates)


The Importance of Taking Personal Responsibility

Our guests are very important to our village and that is also why we are asking for your help. We urge all of you to take the concept of personal responsibility seriously and follow the restrictions and recommendations that apply. You will find more information about what this entails below. Protect each other and protect our village! 

The following general recommendations are in effect:

  • Travel and stay only with those closest to you (family and people you meet on a daily or weekly basis)
  • Avoid contact with any outsiders as far as possible (neighbors, cashiers, people in public transport etcetera)’
  • Follow the restrictions and any local recommendations
  • Exercise general caution
  • Take extra care to wash your hands and use hand disinfectant solutions

Read more about Sweden’s regulations and general guidelines for preventing the spread of covid-19 here >>


Following the Guidelines

Any development concerning the coronavirus is carefully monitored by the businesses in Åre. We also take great care to follow any current restrictions that have been implemented by the Swedish authorities. This also apply to the new pandemic law which was introduced in mid-January. Precautions have been taken to ensure that visitors, locals and co-workers can feel safe in Åre this winter.

Examples of General Prevention Measures in Åre

  • Extended opening hours have been implemented to minimise congestion in shops.
  • The number of customer in shops is limited and specified in accordance with the Swedish Pandemic Law which was implemented in January.
  • Systems for counting the number of people on the premises at any given time, such as the obligatory use of shopping baskets by each customer in certain stores.
  • The capacity for pre-ordering, takeaway and home delivery has increased (see more here >>).
  • Digital check-in / check-out at accommodations.
  • Hotel booking capacity has been decreased to 80 percent of available accommodation options.
  • Extended cancellation concessions (check with your host before booking – read more below).
  • Restaurants have decreased the number of tables and seats to create additional space.
  • A maximum of four persons are allowed at each table.
  • Only seated guests are allowed in restaurants and bars unless the guests can fetch their food and drinks while keeping a distance from others.
  • Serving alcoholic beverages is prohibited after 20.00 CET (as described under National Restrictions in Place)
  • Digital queuing systems have been implemented to avoid crowding.
  • The number of public toilets in the village and the ski area has increased.
  • The options for testing for covid-19 have been extended in central Åre (as described below).
  • SkiStar’s heating cabins have been closed down with exception for those that sell food and drinks. Toilets in heating cabins are still available.
  • The number of outdoor eating areas has increased. 

The Åre Ski Area

We need your help to avoid the gathering of crowds, queues and other social gatherings this winter. Therefore, we would recommend that you use the digital solutions available to book your SkiPass, skiing lessons or for renting your equipment as described below. 

The ski system operator SkiStar and its employees are focusing on making the ski area a safe place for guests and staff in regard to the Coronavirus. Below are examples of some of the measures taken.  

  • SkiPasses are purchased via telephone or vending machines (self-service). You can book and purchase your SkiPass here >>
  • The ski lifts can be used by single parties if they chose to do so.
  • Only seated skiers are allowed in the gondola.
  • In lift queues, the distance between skiers is required to be at least the equivalent of one ski pole.
  • The Heating Cabins are closed, except those where food is sold and served (toilets are still available).
  • The ski system opening hours have been extended (see link to the ski area’s opening hours below).
  • The SkiStar app is frequently updated with lift operation information to avoid crowding.
  • Renting your skis or booking a skiing course can be done online. Find rental companies and courses here (scroll down to find the right option for you >>

Read about SkiStar’s precautions here >>

And check-out the ski area’s opening hours here >>

Restaurants and accommodations

Restaurants and accommodations are following the guidelines developed by, among others, the industry organisations Visita and HRF together with the Swedish Public Health Agency, in order to make Åre a safe place to visit and work at. Any current general restrictions issued by the Swedish authorities are implemented.

You can help by:

  • Checking any notes posted at the entrance before you go in to a restaurant and make sure to respect the specific rules that may apply. If you are unsure of what these are, please contact the staff.
  • Asking if any specific rules applies to the accommodation of your choice when booking.

 

National Restrictions in Place (January 2021)

Below is a summary of the national restrictions that are currently in effect in Sweden. You can also click the link below to find out more about national restrictions in Sweden. Click here to read more about the current national restrictions >> 

You need to stay at home and isolate yourself from others if you suspect you have contracted the coronavirus. This also apply to members of your family or others you might have been in contact with before the symptoms occurred. 

You can help shop owners, staff and others by: 

Paying extra attention to any information posted at entrances or other places in restaurants, bars, shops or other facilities, such as the maximum number of people that are allowed on the premises at any given time. Sometimes, there are additional special measures taken by the respective facility that you need to respect, for example if you need to pick up a shopping basket with you from outside the door because that shows the staff how many customers that are currently in the store. If you are unsure if there’s anything you need to pay attention to, please contact the staff.

Restaurants & Bars

  • Food and drinks is to be served to seated guests only. Guests may be allowed to order and fetch their own food if this can be done without causing congestion. All guests and personel need to be able to keep at least one meter’s distance from each other.
  • Visitors should be able to keep a distance of at least one meter to other visitors and staff while seated or standing.
  • A maximum of four people are allowed to sit at each table. This also applies to small children. If a company of more than four visits a restaurant, they will be divided and seated at different tables.
  • The distance between tables is required to be at least one meter.
  • Visitors need to have access to water and soap or to hand disinfectant.
  • Visitors need to be informed about how to decrease the risk of spreading the virus when visiting an establishment, such as by posted signs at the entrance and at the tables. 
  • Serving alcoholic beverages or equivalent beverages is prohibited from 20.00 CET.
  • All food places must close no later than 20.30 CET, regardless of whether they only serve non-alcoholic beverages.

Parties and Gatherings  

  • Night Clubs are allowed to have a maximum of 50 guests on their premises at any given time.
  • At private parties and gatherings in rented facilities such as club houses, the maximum number of participants allowed is eight.
  • Up to 20 participants are allowed at funerals

Accommodation 

The number of guests in a given accommodation is regulated by how spacious the rooms/apartments/cabins are. The basic rule is that you should only stay with people you normally spend time with, such as your immediate family. 

Gyms, Sport Facilities, Bath Houses & Shops/Stores

Each facility providing activities such as training, swimming, shopping and other are obliged to calculate the maximum number of people that can be on the premises simultaneously. Each person on the premises should have at least ten square meters at their disposal.

It is a requirement that visitors have access to water and soap or to hand disinfectant.

Face Masks on Public Transportation

Face masks are obligatory on public transports for people born in 2004 or before between the hours of 07.00 CET and 09.00 CET and 16.00 CET and 18.00 CET. Face masks should also be worn if seat booking is not available.

Find out more about the national restrictions here >>


 

Testing for Covid-19

Anyone who suspect they have been infected with the coronavirus need to be tested independent of whether the person is a Swedish citizen or not. If you are experiencing Corona-related symptoms you should stay at home and stay away from others to prevent spreading of the disease. Read more about the general guidelines issued by the Swedish Public Health Agency here >>

Persons with symptoms consistent with the coronavirus or symptoms of a cold cannot visit the Health Care Centre without calling in advance. Call the local Health Centre at +46-647-166 00. You also need to call to book a covid-19 test in advance.

Non-Swedish citizens can also call the National Health Service at +46 771-11 77 00 for instructions and additional help. Click here for more tips and information about the coronavirus >> 

In Åre village, there are two test stations for covid-19. One is located in the centre of Åre at the old fire station (Google Map Address here >>) and one at Lundgårdsvägen 15 (Google Map Address here >>) next to the Swedish National Alpine Arena. There’s also a test station in Järpen, next to the Health Care Centre there >>

Different types of Covid-19 Tests 

Find out more about testing for covid-19 here >> 

 

PCR- & Antigen Testing

A so called PCR-test is used to decide whether a person is currently infected with the coronavirus. It cannot decide whether you have developed antibodies after the infection is over. The PCR-test is the most commonly used for testing for ongoing infections.

An antigen test is a quick test which is used to decide whether a person is carrying the coronavirus. It is mostly recommended for persons displaying symptoms.

Testing for Antibodies

Antibody-testing can decide whether a person who has suffered from covid-19 has formed antibodies. This test can only be performed two to three weeks after a person has become ill. These tests are regulated locally. If you have been free from symptoms for at least 14 days you can book an antibody-test via the Jämtland/Härjedalen Region. Antibody testing is performed by Vaccina in Jämtland/Härjedalen. Visit their website (in Swedish only) >>

PCR-testing for Travel Certificates

Anyone who suspect they have been infected with the coronavirus need to be tested independent of whether the person is a Swedish citizen or not. For more information about how this is done, see above  (Testing for Covid-19). If you are experiencing corona-related symptoms you should stay at home and stay away from others to prevent spreading of the disease. Read more about the general guidelines issued by the Swedish Public Health Agency here >>  

The public health care system do not provide PCR-testing for travel certificates in Åre. Instead, you need to contact a private health care provider to receive a travel certificate.

Veronicare in Östersund provides PCR-tests for SARS-CoV-2 (covid-19) health certificates for private or work-related travels abroad for Swedish and non-Swedish citizens. They also provide antigen tests for covid-19.

What to think about 

  • In order to book an appointment for testing you need to have been symptom free for at least two weeks.
  • You need to bring your passport with you to your appointment.
  • Different countries require different certificates. Make sure that you know which rules apply to the country you plan to travel to before booking a test.

Contact Veronicare

Email: info@veronicare.se

Telephone: +46 72-206 01 01

Address:
Fyrvallavägen 2
831 43 Östersund
See map here >>

Go to Veronicares Internet Booking form >>

 


Åre Health Care Centre

Åre Health Care Centre is usually open for drop-in every day of the week during the winter season. The centre offers orthopaedic and first response emergency medical care.

Persons with symptoms consistent with the coronavirus or symptoms of a cold cannot visit the Health Care Centre without calling in advance. Call the local Health Centre at +46-647-166 00. Click the link below to read more about opening hours and more.

Click here to visit their website >>


Important links for further reading

krisinformation.se (Emergency Information from Swedish Authorities)

1177 Vårdguiden – information about the corona pandemic (National Health Care Advisory Service)

1177 Vårdguiden – general information for foreign citizens (National Health Care Advisory Service)

SkiStar (Ski Arena Operator)

Åre Hälsocentral (in Swedish only)

Folkhälsomyndigheten (Sweden’s Public Health Agency)

Utrikesdepartementet (Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs)

Sweden Abroad (Sweden’s Embassies and Consulates)


FAQ

Can I book a skiing holiday in Åre this winter?

Yes, there is plenty of space in the ski system, on the cross-country trails and generally in the mountains and it is possible to have a vacation and keep your distance at the same time.

How is this year’s ski season affected by the pandemic?

Everyone from ski lift operators to restaurant owners and activity operators are taking measures so that Åre is able to receive visitors in a safe way according to the Swedish Public Health Agency’s restrictions. These measures are updated as any new restrictions or regulations are issued.

What are your best tips for travel-hungry guests?

We’re doing everything we can here in Åre to ensure that our visitors have a wonderful experience with beautiful days in the mountains and the possibility to spend your vacation here in a safe way. We share that responsibility with all our guests. A tip is to choose a quieter period for your trip making it easier to keep your distance.

Have you taken measures to reduce the spread of infection?

Before the summer, a number of measures were taken to prevent the spread of infection in Åre so that we could have a well-attended summer season with cycling and hiking in the mountains. The restrictions have been updated and so have the measures taken since then and they now apply to the winter season. The restrictions that apply are issued by the Swedish Public Health Agency and are continuously updated.

In Åre the companies in the hospitality industry cooperate with the relevant authorities, municipalities, police and healthcare operators in the region to ensure that we can receive guests this winter in a safe way. Together, we make an analysis of each part of a visitor’s stay here to discover where preventive and coordinated efforts are needed.

This applies to everything from how queues are handled in both lifts and restaurants, how helmets are cleaned at ski rentals to how an injured skier is taken care of by emergency personnel.

Will there be après skis and open nightclubs this winter?

No, there will be no nightclub or après ski activities this winter, but bars and restaurants will be open and food and beverages will be served to seated guests according to the restrictions that apply – so there will still be many and good alternatives for a nice end to your day on the slopes. Also, a number of Åre’s restaurants and cafés offer takeaway as an option to dining out.

What should you think about if you wish to book a ski trip?

Review which booking regulations and cancellation protections apply to travel, accommodation and activities in order to be able to cancel your plans in the event of illness. The best times to travel in order to easily keep a distance from other people are when there are no Swedish school holidays, as many Swedes choose to travel at that time.

There are many options for accommodation available in Åre, both apartments and cabins, where you can vacation comfortably on your own. Plan for how you or those in your group will behave on site and how you’ll get home if any of you get sick during the trip. Remember to stay home at any sign of illness.

What rules apply to cancellations and refunds?

The rules differ a bit depending on whether your booking regards accommodation, activity companies, ski rentals or other. Before you confirm a booking, please make sure you know which rules apply.

Also, it is not a bad idea to invest in extra insurance for cancellation protection.

What happens if you become ill while on site?

If you become ill while you are on site in Åre, the same rules applies as if you were to become ill at home: Stay in your accommodation so you avoid exposing others to the risk of infection and contact the Swedish Health Care System via + 46 771 11 77 00 to get the help you need. Do not visit the local Health Care Center before calling this number.

Also, make sure to inform those that responsible for the accommodation you rent about the situation so that they can take the proper measures to prevent spreading the virus further.

Last updated 24 February 2021

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