Coronavirus: Spike in UK ski holidays as Britons avoid Alps for Scotland & Lake District

Coronavirus has caused many people to panic when it comes to their holidays. Many airlines are cancelling flights and travellers themselves are backing out of booked trips for fear of the deadly virus. As a result of the rising number of cases and soaring fear, a number of British holidaymakers are choosing to remain in the UK.


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Travellers who would normally jet off to iconic resorts in the Alps such as Cervinia and Gressoney, north-west Italy, are instead turning to the slopes of the UK.

Scotland’s mountain areas and the Lake District have benefited from recent heavy snowfalls.

Helvellyn near Ambleside is the third highest mountain in England and gets the best snow levels in the Lake District National Park.

Ski resort owners in the UK are reporting some of the best ski seasons for the last six years after 4m (13ft) of snow fell over the last three weekends.

In short, the north of the UK has a lot to offer snow-loving holidaymakers at this time and could mean much less coronavirus worry.

Andy Meldrum, chairman of Ski Scotland and director of Glencoe Ski Centre, said: “Many people go to Europe because there is no guarantee that we have the perfect conditions but people are coming.

“Anything that makes people nervous about going abroad will make people want to stay in this country.

“The exchange rate and coronavirus can have a bit of an impact and it may be positive for a while.

“I do know some people who are nervous about going to Italy and are instead coming to Scotland to stay local.”

He added: “It’s certainly the best [season] I have seen for a very long time and is already starting to come close to the amazing 2014 season when the lifts and huts got buried.

“At the moment lifts and huts are only partially buried. There’s amazing skiing and snowboarding from summit to car park.”

Breathtaking shots show ski mountaineers Charlie Sproson and Paddy Cave taking advantage of the optimum conditions on the slopes of Helvellyn yesterday.

The duo climbed a gully on the steepest face of the 950-metres mountain to reach the summit before descending down the mountain to nearby lake Red Tarn.


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Nick Wyatt, head of research at data analytics GlobalData, said: “Because airlines have cancelled their flights, many people wanting to go skiing are considering looking at staying in the UK.”

He added that staycations are more likely to make travellers feel more comfortable “as they are familiar with the location.”

British holidaymakers who opt for staycations may think travel insurance isn’t necessary. However, experts have said it is still advisable to get cover, with a staycation arguably the best option for those with underlying health problems at the moment.

Rebecca Kingsley, brand manager of consumer awareness initiative, Travel Insurance Explained said: “Travel insurance may not seem necessary when holidaying in the UK.

“However there are still instances that arise where you will be left out of pocket without the right protection. Although we have free medical care in the UK, travel insurance will cover you if you need to cancel your holiday or return home early and cannot claim back the cost from elsewhere.

“In addition, some travel insurance policies will offer to cover the cost of pre-paid, non-refundable excursions and car hire if you are unable to make your trip.

“When looking for a policy, most travel insurers will only cover UK holidays if they are more than two nights in duration and you are staying in pre-booked accommodation.

“There are a few policies out there that do not have a minimum duration so this is cover worth looking for if you are only going away for a weekend, plan to stay with friends and family or pay for your accommodation on arrival.

“With the cost of some UK breaks costing the same as heading abroad, travel insurance should still be a travel essential.”

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