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Home Travel Information Coronavirus

Coronavirus: advice for guests

For guests who are concerned about their travel plans in light of the Coronavirus outbreak, we answer the most commonly asked questions below.

Important Travel Updates

 

Travelling to Finland - 15:00 17/12/2021

Travelling back into the UK - 16:00 13/12/2021

 

We’re frequently reviewing the information contained on this page and are committed to ensuring that the safety of our guests is our first priority. The information and policies that follow were made in good faith and correct at the time of publication. Due to the constantly evolving nature of the Coronavirus pandemic, we may need to change or update the policies outlined below at short notice and in line with new developments, relevant guidance and legal obligations.

The safety of our guests is our utmost priority and as a responsible tour operator, we will continue to only travel to destinations where it is safe to do so as advised by the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

All our holidays are subject to the local Covid-19 regulations of Finland, which may differ from that of the UK. We recommend you are familiar with these before you travel.

If the guidance changes for Finland, and this has an effect on our ability to provide your holiday, we will be in contact as soon as we can to talk through your options.

We understand that the current situation may be unsettling and we would like to reassure you and remind you of the extra measures we’ve put in place to help keep you and your money safe.

For guests who are concerned about their travel plans in light of the Coronavirus outbreak, we answer the most commonly asked questions below.

Travel Entry Requirements

Use this interactive tool to find out what you need to do in preparation for your trip to Finland.

 

 

General Coronavirus FAQs

For UK customers, including information on refunds, our policies and what to do if your holiday with us can’t take place.

Experience Coronavirus FAQs

For more information about what the experience will look like this year in Santa’s Lapland.

 

 

Testing Packages

We’ve made testing easier and more affordable by securing discounts with select covid-19 testing suppliers. 

Experience FAQ's

 

Will my Lapland experience be different due to Coronavirus?

We know a trip to see Santa is a once in a lifetime experience and we understand that our guests may be feeling a mixture of excitement and nerves, but at this point in time we are confident that we will be able to take you away this year. Whilst we will be making some small changes to ensure this is possible, we believe that we will still be able to deliver your experience and it will be as magical as you expect it to be.

Due to the constantly changing nature of the Coronavirus crisis, we might need to change or withdraw some advertised accommodation facilities and resort services so we can keep everyone safe. Wherever we can, we’ll let you know about this in advance, but sometimes it might be at very short notice.

Our holidays will be subject to the local Covid-19 regulations in Finnish Lapland and those of our airlines or transport providers, and we recommend that you are familiar with these before you travel – you can find more information in our country/resort Entry Requirements Table.

For the most up to date information on everything, we are doing to make your holiday as safe as possible, please visit our “In Safe Hands” page.

 

What can I expect from my transfer in Lapland?

Everyone, including staff, will be required to wear face coverings when travelling on any transport to and from the resort, in line with local regulations. It’s also highly likely that you will require a face covering on flights to and from the UK. Please bring your own face coverings, ensuring that you have sufficient spares to change them frequently during your holiday. 

All coaches will be regularly cleaned and disinfected throughout the day. Hand sanitiser will be available for guests and staff when boarding your coach.

 

What Covid-19 protocols will be in place at my hotel?

We only work with trusted hotels in Lapland and their own local, professional teams will manage them, in-line with the Covid-19 health and safety laws of Finland. Currently, guests are required to maintain a social distance of 1.5m from other guests outside their family group and where food/drink are consumed, everyone must have their own seat to eat. When it is difficult to maintain a social distance of 1.5m, a face covering is recommended.

Due to the constantly changing nature of the Coronavirus crisis, accommodation providers might need to change or withdraw some advertised facilities services so we can keep everyone safe. Wherever we can, we’ll let you know about this in advance, but sometimes it might be at very short notice.

 

How will the rides/activities be cleaned in resort?

All rides and activities will be cleaned after each use throughout the day, as well as an enhanced cleaning process before the activity centre's open. We politely request that all our guests uphold the highest possible hygiene standards – through regular hand washing and using hand sanitiser when available.

 

Will our snowsuits be cleaned?

All snowsuits will be cleaned before each use and you will collect yours via a one-way system on arrival into the resort.

 

What will the Santa experience look like?

Currently, we do not anticipate Santa to be behind a screen or a face covering in his cabin. We will however keep Santa socially distanced, by seating him at his desk facing his guests, and there may be clear screens placed discretely to the side of his chair. This is to ensure everyone is kept safe, whilst still keeping the magic alive, and ensuring your family get their special photo with him.

 

Will I need to wear a face covering?

Our holidays will be subject to the local Covid-19 regulations in Finnish Lapland and those of our airlines or transport providers, and we recommend that you are familiar with these before you travel – you can find more information regarding Finland and your resort within our Entry Requirements Table.

Currently face coverings in Finland are only required on public transport, which includes transfers to and from the resort, including on flights to and from the UK, and are recommended where it is difficult to maintain a distance of 1.5m from others outside your family group. Please bring your own face coverings, ensuring that you have sufficient spares to change them frequently during your holiday.

 

What training have your staff had?

Our staff and guest’s health and safety is always our top priority. All our staff will complete Covid-19 training relating to our additional health and safety measures, informing them how to stay safe, and how to keep you safe.

All staff will be required to wear face coverings when needed, for example in the airport terminal and on our coach transfers, and at any point when in close proximity to guests. They will manage everything from a central point, electronically and over the phone as much as possible. This is to minimise any risk of spreading infection.

Before starting work each day, they will be required to certify they are not experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms. Any staff experiencing symptoms will not attend work and appropriate actions will be made in line with local regulations and our own protocols.

 

Will I be updated about any changes to my holiday?

In the run up to your holiday, we will provide you with plenty of information about what to expect from your trip and whether any changes have had to be made to your break. We recommend you keep an eye on our In Safe Hands page, which will be updated as and when required.

General FAQs

 

Is my holiday going to take place as planned?

We are expecting our 2021 Lapland holidays to go ahead as planned. We will be reviewing all operations on a regular basis in light of the Covid-19 situation and will only travel to destinations that are exempt from the FCDO’s essential travel only list.

If the guidance changes for Finland, and this has an effect on our ability to provide your holiday, we will be in contact as soon as we can to talk through your options.

We’ll do our very best to make sure your holiday is everything you expect it to be. Due to the constantly evolving nature of the Covid-19 crisis, we might need to change or withdraw some advertised accommodation facilities and resort services so we can keep everyone safe. Wherever we can, we’ll let you know about this in advance, but sometimes it might be at very short notice.

 

How will I know if my travel plans are going to be affected?

The unpredictable impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic mean that decisions about changes or amendments to your holiday may occur at any time, and could be no more than a few days before you are due to depart.

We pay constant attention to the guidance from the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s (FCDO), ABTA, Public Health England and local health authorities in our destinations. We will respond to any advice issued by the FCDO against non-essential travel to Finnish Lapland, and will contact you as soon as it is clear we won’t be able to provide your holiday at the originally planned time.

 

Do I need to have had one or both of my COVID vaccines before travelling?

We are paying constant attention to the guidance from the FCDO, ABTA and Public Health England in the UK, as well as to the guidance from the local health authorities in our destinations, this includes their guidance on whether vaccines are necessary to travel from the UK or to Finland.

The entry requirements for children travelling with vaccinated adults may differ by country so please check the information carefully. We also recommend that you visit the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) website for the most up to date information as things can change at any time. Please take a look at our Entry Requirements Table for more information.

It is your responsibility to ensure you have the required vaccinations and/or additional tests in line with the entry requirements to Finland. If you or one of your travelling companions has not received both vaccinations and this is an entry requirement of Finland, you may be required to quarantine on arrival and undertake additional testing during your holiday. If you are not willing to take additional tests or quarantine on arrival, our usual cancellation terms apply.

 

Finland's entry requirements include pre/post departure testing, do you have any recommended providers I can purchase from?

We’ve made testing easier and more affordable by securing discounts with select COVID-19 testing suppliers who can provide PCR testing with a Fit to Fly Certificate and Lateral Flow Antigen Fit to Fly Home Test Kits. You can find out more on our Testing Packages page.

 

I’m due to pay my balance for my holiday, can I pay later while I wait and see what happens?

We are planning on taking guests away to Lapland this Christmas and we will start collecting final holiday balances 10 weeks before your trip.

We are confident that our future holidays will be going ahead as planned. If we are able to operate your holiday and you choose to cancel your booking, we will not be able to offer a refund on your holiday or added extras and our usual cancellation terms apply.

Equally, if we make the decision to suspend your holiday to Finland and you cancelled before we took that action, we will not offer a refund retrospectively. You should therefore ensure that you have adequate travel insurance and seek to recover cancellation charges from your insurer where possible.

If you have underlying health concerns, we would recommend that you speak to your GP and travel insurer, who may offer a degree of cover for cancellation on these grounds, subject to the terms of your policy, and you may need a note from your GP to support your claim.

 

I’m nervous about the trip, can I get a refund or defer to 2022?

We are confident that our future holidays will be going ahead as planned. If we are able to operate your holiday and you choose to cancel your booking, we will not be able to offer a refund on your holiday or added extras and our usual cancellation terms apply.

Equally, if we make the decision to suspend your holiday to Finland and you cancelled before we took that action, we will not offer a refund retrospectively. You should therefore ensure that you have adequate travel insurance and seek to recover cancellation charges from your insurer where possible.

If you have underlying health concerns, we would recommend that you speak to your GP and travel insurer, who may offer a degree of cover for cancellation on these grounds, subject to the terms of your policy, and you may need a note from your GP to support your claim.

 

What if I want to cancel or move my holiday?

We understand that not everyone will feel confident to take their ski holiday as planned. Up to 28 days before departure, you have the option to move your holiday to a different date within the same season (keeping the same airline and accommodation) with no amendment fee to pay from Santa's Lapland. Many of our suppliers are also offering this flexibility, but if they do charge a fee for the change, we may need to pass this fee on to you. If your new booking is more expensive you will need to pay the difference. If you would prefer to cancel your holiday, our usual cancellation terms apply.

 

Will I be entitled to a refund if Santa’s Lapland has to cancel or make a significant change to my holiday due to the Coronavirus outbreak?

If things change and we have to cancel your holiday because of Coronavirus, you can move your holiday to another available date or destination of equivalent value, or pay the difference to upgrade your trip. If for any reason you are not able to move your holiday, we’ll give you a refund.

Equally, if we have to make a significant change your holiday, we’ll give you the option of accepting the change or receiving a refund. You can find out more about what would be considered a significant change in our booking terms & conditions.

 

Please remember it is a condition of our booking terms that you have valid travel insurance. We would strongly recommend that you take travel insurance out at the time of booking that includes Coronavirus cover. 

Our insurance partner Campbell Irvine offer travel insurance with additional comprehensive Covid-19 cover and will be happy to give you a quote. To contact them, please visit here.

 

I’m due to go on holiday with Santa’s Lapland, but have now contracted Covid-19. What are my options?

If you, your travelling companion or any dependents contract COVID-19 in the 14 days before departure, you will be allowed to move your holiday to a different date within the same season, but we will require evidence of a positive result.

Santa's Lapland will not charge an amendment fee, but if our suppliers charge a fee for the change, we may need to pass this fee on to you. If your new holiday is more expensive you will need to pay the difference. If you would prefer to cancel your holiday, our usual cancellation terms and conditions apply. We would highly recommend that you take out additional Covid-19 travel insurance. Many travel insurance policies will no longer cover you as standard if your holiday is disrupted due to Coronavirus, but there are new policies and add-ons appearing on the market that will cover for any unforeseen circumstances between booking and departing on holiday as well as while on holiday.

 

What if I test positive for COVID-19 in Finland and can’t travel home?

If at any point during your holiday you should test positive or feel unwell with COVID -19 symptoms during your holiday, in the first instance you should stay in your room, seek medical assistance if required and let your accommodation management and Santa's Lapland Representative know.

If you test positive with an antigen Lateral Flow test, you will be asked to take a further PCR test to confirm the result. If this is positive, in most instances you will be required to self-isolate in designated accommodation and in accordance with local government guidelines (which can vary from country to country). The period of self-isolation may extend beyond the planned return date of your holiday and all additional costs incurred will be need to be covered by yourself or your travel insurance company. At the earliest opportunity, you should contact your travel insurer for assistance and advice on next steps.

Our Santa's Lapland in-country teams have been fully trained in Covid-19 safety measures, including preparations for handling positive Covid-19 in resort, and will be there to help and support throughout – on the ground or by phone.

 

Will I be covered by my travel insurance if I decide to cancel or have to self-isolate?

This will depend on the terms of your policy and the reason for your cancellation. If you are concerned about a serious underlying medical condition, you should contact your travel insurance provider to check if you can make a claim.

We would highly recommend that you take out additional Covid-19 travel insurance. Many travel insurance policies will no longer cover you as standard if your holiday is disrupted due to Coronavirus, but there are new policies and add-ons appearing on the market that will cover for any unforeseen circumstances between booking and departing on holiday as well as while on holiday.

Our insurance partner Campbell Irvine offer travel insurance with additional comprehensive Covid-19 cover and will be happy to give you a quote. To contact them, please visit here.

 

I’m due to go to Lapland in the next few days but I’ve been contacted by NHS Test & Trace. Can I still go on holiday?

Please give us a call on 01483 667 446 if this situation arises.


What if there is a government lockdown?

Should you not be able to travel due to a government imposed lockdown, you will be able to cancel your holiday free of charge, or move it to a later date in the season.

 

What if I receive a positive test whilst I’m in Finland before I travel back the UK?

If at any point during your holiday you test positive or feel unwell with COVID -19 symptoms you should stay in your room, seek medical assistance if required and let your accommodation management and Santa's Lapland Representative (details in your Welcome Pack) know immediately. Our in-country teams will be there to help and support you throughout. You will then be required to follow local regulations, which can vary from country to country, and you will need to contact your travel insurer for assistance and advice on next steps in the first instance.

Cover will vary dependent on the provider and level of cover you have chosen. Our insurance partner Campbell Irvine offer travel insurance with additional comprehensive Covid-19 cover and will be happy to give you a quote. To contact them, please visit here.

 

My holiday was cancelled by you due to COVID-19 and I decided to take a Holiday Exchange Voucher (HEV) instead of a refund. How/when can I use it?

We understand that having to postpone your holiday was no doubt disappointing, and we’re sorry that you couldn’t get away for a well-deserved break. Our team are ready and waiting to help you make your future travel plans in the ‘new normal’, so here’s some guidance on how you can use your HEV:

  • Your HEV is non-transferable and can only be used by the person/s named on the HEV. Your HEV should not be re-sold
  • You can only redeem your HEV against one booking, i.e. it cannot be split across two or more bookings
  • Any HEV not used by the date of expiry will be lost.

Plus don't forget you can use your HEV for a new booking across any of our Hotelplan brands.

 

Where can I check for up-to-date travel and health information for my destination?

 

Important Travel Updates

Travelling to Finland - 15:00 17/12/2021

For arrivals from 21st December, all travellers to Finland (aged 16 years and above), must have a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 48 hours prior to arriving in Finland, as well as proof of double Covid-19 vaccination (plus booster if required). NHS self-tests are not accepted.

For holidays departing before 21st December: In advance of the new testing requirements, the Finnish authorities have introduced increased health screening measures and UK travellers may be tested for Covid-19 on arrival. Whilst not an essential requirement, to aid transition through the airport we recommend if possible taking proof of a certified negative antigen test taken within 48hrs prior to arrival. Details of testing providers, including discounted packages can be found on our testing packages page

 

Travelling back into the UK – 16:00 13/12/2021

The rules around entry into the UK have changed, it is important for you to keep up to date with the travel entry requirements both for the country you're travelling to and when returning back home.

Before you go: Although it is not a requirement for all countries, we advise you to take a Lateral Flow Antigen Test before your departure, to ensure you are not carrying the COVID-19 virus.

Before travelling back to the UK: There are new border entry rules that came into effect from 04:00 on Tuesday 7 December - all travellers aged 12 years and over must take a PCR or Lateral Flow Covid-19 test before they travel to the UK.

To meet this requirement, we recommend you order Remote Lateral Flow Antigen Test Kits to take with you on your holiday - see our Testing Packages page for more information. We’re working with our resort teams to facilitate in resort testing too and we’ll support you on holiday if you need this, but please be aware that facilities may be limited with high demand.

The test must be taken within the 2 days before travelling back to the UK. This will apply whether you qualify as fully vaccinated or not. The test must meet Government requirements for testing for travel - NHS self-tests are not accepted.

After arrival into the UK: From 04:00 on Tuesday 30 November - lateral flow tests are no longer accepted and all travellers arriving into the UK are required to book and take COVID-19 PCR tests in accordance with their vaccination status.

Those who are fully vaccinated are required to self-isolate at home when they arrive, take a PCR test on or before Day 2, and continue to self-isolate until they receive a negative result. For those who test positive, they must isolate for 10 days. There will be no change for unvaccinated travellers.