Meribel in the sunshine during Inter Services Snow Sports Championships.
Winter Sports

Inter Services Snow Sports Championships to go ahead after France lifts UK travel ban

The annual event, which was cancelled last year due to COVID, will be held in the French Alps from 30th January until 4th February. 

Meribel in the sunshine during Inter Services Snow Sports Championships.

The UK Armed Forces winter sports association has confirmed that the Inter Services Snow Sports Championships can go ahead, after France lifted its travel ban on UK visitors. 

The annual event, which was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be held in Meribel in the French Alps, from Sunday 30th January until Friday 4th February. 

Around 350 athletes from across the three services will compete over five days in Alpine, Telemark and Snowboard competitions. 

According to officials, Meribel is one of only three resorts in Europe that can offer up the ability to host those three disciplines alongside each other for a week long tournament - the other two being Tignes and Val d'Isere.

Thankfully, logistics are already in place for Meribel 2022 to go ahead and it'll be a huge boost to the winter sports associations after several single service events have had to be cancelled. 

Watch: Meribel 2022 - Event in 'lap of the gods' as COVID restrictions threaten postponement.

UKAFWSA are aware that some competitors may not have had as much time on snow as others so there will be extra training available as well as the possibility of adjusting the courses accordingly. 

After having to cancel last year, there was concern that another year without Meribel would result in quite significant skill fade, not only in the athletes competing but also the officials who are there to make the races safe. 

France announced it's relaxations around coronavirus regulations for British people entering the country on Thursday so they'll no longer have to give a compelling reason for travelling to France, or isolate on arrival.

Instead travellers will need to show a negative COVID test taken in the previous 24 hours.

This is good news but COVID has impacted the winter sports in other areas with the announcement this week that the Nordic and biathlon competition exercise rucksack will no longer go ahead - that was being held in Ruhpolding in Germany. 

We will have to wait and see whether the ice sports, being held at the beginning of March in Igls, Austria, will survive the latest rise in Omicron cases.