If you’re planning a winter holiday this year in the stunning French Alps, then you have every reason to be excited. After all, you’re heading to one of the most beautiful places on the planet, with truly breathtaking scenery, quaint and quirky villages steeped in history, and picture-perfect slopes covered in fresh white snow. Following the complete write off of the 2020 ski season, it’ll be amazing to see everyone back out on the slopes again.
However, despite the excitement, we have to remember the elephant in the room – Covid is still hanging around, and this will mean resorts will be taking both their own prevention measures, and following French government protocols to ensure that infections don’t occur.
France is currently experiencing its highest infection rates in some time, in conjunction with a Europe-wide rise in cases – so it’s important to stay vigilant, and be as prepared as possible for the various restrictions that you might encounter. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive list of the restrictions that you will likely face on your next trip.
Health passes, also known as vaccine passports, have been adopted by the French government as a means of reducing infection in public places. These passes require proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test in the last 72 hours in order to work, and affect your entry into a plethora of establishments such as cafes, restaurants, hotels, cinemas and theatres, as well as long distance travel on planes and trains. They are compulsory for all over the age of 12.
To access a health pass you’ll need to scan your QR code on your NHS app into the French TousAntiCovidapp.
The French government would strongly advise you get yourself double vaccinated, as this will hugely improve your freedoms on your holiday, and will give you peace of mind that you won’t be denied entry into any establishment.
It is good to know, however, that these passes will not be required to take ski lifts at the current infection rate – it’ll need to rise from 75 to 200 per 100,000 people before this changes.
While health passes will not be mandatory for ski lifts and resorts, the French Prime Minister has declared that masks definitely will be, so make sure you’re stocked up on them before making your trip. You’ll be expected to wear your mask in the queue for the ski lift, in addition to inside the gondola lifts like the Pleney lift. You'll also be expected to wear your mask in the centre of Morzine and its surrounding villages where streets can get busy.
The good news is – for those fond of the après scene, masks aren’t required in places where the Health Pass is an active requirement to enter. That means your favourite Morzine bars and restaurants can be enjoyed pretty much as normal!
They are, however, mandatory in all enclosed public spaces, such as shops and public transport as well.
Switzerland has different protocols to France, but the good news is you don't have to quarantine once you get to Geneva Airport - as long as you're just passing through to another country and you'll be in Switzerland for less than 24 hours!
While the sweeping restrictions that remain in place regarding masks and health passes have been passed by the French government, ski resorts have the ability to implement their own Covid protocols as well.
Make sure to read up on any resort that you plan on visiting to avoid disappointment, as you’ll likely find capacity restrictions still exist in many places.
While it may aggravate some that restrictions are still in place, we think it’s a small price to pay for a truly unforgettable holiday in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
The slopes and scenery are waiting – you just need to come and enjoy it! If Chalet Heavenly sounds like a bit of you, check out the rest of our website for more details – and fill in the contact form to enquire.