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FRENCH SKI RESORTS DIGEST EASING OF LOCKDOWN

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has outlined the plans of the country as it looks to ease some of the country’s tough restrictions. It will affect the summer season and people are beginning to look at what the next winter season may look like.

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Government coronavirus advice

Government coronavirus advice

The country hopes to make the changes, if conditions are right, on May 11th and they will last until June 2nd.

Further easing may then take place if the circumstances allow.

Shops will re-open, the rules on local movement will change but bars and restaurants will remain closed.

Beaches will continue to be closed but there is no specific word on ski resorts.

“It will be possible to practice an individual sporting activity outdoors, obviously respecting the rules of social distancing,” said the Prime Minister.

“It will not be possible, neither to practice sport in covered places, nor team or contact sports.”

For the ski resorts looking to open for summer it looks like they will be very different places with no sporting events allowed and restrictions.

Gatherings on public roads or in private places will be limited to just 10 people.

Les2Alpes has already said it had planned to open on June 6th and was working on holding its summer events such as the Mountain of Hell downhill mountain biking event.

That will be unable to go ahead under the lifting of restrictions announced so far.

No sporting events will be staged in the country before September – even those without any spectators present.

It was due to take place June 26- 28.

This year it was to have had a James Bond theme.

Mountain of Hell

Mountain of Hell

The Tour de France was due to start on June 27th.

It has already been moved to August 29th and it will likely have to move again if it is to take place in 2020.

Main points of May 11th changes:

  • No permission slip needed for local travel after May 11th, as long as people are not travelling more than 100km from home
  • Long distance travel allowed only for essential reasons
  • France to carry out 700,000 tests a week after May 11th
  • Those who test positive must be isolated for 14 days either at home or in special accommodation
  • Masks will be made compulsory in some sectors, for example on the metro and in secondary schools
  • Everyone working from home should continue to do so
  • Crèches to reopen, but with max 10 children in each group
  • Maximum 15 pupils in each school class
  • Shops to reopen
  • Bars, restaurants, cinemas and beaches remain closed
  • Public gatherings of up to 10 people allowed
  • No religious ceremonies before June
  • Rules may vary between départements

Here at PlanetSKI we will be updating this article when the ski resorts have announced their plans.

The resorts will be looking ahead to the winter season too and examining the options given that some social distancing measures will likely be needed.

The ski industry will likely need to operate in a very different landscape next winter.

INTERNAL & EXTERNAL BORDER CONTROLS + MOVEMENT

The big question for resorts, and indeed the whole of the travel and tourism industry, is whether there will still be internal movement restrictions within countries and border controls.

Germany is extending its travel warning for unnecessary international travel until 14 June.

The Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas , says the warning is being extended because there has been no change to the danger posed by the pandemic.

“Naturally we all hope we won’t need this travel warning after June 14,” he said.

According to Johns Hopkins University data, Germany currently has 159,912 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and 6,314 deaths from the virus.

Some German states start their summer holidays at the end of June, so there are worries that the warnings could affect people’s holidays.

There is also the question of what external border controls may look like.

Last weekend the Sunday Telegraph and the Mail on Sunday reported on the UK looking at introducing a quarantine system for people entering the country.

People entering the UK could be quarantined for two weeks in a move designed to help stem the spread of Coronavirus

Other countries will be looking at a similar arrangement.

“A stringent, Singapore-style approach at our ports will help the UK manage the risk from travellers entering the country and reduce the possibility of a second peak,” said a government source to the newspapers.

“We are looking at deploying these measures at the right time, in line with the scientific advice and when community transmission has been significantly reduced.”

Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Greece and Singapore are among countries that have already implemented a 14-day quarantine system.

The question for the alpine tourism industry is, if such rules are widely introduced then when will they be lifted?

Will they last for the summer or perhaps longer.

Summer skiing usually takes place at Les2Alpes and Tignes.

Summer skiing in Les2Alpes

Summer skiing in Les2Alpes

“The French people are going to have to learn to live with the virus,” the Prime Minister said.

“As long as we don’t have a vaccine or have collective immunity the virus will continue to circulate among us.”

“Any second wave of infections would mean a second wave of confinement. It is a serious risk that must be taken seriously.”

France has reported more than 23,000 COVID-19 deaths, the fourth-highest total in the world.

Only the USA, Italy and Spain have suffered more reported fatalities during the coronavirus pandemic.

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