France Introduce Tough New Covid-19 Border Restrictions

It has closed its borders to most non-EU travel, but has stopped short of imposing a third national lockdown. The ski resorts are breathing a small sigh of relief as at least domestic tourism can continue albeit with ski lifts remaining shut.


The government met last Wednesday and has since been studying recent data.

From Sunday 31st January all but essential travel from outside of the EU is now banned and that includes the UK as it has left the rules of the EU.

Testing requirements from inside the EU have also been tightened.

Police have increased the enforcement of the evening curfew and other rules already in place.

The announcement was made by the Prime Minister, PM Jean Castex.

“We know the grave impact [of a lockdown]. Tonight, looking at the data of the past few days, we consider that we can still give ourselves a chance to avoid one,” he said on national television on Friday night.

Restrictions are strict in ski resorts but it means they can continue operating as they are with accommodations open and bars/restaurants allowed to sell takeaways.

The resorts are stressing all the other activities on offer in the mountains and the benefits of nature in these coronavirus times.

The resort of Morzine is a case in point.

“Morzine is not just a ski resort but also a magnificent mountain village where, during the next holidays, you can partake in numerous outdoor activities, such as ski touring, cross-country skiing, sledging, snowshoe outings or many more activities, plus a reinforced entertainment programme that has been specially developed to respect the sanitary situation,” said the resort.

Other resorts like Les Menuires in Les3Vallees are following a similar path.

British run ski businesses out in the French mountains have long since given up on the UK market and have turned their attentions to the French domestic market”

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Infections remain high in France, despite recent rule tightening.

France has the highest number of cases per 100,000 people over a 7-day period of the major alpine nations.

It stands at 177.

Italy is 144, Switzerland is 142 and Austria at 117.

Germany is 102.

In the Pyrenees the figures are higher with Andorra on 515 and Spain at 527.

Further north in Scandinavia Sweden has 209 per 100,000 of population, while in Finland it is 44 and in Norway it is 38.

The UK remains on 3o1.

The option of a third national lockdown in France remains very real, but for now things remain much the same within its borders.

“We want to do everything we can to avoid another lockdown. The coming days will be decisive. Let’s be very vigilant,” said Prime Minster Castex.