Compulsory Health Passes Likely for French Ski Resorts Next Winter
21st September 2021
Last modified on September 28th, 2021
The government is encouraging the introduction of passes for ski holidays in France this winter. Other ski nations in Europe have restrictions already operating or planned for the winter. UPDATED
The French government claims it would give reassurance to those booking a ski holiday and for local residents fearful of visitors unintentionally bring Covid-19 with them.
The Secretary of State for Tourism has been discussing the options with ski resort representatives this week.
“I don’t see why we wouldn’t have a winter season. We’ve opened the nightclubs and I don’t see why we couldn’t reopen the chair lifts and telecabines,” said the Junior Tourism Minister, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, to France Inter.
The health pass could be a requirement for buying a ski pass and checking into accommodation.
“The health pass has proved its effectiveness because it allows you to practice activities in complete health safety,” the minister added.
“It is very important, because there is has a public demand for health reinsurance, and then it has shown that it could also be combined with a good maintenance of turnover.”
The government wants the ski resorts to implement the policy themselves, rather than being ordered to do so by the government.
Last season the government in Paris ordered the ski resorts to close their lifts, but some of the infrastructure like hotels were able to open.
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The president of Domaine skiable de France, Alexandre Maulin, said that a system for next winter could be very simple.
For example, people who have met the vaccination and testing requirements could be issued with a coloured bracelet, similar to those already used in Club Hotels in France over the summer.
The pass sanitaire (health passport) is currently in use in France and is required for a range of venues including bars, cafés, cinemas, tourist sites and long-distance train travel.
People need to show proof of either vaccination, recent recovery from Covid or a recent negative Covid test.
The pass was introduced in June and from August 9th it was extended to other settings and venues.
Austria has also recent extended rules and restrictions.
People will only be allowed to ski on the country’s slopes if they can present a coronavirus pass.
Cable cars and gondolas will only be able to be used by people who can prove they have either been fully vaccinated, have recently recovered from the virus or have tested negative.
People will need to wear FFP2 face masks.
There will be no rules on social distancing or a maximum capacity in the lifts.
“This year there will definitely be winter holidays in Austria. We have developed strict rules for a safe winter,” said the Tourism Minister, Elisabeth Koestinger.
A health pass will likely be needed for apres ski bars as they will be classified as nightclubs.
“There will no longer be apres-ski as before the pandemic,” said the governor of the Tirol, Guenther Platter.
Switzerland has a similar requirement.
People entering Switzerland who have not been vaccinated or recovered from the virus will need to provide a negative test result from this week.
“Infections are going down, but they remain at a high level – too high,” said health minister Alain Berset.
“We are now taking a view to autumn holidays.”
All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, need to fill out a form, while those needing to provide evidence that they are free of the disease should get a second test 4-7 days after arriving in Switzerland.
Switzerland recently imposed a requirement for people to show a Covid-status certificate to enter bars, restaurants and other indoor spaces, plus events.
Italy has revealed what things may be like next winter in the ski resorts.
A decree has been signed today, Thursday September 23rd, looking forward to ski resorts operating from 15th October with an 80% capacity in cable cars and gondolas.
Other rules will also be in place.
It is the first ski nation to give a clear indication of what things may look like next season.
See here for the full details:
It has already ordered all people who work in ski resorts to be vaccinated.
There has been some initial reaction from readers over on the PlanetSKI Facebook page – feel free to add your comments.
Nick Davies: We already have to have Passé Sanitaire in France, so only right that it should continue into the Winter. And only fair to expect anybody visiting to be vaccinated!! We want tourists and a winter season of skiing (with lifts).
Annie Gardner: What about kids? We have 2 fourteen year olds as yet not vaccinated.
Nick Sharpin: Good. No big deal, just load your UK vaccination record into the French app. Job done.
Anna Tutt: Nick Sharpin it is a big deal if you’re aged 12-18 as currently they can’t get an NHS Covid Pass either for double vaccination or even for proof of recovery from Covid whether they like it or not!
Here at PlanetSKI we will be reporting on all the rules, restrictions and changes as they happen in order for you to make informed choice about skiing and snowboarding this approaching winter.