Covid-19 Rules on Ski Slopes in France for Next Winter

A health pass will not be needed to use ski lifts, though masks will need to be worn. President Macron has announced some further details about the criteria for the ‘pass sanitaire’ that will be needed in the resorts next winter. UPDATED

The Prime Minister,  Jean Castex, has announced that a pass will not be needed on ski lifts unless there are 200 confirmed cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

At present France has a national case rate of 75 per 100,000 people.

More than 80% of people over 12-years-old has been vaccinated.

The EU average is 67%.

The rules are intended to “guarantee a dignified season” according to the Prime Minister.

Social distancing in lift queues will be compulsory and will be monitored.

Once on an open chairlift masks can be removed, but they must be kept on while skiers and snowboarders are in cable cars and gondolas.

Masks are not required in other open spaces or while skiing.

Some ski areas have imposed their own restrictions including limitations on group sizes and extra cleaning protocols.

Many hotels require face masks in communal areas.

The only ski resort currently open is Tignes.

Val Thorens is due to open on November 20th and PlanetSKI is planning to be there for its season opening.

We will be reporting in detail on how restrictions work in practice.

Val Thorens, France. Image © S.BERTHON - OT Val Thorens.

Val Thorens, France. Image © S.BERTHON – OT Val Thorens.

Ski resorts will need to obey all national measures.

At present a health pass is required to go into venues including cafés, bars, restaurants, leisure centres, cinemas and theatres.

The pass is also needed for long-distance train travel and flying.

The health pass requires either proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test taken within the past 72- hours.

The health pass is compulsory for all people over 12-years old.

There are no exemptions to the mask rules in France and people who disobey the rules can be fined €135.

Facemask in France

Facemask in France

On Tuesday evening President Macron made a televised address to the nation giving more details.

He announced an expansion of France’s vaccine booster programme and that boosters would be a requirement for a health pass for the over 65s.

He said that from December 15th, the health pass will cease to be valid for over 65s who are eligible for the booster shot, but have not had it.

Health passes for over-65s will automatically be deactivated six months and five weeks after people have had their second jab.

“Vaccinate yourself to protect yourselves. Vaccinate yourselves to be able to live normally,” President Macron said.

“Being free, in a nation, like France, implies responsibility and solidarity.”

“More than 30,000 new cases per day have been recorded in the UK and Germany.

“The 40 percent rise in the incidence rate and the increase in hospitalisations is a warning sign.”

The French parliament has already agreed measures to extend the health pass legislation beyond its current expiry date of November 15th.

“We have not finished with the pandemic. Immunity decreases and therefore the risk of developing a serious form of Covid increases. The solution is an additional vaccine shot,” Macron said.

80% of Covid patients in intensive care units are over 50-years old as their immunity reduces.  wanes.

On Tuesday France reported 12,000 new confirmed cases – the highest in recent months.

In December booster jabs will be extended for those aged between 50 and 64.

Image © PlanetSKI