France Confirms Covid Rules for Ski Resorts

The 250 French ski areas now have a roadmap for opening and the measures needed. Much is known already but this is final confirmation. Resorts in France are already starting to open over the next few weeks. However cases are rising sharply and further measures are expected shortly. UPDATED

There are no great surprises and we have covered what the rules and regulations are expected to be here on PlanetSKI.

This protocol is in line with the announcements made by the Prime Minister, Jean Castex,  on November 6th in Grand Bornand in the Haute Savoie.

At the weekend the resort of Val Thorens opened with the rules in place.

PlanetSKI was in resort reporting on the experience and what skiing is like under the new rules:

Val Thorens, Image c/o Chris Moran/PlanetSKI

Val Thorens, Image c/o Chris Moran/PlanetSKI

Here are the rules as explained by the French Ski Areas Association:

Masks and Social Distancing

  • Wearing a mask is compulsory from the age of 11 in all ski lifts and in the waiting lines.
  • Masks are recommended for children aged 6 to 11.
  • Only surface lifts and conveyor belts may be exempted from wearing masks if they are used by only one user at a time.
  • Skiers are required to wear a surgical mask or a category 1 fabric mask (AFNOR SPEC S76-001 certification).
  • Concerning neck gaiters, only those that are filtering and certified will be allowed as an alternative to masks.Very practical for skiing and adapted to this protocol, approved neck gaiters can be put on and taken off in a few seconds.
  • Skiers must respect distances between people or groups of people travelling together in the waiting lines.
  • Protective measures must be applied throughout the ski area.
  • Lift operators will make hand sanitizer available at relevant locations.
  • Mask wearing regulations are also subject to changes by the regional Prefect.
  • Wearing a mask is not required while skiing.
Val Thorens, Image c/o Chris Moran/PlanetSKI

Val Thorens, Image c/o Chris Moran/PlanetSKI

So, what happens if the Covid-19 situation deteriorates?

“This protocol may be reviewed and adapted according to evolutions in the health situation,” said the French Ski Areas Association.

If the national incidence rate in France exceeds 200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the Health Pass will become compulsory from the age of 12, in addition to wearing a mask.

The rate across France currently stands at 189, but it is rising.

A week ago it was 129.

Two weeks ago it was 75 per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period.

It seems inevitable the figure will pass 200 in a matter of days and ski resorts are preparing for the eventuality and it is likely a Pass Sanitaire will be needed to use the ski lifts.

The French government said it will announce the implementation of the Health Pass instruction several days in advance in order for resorts and authorities to organise themselves.

The UK’s Covid Pass is recognised by the French authorities.

It shows if people have been double jabbed and the booster in now on the NHS App.

An official announcement of any change to the French regulations will be made on a Tuesday, for implementation the following Saturday.

The Health Pass will be controlled by QR-code.

The protocol provides for controls on people in ski lift sales offices, ski classes, and at the start of ski lifts.

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Image © PlanetSKI