Lots of people are asking me how I think Skiing this winter and COVID will be. And perhaps most importantly what restrictions and rules I think will be in place. With this in mind I thought I would write this blog so that the information is available to everyone!
I am based in Les Deux Alpes, France so am basing my thoughts on France rather than other European countries which will all have slightly different rules and regulations.
COVID has been with us for nearly 2 years now and there are some lasting effects from the pandemic. There are also some “new rules” that will stay with us for a while, I am going to highlight these in relation to skiing here in this blog.
The pass sanitaire is the French vaccine passport and will be a key part of your ski holiday this winter and COVID rules. Whilst you do not require a pass sanitaire to ski you will require one for other elements of your holiday.
When you receive your vaccination in France you get a certificate with a QR code and the information of your particular vaccine and dates on this. This can be carried in the paper format, scanned onto your phone or put into the French COVID app TousAntiCovid. Your NHS vaccines can also be put into this app which can be downloaded here. Apple Version, Android version.
If you are not vaccinated a recent (less than 72 hours) PCR test is acceptable as a pass, as is an antigen test (less than 48 hours). These are widely available in France but payable from 1st October unless you have a prescription from your doctor.
In France, currently (I say this as rules change regularly and this blog will be updated as rule changes come in!) the pass sanitaire is required to enter all bars and restaurants. This includes the terraces. You are allowed to order takeaway food and drink without a pass.
The pass is also needed for long distance travel on public transport. The TGV, internal flights, inter-regional buses etc. For cinemas, theatres, Bowling and other places with large gatherings of people. The full updated list can be found here.
In France there is a big movement to vaccinate children over the age of 12. The pass sanitaire and its requirements are currently only for adults. However from 30th September children 12 and over will be included in these requirements.
You do not need a pass sanitaire to ski. The ski lifts are not affected by this rule so even if you have not been vaccinated you can ski.
The rules on the pass sanitaire are changed regularly as the pandemic evolves and the latest rules can be found here. We will also regularly update this blog to include the most recent information. You can also ask any questions in the comments and we will do our best to answer them.
Face Masks / Coverings
Face masks are a common feature in France. Unlike the UK they are still obligatory in certain Situations. Skiing this winter and COVID rules will include face masks or coverings.
Face masks or coverings are required on ALL lifts and in ALL lift queues. This includes the open air lifts! Face masks are not required whilst actually skiing.
We have been skiing on our glacier all summer so have had some time to come up with suitable solutions for this. As you can imagine putting on and taking off a mask each time you get on a lift is a pain with helmets and beanies etc. So we at TipTop Ski Coaching have ordered buffs that are made of mask material. This is an excellent solution as you just pull them up over your mouth and nose as you arrive at the lift queue and can pull them down again as you ski off. We will have these for sale very soon should you wish to buy one. I will add the link as soon as I have received the order!
When moving around in bars and restaurants masks are obligatory. Shops and all public transport also require you to wear masks or face coverings. So bringing a good supply of masks with you on your ski holiday would be a good idea. Again we have TipTop Ski Coaching masks for sale should you want a material mask! Our anti COVID buffs are also acceptable for bars and restaurants.
Hotels require people to wear masks in communal areas. Again a nice comfortable material mask or TipTop anti COVID buff is no problem and you can take it off as soon as you sit down in the bar or restaurant and of course in your rooms!
Covid in France
Cases of COVID are currently very low in France. Today we are showing only 1309 new cases. This number is perhaps very positive as it still an overlap from the weekend but on 24th September there were only 5972 cases so we are consistently showing well under the 6000 mark. The R number is at 0.72 showing the pandemic is decreasing in France.
France is also doing very well with its vaccination program. 50.15million people have had their first vaccination. 83.7% of the French population, over the age of 12, are fully vaccinated.
You can watch the numbers and percentages within the TousAntiCovid application should you wish.
Ready for this winter
I hope that this information is helpful to everyone and we will do our best to update it as rules and situations evolve. Should you have any direct questions please leave them in the comments and I will check in regularly to answer! We also have information on our facebook page and of course for those of you wanting to see how the snow is falling we will be regularly posting on instagram!
Stay safe and allow yourselves to start looking forward to that much deserved ski holiday this winter! TipTop Ski Coaching are now taking bookings for this winter and will also be available during the Toussaints (october) holidays for lessons on our Les Deux Alpes Glacier.
I have done my utmost to ensure that this information is correct at the time of publishing. However, things change quickly so please do make sure you check for yourselves as well!