With the recent snowfalls on the local mountains in France comes the start of the new ski season.
Unfortunately, not without some rules set into place by the government of France due to the Coronavirus (that could continue to change) but still, far more relaxed and open than in the past winter season.
When it comes to travel, France’s borders are open to “green” countries, including all EU and Schengen zone countries, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with proof of vaccination or a recently obtained negative Covid test.
Only fully vaccinated visitors will be welcomed from those on the “orange” country list, such as the USA and the United Kingdom. No proof of vaccination means people will be denied entry. For those who’ve been double vaxxed, no test is required upon arrival.
Testing applies to everyone over 12 years of age, though unvaccinated 12 to18 year-olds can travel with an adult who is fully vaccinated.
At the resorts, there are specific guidelines laid out in early November by Prime Minister Jean Castex. Protective masks are required in ski lift lines and in gondolas, but not on open chair lifts or other open-air places on the mountain when skiing.
Currently, health passes are not mandatory to access ski lifts, but this will change, says the PM, if the country’s incidence rate climbs over 200.
Businesses at the resorts will also have to adhere to the rules, so they may also impose some limits such as extra cleaning protocols and ongoing monitoring of group sizes in their establishments.
National rules still apply for areas like public transport and all indoor public spaces where it is compulsory to wear a mask. There are no exemptions to the mask rule and those who do not wear a mask can expect to pay fines of €135.
Restaurants, bars, and cafes do not, in general, require masks as these places require a health pass to gain entry, though owners of these establishments are free to impose whatever regulation they wish on this front, and can bar entry to anyone who refuses to comply. Hotels usually ask that masks be worn in communal areas. Bookings for holiday chalet rentals have been coming in fast since the end of September so if you require a property, now is the time to book with your exact dates, the number of guests, and a budget range would expedite things and get you exactly what you require.
Overall, life in France does feel more back to normal in many ways, these current rules seem to be second nature at this point for many of us that live in the country and everyone seems excited to hit the slopes and celebrate the winter season.