The French government has published the rules for using ski lifts at resorts in the country this winter.
“The 250 French ski areas now have a clear roadmap for opening and welcoming ski enthusiasts and holidaymakers who are looking forward to enjoying snow activities,” a statement from trade body The French Ski Areas Association states.
The key rules are:
Masks must be worn by everyone from the age of 11 on all ski lifts except drag lifts/conveyors and in lift queues. Masks are also recommended for children aged 6 to 11 but not compulsory.
Masks must normally be “surgical quality” (AFNOR SPEC S76-001 certification). Cloth masks and Buff style are NOT normally acceptable unless especially adapted to this surgical standard. However wearing a mask is not required when actually skiing or snowboarding.
Social distancing and one-way systems must be respected, lift operators will make hand sanitizer available which should be used.
The French Health Pass will be required to use the lifts and go on the slopes if case numbers in France exceed 200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. In that case The Health Pass will become compulsory from the age of 12, in addition to wearing a mask. If this happens the French government will announce the change on the Tuesday before it comes into force for the following Saturday. The Health Pass is equivalent to the NHS coronavirus passport. If cases do not go above 200 cases per 100,000 inhabitants it will not be required to show the pass.
Last ski season the country’s ski resorts could open to tourists, but lifts were not allowed to operate.
Several French resorts including Montgenevre, Tignes and Val Thorens have already opened for the 21-22 season with the rest planning to open over the next four weekends.
Porte Puymorens has also become the first ski area to open in the Pyrenees (pictured top).
Chamonix, Les 2 Alpes and Val d’Isere are among areas expected to open for their 21-22 ski seasons this coming weekend.