French ski resorts return to ‘normal’ as Covid rules disappear

The vaccination pass and the obligation to wear masks indoors are abolished in France from this Monday. This is good news for ski resorts as they enter the final six weeks of their season.

The lifting of restrictions on March 14 means ski resorts will begin to look much like they did before the pandemic.

Masks will still be required on public transport, including gondolas and cable cars.

In our recent experience, however, the reality is that the mandatory mask rule in ski lifts is rarely strictly enforced.

Perhaps the biggest change is that a vaccine pass will no longer be required to enter places such as restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other recreational facilities.

The vaccine pass is one of the rules most widely enforced by restaurants and bars on the mountain and resort – even for those seated outside – because business owners knew that they could be subject to spot checks.

Vaccination passes were checked for outdoor dining here in La Plagne – photo © PlanetSKI

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The vaccine pass also had to be checked in the lifts, although we saw no signs of this in the days before the rules were relaxed.

The vaccine pass had been a problem for some families with unvaccinated children aged 12 to 15.

So the return to pre-Covid normality for the rest of the season – and especially the Easter holidays – is good news.

Many ski resorts had already reported a surge in bookings once some of the tougher restrictions – including the need for fully vaccinated people to present proof of a negative test to travel to France – lifted.

La Plagne, March 2022 – photo © PlanetSKI

“We have returned to the same level as before the Covid”, told us Séverine Gonthier from the La Plagne tourist office.

“The February holidays may have even been the best of our lives or at least for a few years.

“We weren’t very happy at the start of the season to hear that you Brits couldn’t come here. It was very bad news for us.

“January was a bit down but February was very good and our bookings for March and April are good too.”

La Plagne remains open until April 30, with the link to neighboring Les Arcs closing a week earlier on the 23rd.

“We have more and more late bookings from the UK and other markets like Belgium and the Netherlands,” Martine Achard of the mountain tourism association France Montagnes told us.

“Some stations say they are busier than they were two or even three years ago.”

The picture is much the same in Les Menuires in the huge 3 Valleys ski area, according to Estelle Roy from the resort’s tourist office.

Les Menuires – photo © PlanetSKI

She says Les Menuires is busier than ever in March.

“Our hotels are full. It is very difficult to get a room,” she said.

PlanetSKI has just spent 5 days in La Plagne and Les Menuires.

It was quite a trip:

At PlanetSKI we do our best to ensure that the information provided here is as complete and up-to-date as possible. However, please be aware that we accept no liability in this regard. The information provided by PlanetSKI must be verified with the official information provided by the authorities. The situation regarding travel advisories and local rules is changing rapidly.

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