Although stressing that anything could change, the body which represents most leading French ski resort, France Montagnes, has said they hope operations will be pretty normal this winter …but with masks on, social distancing, and a lot of cleaning and sanitising.
In common with most announcements from European ski nations so far, there are no plans to limit the number of people on the mountain, nor riding on lifts. There are no plans to limit the numbers taking group ski lessons together either, beyond whatever the normal maximum is. This contrasts with North America where limited numbers on the mountain and on lift chairs and cabins are planned by (it so far appears) all Canadian and US resorts.
The main themes of the French plans announced by France Montagnes include:
- Wearing a face mask is compulsory in most public areas around the resort, including on ski buses and riding lifts for those aged 11 or over.
- Social distancing of 1 metre (40 inches) is required.
- Regular hand sanitising is required.
- Table-service only in restaurants.
France Montagnes note that all contact areas, hired equipment and any other area frequently used by multiple people will be cleaned frequently by resort staff. They also point out there is a shared responsibility between resort staff and guests in resorts to abide by the rules.
France Montagnes point out though that it’s an everchanging situation and that things can change fast, although hopefully not as fast as last March, when skiers arrived in French resorts for their holidays on the morning of Saturday 14th March, filled their apartment fridges, rented their gear and bought their lift passes before being advised a French government edict required them to leave again immediately.
Most French mountain resorts have operated through the summer so have experience now of operating through the pandemic.
The French 20-21 ski season is due to start in just over a fortnight on the glacier at Tignes on October 10th, subject to snow conditions.