Keen to hit the slopes this Winter? Unsure on what to expect? Mountain Action Holidays have you got you covered. Below, we answer some of the most common questions asked about joining us in the French Alps this winter.
First of all, what are the latest lockdown rules in France?
As a large nation with both urban and rural communities, these can vary greatly. For Chamonix, face masks are required in any indoor setting as well as when you are outdoors in the Chamonix Town Centre. You are not required to quarantine or self-isolate upon arrival in France, but currently are required for two weeks on your return to the UK. Additionally, bars and restaurants are operating but with some restrictions on group size and seating arrangements.
Are they likely to change?
Like everywhere else in the world, Chamonix is vulnerable to change due to Covid-19. Beyond the measures that we have already seen so far - like tougher restrictions or closures - it’s unlikely that any new policies will come into play. Obviously this judgement is made by experts and is continuously monitored, so we will keep you posted if we hear anything before you.
We can however tell you that the requirement to wear a face mask in outdoor and indoor areas of downtown Chamonix has been extended until at least the 1st November, with more regional news likely soon. More information about this can be found here.
Which amenities are open?
Generally speaking, all of them! Shops are now open again, with some instances of limited capacity (one in, one out) and of course face masks are a must.
Bars and Restaurants are open with a limit of 10 people in a group. Additional measures are being taken to ensure you remain at least 1m away from other groups, with extra sanitation efforts being made in between covers.
Other popular tourist spots are operating as you would expect, with areas like tourism centres and parks open to the public. More information about any specific practices can be made known to you on arrival or nearer the time of your journey.
Are you still able to ascend the mountain?
Short answer; Yes. Long Answer; Yes, but with more restrictions in place than winters passed. The majority of cable cars are now designed to carry smaller groups to the top anyway, with these cars no longer being shared between mixed parties. However, it’s more complicated for some cable cars, as in some cases they are designed for many mountaineers to squeeze in.
Whilst nothing is official yet, they are likely to operate on significantly smaller capacity, perhaps even with a booking system required. Thankfully, all of the major ski routes do not have the larger cable cars any more. Le Tour, Grande Monte, Les Houches, Brevent and Flegere - the latest lift to being revamped and conveniently just in time - are all accessible using the smaller cable cars (or “support bubble”, if you prefer!).
Once you’re on the mountain, chairlifts are only partially filled, with the two outer seats on a 4-person lift being used to maintain social distance. The smaller, 2-person lifts will take a single skier/boarder to the top. Plenty of room for your poles at least!
What about ski hire?
Ski hire is operating exactly how you would expect, with additional measures being taken to sanitise all equipment thoroughly between customer use. Additionally, online and contactless booking is being strongly encouraged.
Are chalet’s operating differently?
This can vary from chalet to chalet but as a whole, no not really. Catered ski holidays are still operating as you may have experienced before, with scrutinous and thorough sanitisation being practiced between stays. The main difference is that you are much more likely to have the place to yourself, as the mixing of groups is being actively discouraged.
Whilst we’re confident there will be some great opportunities to hit the slopes this winter, we also understand that there is some uncertainty about how things can change. That’s why we’ve updated our terms to allow cancellation or rescheduling 2 weeks before your arrival date. Learn more about our winter packages with some of the links below: