After a successful summer season, the French Alps are gearing up for what is set to be an unusual winter in the mountains. Many have already announced what measures they're going to take to ensure that everyone's safe on the slopes this winter. This is how the ski season is going to look like, summing up the ski resort's Covid-19 protocols.
Skiing and snowboarding are quite safe from a pandemic point of view. You're mostly outdoors, keeping your distance from other skiers and wearing protective gear like gloves, goggles and ski masks. However, there are places where maintaining a safe distance is more difficult. Lifts, public transport, ski schools, ski hire shops, accommodation, bars and restaurants are the main focus of these measures.
On the lifts
The ski resorts have had a couple of months this summer to test out their Covid-19 safety measures on lifts so they've fined tuned them for the winter. So far, they won't be limiting the number of people in the mountain at the same time, although this may change depending on how the pandemic develops.
This is how you'll be able to keep you safe on lifts:
- Face masks will be mandatory for anyone aged 11 and over not only while riding the lifts but also while waiting to board
- Public areas will be disinfected regularly
- You should buy ski passes online in advance and use home delivery or resort pick-up boxes
- Use of ground markings to ensure safe distancing while queuing
- Hand sanitiser available at ski pass offices and lift boarding areas
On public transport
Meribel has a great network of free shuttles connecting the resort and the pistes. This winter, there will be a protocol to follow while riding them:
- Face masks will be obligatory on public transport
- Drivers will be in charge of disinfecting the buses
- You'll have to use separate doors to board and disembark the shuttles
At the ski hire shops & ski schools
- Wearing face masks, which are obligatory for anyone aged 11 and over
- Using hand sanitiser, which will be available in ski hire shops and ski schools
- Knowing that the material and all the indoor surfaces have been disinfected
In your chalet or apartment
Self-catering will undoubtedly be very popular this winter – staying only with your group means fewer chances of getting infected. However, chalet companies are taking measures to ensure that catered accommodation is as safe as possible. This is what they're going to do:
- Staff will be wearing face masks
- All areas will be disinfected regularly
- Booking policies have been updated and many accommodation providers now offer flexible cancellations and full refunds when trips are cancelled because of Coronavirus. Check for the Covid-Proof Booking symbol on our Apartments and Chalets pages
- Implement contactless catered holidays – meals will be laid out before you sit at your table and cleaning taking place while you're out
In any case, your accommodation provider will be able to inform you about the specific measures they're taking – we recommend you ask them directly before booking.
In bars & restaurants
It's not a proper ski holiday if you can't enjoy a spot of apres-ski or a piping hot pizza after a hard day on the slopes. That's why restaurants and bars in Meribel are implementing strict protocols to make sure everyone's safe.
- Staff will be wearing face masks at all times and washing their hands frequently
- Patrons will also have to wear masks, except when sitting at their tables
- You will also need to show a vaccine passport or certificate ("Pass Sanitaire") to be allowed in
- Table service only and at least 1 metre between tables
- Hand sanitiser will be available
- Surfaces and spaces will be disinfected regularly
- Contactless menus are encouraged, be it by using QR codes, good old blackboards...
- Contactless payment will also be preferred
In events & activities
There will still be events and activities organised in resort but they'll have to follow a set of rules;
- Face masks will be mandatory for anyone aged 11 and over
- Attendance will be reduced by at least 50%
- All areas and materials will be disinfected, and hand sanitiser available
- Online booking online will be encouraged, and contactless payment preferred
- Outdoor events and activities will be preferred
- Cancelling policies will be more flexible