The possibility of making health passes obligatory on French ski lifts is “under consideration” the Tourism Secretary, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said today (October 19).
“We continue to think about it, we are asking ourselves the question and will provide a response shortly,” Mr Lemoyne told Sud Radio.
“Ski resorts are following national laws, which notably affect restaurants and nightclubs which require presentation of a health pass.
“At this stage [resorts] have opened without a health pass requirement on ski lifts, but this should not be ruled out.
“The pass is what will allow them to stay open no matter what happens.
British tourists are very important to the French ski industry, and Mr Lemoyne is conscious that rising Covid rates across the Channel could create issues for alpine resorts.
“We are seeing that in the UK, the infection rate is very high. In France it is also rising slightly. The ski industry wants assurance that it will be able to remain open,” and that could necessitate the introduction of “a health pass [obligation],” he said.
Over 49,000 people in the UK tested positive for Covid yesterday (October 18), making for a weekly average of 43,000 people per day.
During the 2019/20 ski season, 9% of visitors to French ski resorts were British, while 74% were French, according to database company Statista.
UK holidaymakers formed the largest proportion of overseas visitors, equalling the total number of travellers from Spain, Belgium, Germany and Netherlands combined.
Mr Lemoyne added that making health passes compulsory on ski lifts should not present a problem to the majority of French people.
“Today 85% of eligible people have been vaccinated and the majority of people who visit ski resorts travel on a TGV train or on a plane, so they are often already required to show a health pass [or prove their vaccination status],” he said.
France’s ski resorts are preparing to resume their activities over the course of November and December, and Tignes has already reopened.
Holidaymakers must show their health pass to enter restaurants, bars and shared spaces in hotels, but do not currently need to do so on ski lifts.