Earlier this year, SnowSkool joined a Webinar organised by Atout France, it focused on the precatutions being taken to make sure people can safely visit French ski resorts next season. The speakers were from Vinci Airport (who run the airports of Chambery, Grenoble & Lyon), Compagnie des Alpes (who manages ski lifts in various resorts around the Alps, including Méribel) and from Three Valleys specifically. The caveat preceding every point made by every speaker was, of course, that these are tentative plans and the situation (and the response to it) are evolving constantly. We’re also part of a number of industry groups and are having fortnightly conversations with a group of seven other companies operating in Méribel, and we are discussing and sharing knowledge on how we can safely host students and run catered chalets this season.
We’ll endeavour to keep you updated, with the latest information from all of the above sources. Please check this page often. (Latest update: October)
Below is what we know so far, about Coronavirus measures in Méribel and The Three Valleys, and how it will affect our SnowSkoolers:
At the airports, it will be mandatory to wear a face mask from arrival at the departing airport until departure from the arriving airport. There will be information screens throughout, floor markings to aid distancing and hand sanitiser stations. There will also be a COVID-19 specific Medical Centre at many airports (confirmed so far at Lyon) where passengers can have various procedures performed such as a temperature check.
Transfer companies aren’t being particularly concrete or forthcoming with their latest regulations – so make sure you confirm with your specific provider. Most likely it will be essential to wear masks, but other rule may vary.
Buses and public transport in the resort will be running as normal. Facemasks must be worn by anyone over the age of 11, and passengers must try to keep 1m apart. Drivers will be responsible for disinfecting surfaces.
In supermarkets and shops, the same rules apply as (currently) in the UK. Facemasks must be worn at all times, try to keep at least 1m away from others, and use hand sanitiser. Vendors are responsible for disinfecting their shops/products.
On the slopes, lifts are also considered ‘public transport’, so the same applies as on the buses: you must wear a mask throughout the ride (including the queue); and staying 1m away from other people is your responsibility. There won’t be any changes to the capacity of each lift. These rules apply to all lifts from gondolas, to chair lifts, buttons and T-bars.
Masks, on the lifts, must be specific masks – buffs, scarfs, coat collars will not be accepted. This is each individual’s responsibility.
All our accommodation will be undergo extra cleaning. Regular disinfecting of high touch points in communal areas and hand sanitisers will be the norm in all of SnowSkool's accommodation in Méribel. We are creating bubbles where each instructor training group will be housed together in a chalet, but we also have a number of spare rooms (that will hopefully remain empty for the duration of the course) that will be invaluable if isolation is required.
Restaurants and bars in The Three Valleys have been open this summer and coping well. Staff wear masks and regularly sanitise, some screens have been erected. Customers do not need to wear masks when seated, eating or drinking, but will need to wear masks when entering/exiting the building, getting up, or visiting the toilet. As it stands, you can only dine in groups of six or less.
Après will look a little different to before, but bars are keen to maintain the experience and have it go ahead! Table service and social distancing will replace packed bar queues. Similarly to restaurants, when après moves inside – facemasks will have to be worn.
Other environments like sports centres, mountain refuges, cinemas and libraries follow similar regulations: you must wear a mask to arrive, or when getting up. But, if you’re seated, eating, drinking or doing sport – you may remove your mask.
We’ll update any changes as we find them out. For more information in the meantime, here are some interesting webpages: