Covid-19 and what we know about Summer 2020

This information has been accrued from Governments in France, Italy and Austria and most importantly from the United Kingdom.
The announcements from the British Prime Minister on Sunday 9th May have given us some more positive news to pair with the French deconfinement procedure announced on May 7th.
Snowchateaux has been working as hard as we can to make sure when we are given the go-ahead, we are ready to provide the best holidays possible when we welcome you all back to the mountains.
Here’s what we know as of May 13th 2020

France Facts

  • The end of a strict lockdown in France began on May 11th. We are now allowed to ride bikes again, the forests are open and we can travel anything up to 100km without an ‘attestation’ to state why we are travelling, within our home region.

  • Shops under 4000m2 can re-open, with measures in place to regulate social distancing

  • Groups of up to 10 people may congregate but at a distance of 2m

  • Bars, cafes and restaurants will remain closed, reassessed by the end of May with a view to some opening at the beginning of June

  • Events of up to 5000 people cannot be held

  • Masks will be advised to wear in public areas and mandatory on public transport

  • The Haute Savoie, has been labelled as a ‘Green Zone’ meaning life returns to relative normality

Here is the link to the full deconfinement procedure – Deconfinement 

The procedure is split into different zones, by region, certain regions are harder hit than others, their liberties will be less than others.

This link from the British Embassy in Paris further details the Governments announcements and they have proven to be a good source of information.

An explanation of the map can be found here.

We also know that tourists or anyone entering France from within Schengen countries, to also include the UK, will NOT be required to quarantine on arrival. Though borders remain closed until at least June 15th. This was confirmed as a reciprocal arrangement between France and the UK, fully confirmed in these two links.

Joint statement between the UK and France

British Embassy in Paris

Flying Into Geneva

We have had many questions regarding flying into Geneva. As of May 12th, Frontline workers are now allowed to cross the border. This means that professional transfers companies can again cross the border with clients, as long as they have an airline ticket booked on the same day. This applies for departures and arrivals. Geneva Airport is also geographically situated in France, it has a French sector which has been operational throughout lockdown. You can arrive and depart from Geneva airport without entering Switzerland, though the transfer is around 30 minutes longer.

Statement from French Government on French/Swiss border 

Further details on what these points mean in a real travel scenario are due to be fleshed out soon, the details of which we will be sharing with you as soon as they are released and we understand what they mean to your holiday plans.
Lift Openings

(Information we have from resorts and lift companies, though dates may be subject to change if conditions force them to)

  • The Portes du Soleil lift system intends to be open fully on the 4th July

  • Morzine, Les Gets, Champery and Morgins intend to be fully open on June 27th

  • Les Gets intends to open it’s lift and trail network on the Chavannes side for weekends from May 30th

  • Champery-Morgins intends to open from June 11th

  • The full lifts system is scheduled to close by September 4th, but talks are underway to extend

  • The Morzine and Les Gets lift network will be open until 20th September

  • The Super Morzine lift system is confirmed to be opening July 4th and scheduled to close August 30th

  • The Les Gets round of the World Cup is still scheduled to go ahead

  • The Passportes du Soleil bike festival has been rescheduled to the last weekend in August

We are expecting updates every week if not more frequently as we approach the end of May, June 2nd is the date France have set to have every section of society reassessed and given a pathway to ‘business as usual’, or at least given new dates to work toward.

French State Of Emergency

There was much confusion over the recent announcement of the extension of the state of emergency until the 24th July in France.

To clarify what this means, it does not mean quarantine or lockdowns extend until that date.

What it does mean is that the French Government can move more quickly to impose restrictions or reinstate lockdowns until that date, should the situation deteriorate.
Where do we stand today?

There has been positive news over the last week, with no quarantine on travellers between the UK and France on either side of the border, scheduled lift openings, positive deconfinement procedures and a relaxing of lockdown rules. If the current trend of decreasing hospitalisations continues, we can expect further positive news.

For operating in France, we continue to aim for an opening date of June 27th, until we are told otherwise. We are making everything ready to go and will be up and running quickly once any rules for social distancing in our industry are outlined. We have been in discussions with our suppliers such as transfers and food outlets who all expect to and are ready to go as well.

There are so many questions, while we do not have all the answers, nobody does, we have been updating the FAQ on our Coronavirus page each time a question is asked more than once to help set your mind at ease.
Updating the Information
We are updating the information on this page each time we receive questions by email, as well as it is a source of the latest information we have, that is specific to us operating in 2020.
It remains that we wait and hope that the Government’s decisions can be influenced by positive news in relation to cases of Covid-19. The only way we can positively affect that is by being responsible, safe and understanding.
Keep asking us questions. We may not have all the answers or the answers you want. We are just mountain lovers like you, who want to get out on our bikes, be good to each other and provide luxury holidays. Whatever the safest and fastest way back to doing that is, we’ll be doing it, for us, and most importantly, for you.
The Team