France makes health pass compulsory for ski lifts

Among a raft of changes brought in as France tightens up its health rules, the health pass will now be required to access ski lifts.

Ski lift in France
French ski lifts will now require a health pass. Photo: Philippe Desmazes/AFP

The French health minister on Thursday announced a raft of changes to health rules, designed to stave off further lockdowns and curfews as France battles a fifth wave of Covid cases.

Among the changes were opening up the vaccine booster shot to all, tightening mask rules and linking booster shots to the health pass.

But there was one change specific to ski resorts – the health pass will now be required to access ski lifts.

This is not a total surprise, as announcing the rules for ski resorts earlier in the winter, Prime Minister Jean Castex said the health pass would be introduced if the incidence rate went over 200 cases per 100,000 people, which has now happened. 

READ ALSO Masks and health pass: The rules in French ski resorts this winter

It is already required to access a wide range of other venues, including bars, cafés, restaurants, tourist sites, leisure centres and long-distance train travel.

The health pass requires either proof of fully vaccinated status, proof of recent recovery from Covid or a recent negative Covid test. Tests had previously been valid for 72 hours but are now only valid with the health pass for 24 hours.

The health pass is required for anyone aged over 12 and children too must be ‘fully vaccinated’ according to the French definition, which means two shots of AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna or a single dose of AstraZeneca. 

You can read the full breakdown of ski resort rules HERE.

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‘Arrive early’: Passengers at European airports warned of travel disruption

Europe's airports chief told passengers to leave time for delays this summer as the air travel industry struggles to meet surging demand after the pandemic.

'Arrive early': Passengers at European airports warned of travel disruption

“The clear conjunction of a much quicker recovery with a very tight labour market is creating a lot of problems,” Olivier Jankovec, head of the Europe branch of the Airports Council International (ACI), told AFP.

He said there were issues from airports to airlines, ground handlers, police and border controls, but insisted: “The system still works”.

READ ALSO: Budget airline passengers in Europe face travel headaches as more strikes called

“It’s important for passengers that they communicate with the airlines in terms of when they should get to the airport, and prepare to come earlier than usual to make sure to have the time to go through, especially if they have to check luggage,” he said.

Strikes by low-cost pilots and cabin crew across Europe – including this weekend – are adding to the disruption.

Speaking at the ACI Europe annual congress in Rome, Jankovec said airports had taken measures to improve the situation, which would come into effect from mid-July.

“Additional staff will be coming in July, the reconfiguration of some of the facilities and infrastructure to facilitate the flows will also come into effect in July,” he said.

“I think it will be tight, there will be some disruptions, there will be longer waiting times.

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: What are your rights if flights are delayed or cancelled?

“But I think that in the vast majority of airports, the traffic will go, people will not miss their planes, and hopefully everybody will be able to reach their destination as planned.”

He also defended increases in airport charges, after criticism from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents airlines.

Airports face “the same difficulties and inflationary pressures” as airlines, which he noted were putting their fares up, he said.

“Staff and energy is 45 percent of our operating costs, and of course inflation is also driving up the cost of materials,” he said.