It’s nearly Christmas. I think it’s safe to say that none of us envisaged a Christmas with restrictions were a possibility this time last year – but here we are. Here is the latest on what is happening in our corner of the world.
“The peak of the second wave of the epidemic has passed," were Macrons words in the latest update for France. However we are continuing to take a cautious approach to easing the national lockdown that has been in place.
On Saturday small businesses re-opened, places of worship were permitted to hold services for up to 30 people at a time and daily outings were allowed up to 20 kilometres away from home.
After December 15th — provided daily new COVID-19 cases remain manageable, the lockdown will be lifted, but a curfew will remain in place except on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. People can travel to their family for Christmas, and museums, cinemas and theatres will be allowed to reopen. However, this will certainly not be a Christmas like any other, with everyone implementing social distancing and wearing masks.
Ski lifts, restaurants, bars and gyms will be the last to reopen, on January 20th if the epidemic remains contained and doesn't surge after the holidays. President Macron has stated that he hopes the rest of Europe will co-ordinate with similar timings in this effort to keep Covid-19 under control.
In Chamonix therefore we are all happy to be able to enjoy the mountains again. However, business locally are definitely threatened by the news that although the resort is open, the lifts remain shut.
Covid Travel Rules - France
Internal European borders will remain open but external borders are closed except for essential travel. All travellers arriving in France will be tested at airports and ports.
Through the tunnel to Courmayeur and our Italian friends are also still in lockdown. Italy continues to adopt its 3 tier approach and in Courmayeur all bars, restaurants and most shops, including hairdressers and beauticians remain closed.
There is a curfew, gatherings for weddings, baptisms and funerals are still banned, older school pupils have switched to remote learning and masks must be worn everywhere, except at home.
Courmayeur, like all the other Italian ski resorts won’t be opening its ski lifts at the beginning of the season.
Covid-19 Travel Rules Italy
Italy's interational borders are open. Only a small number of countries require self-isolation for 14 days after arrival.
When you arrive in Italy you need a self-declaration form and you must show evidence that you tested negative for COVID within the 72 hours before your travel or you will be tested on arrival and could be quarantined for up to 3 weeks.
Switzerland is continuing to impose the national restrictions which were tightened at the end of October. However, each canton has autonomy in certain areas and Geneva has applied further restrictions to its residents with all bars, restaurants and non-essential shops being closed.
Ski lifts in ski resorts are open however, with Covid restrictions in place for both workers and skiers.
Coronavirus Travel Rules Switzerland
Air travel to Switzerland remains possible however, if you are travelling from outside the Schengen states and EU you will face quarantine on arrival.
Please get in touch if you have any questions regarding trekking in the mountains. We will ensure that we keep you posted on what it's like over here and here are some updated resources to help you make informed decisions about future travel plans.
We recommend your own government’s travel advisory service information for your destination country:
UK, the FCO Travel Advice
Ireland, the Department of Foreign Affairs
USA, the State Department Travel Advisory
Canada, use Travel Advice & Advisories
Australia, the Smart Traveller Information Service
New Zealand, it’s SafeTravel.
Further details of our how we are protecting you and your booking see here: Coronavirus Client Protection
As ever, if you have any questions about your trip or our treks in general, we are here to help. Please give us a call or email us.
Jane at Mont Blanc Treks
UK: +44 (0)161 408 1222
FRANCE: +33 (0)7 81 58 69 03
USA: +1 303 800 5866
AUSTRALIA: +61 75660 6258