This was the key take-away on Thursday (May 28th) when French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced phase two of deconfinement in France, with restrictions easing on travel, accommodation, shops, parks, public spaces, cafés and restaurants. Phase two is expected to last until at least June 21st and the rules apply to the whole of France bar 2 areas: Val d'Oise and Mayotte.

One great boost for us is that as France enters its third week of deconfinement, hospital admissions, occupied hospital beds and daily death tolls continue to fall. Therefore the authorities have said that we can book our summer holidays! Wonderful to be able to now think months ahead rather than days and weeks.

With regards to the trails. All of the hiking trails are open in the area. Hooray!! And all of the accommodation that we use will be open from 2nd June. So if the weather continues to be as glorious as it has been these past few months - if you can travel - we will be able to trek on time!

For the Tour du Mont Blanc and the Walkers Haute Route, we even opened up new guided trek dates for 2020 and we can't wait to guide them!

The Vanoise National Park will be open from the 2nd June and the the Gran Paradiso and the wonderful Dolomites from the 3rd. Remember, however, to contact us for advice on the best dates to travel on these self-guided walking holidays, with regards to snow cover and weather.

We detail below all the changes happening in France. See here for changes in our neighbouring countries of Switzerland and Italy.

Changes on the 2nd June:

• The 100km travel limit will be lifted
• Hotels, B&Bs, campsites, refuges and gîtes will open their doors.
• Cafes and restaurants can reopen in all areas of France. (In Paris and parts of Ile de France, only outdoor seating will be permitted)
• Groups are still limited to a maximum of 10 people in public spaces
• Parks and gardens can reopen across the whole of France
• Beaches and lakes will re-open
• Gyms and swimming pools can reopen
• All museums and monuments can reopen. Wearing a mask will be mandatory;
• Theatres, concert halls and sports halls will be able to reopen
• More schools and collèges set to reopen; all primaries and some lycées, with class sizes restricted to 15.

Travel - Changes from the 15th June:

EU travel

Currently only French nationals, workers, or those who have their primary residence in France are allowed across the borders. It seems likely that all travel from within the EU (including the UK) will be allowed without restriction from the 15th June. However, travellers arriving from the UK or Spain are still the subject to a voluntary quarantine, which France introduced as a reciprocal measure following the announcements of those countries' quarantines.

International Travel

All of Europe is yet to announce when people from outside the EU will be allowed to travel across European Borders. Until June 15th the current regulations remain in place for travel with France saying EU countries will coordinate to agree on a new position for what happens after June 15th.

Other Changes

• Cinemas can open from June 22
• Contact sports and large indoor gatherings will remain prohibited during phase two.
• Nightclubs will remain closed

Wonderful news and, I think, a testament to the prudence the population has shown. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe called upon us all to “show the same kind of responsibility as [we] have been showing throughout the crisis." And to have our lives returning to normal to such an extent, I am sure we will…

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.

Here is a roundup of the most up-to-date travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

Warm regards

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