UPDATED 10/12/21

Useful Links:

We’ll try to keep this page as up to date as possible, but we’ve found the following links handy:

Check the regulations and requirements for landing in Switzerland HERE.

More information on entering Switzerland HERE.

Entry requirements for France from the British Government HERE.

Travel updates from the French Government HERE.

Recent Updates:

On 1st December, the French government announced that a negative PCR or anti-gen test (*see note below), taken within the preceding 48 hours, is now required to enter France if you’re arriving from a non-EU country for those aged 12 and over. This is regardless of your vaccination status.

*Just a note on the type of test – it must detect the N protein of SARS-COV-2, which does rule out many anti-gen tests. Be sure that your test to travel is the correct kind of test in advance.

On 30th November 2021, the Swiss government changed their directive concerning the arrival of British tourists into Geneva Airport. This change has since been updated on the GOV.uk website HERE. If you are fully vaccinated, it is now possible to land in Geneva without any quarantine requirements and travel on to France for your ski holiday, as long as you cross into France within 24 hours of your arrival in Switzerland. You’re advised to bring along proof of your onward travel (confirmation of a hotel reservation for example) to prove your intention to leave Switzerland. You’ll also need to present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of your arrival to enter Switzerland. More on this below.

The French government introduced a number of new measures on 25th November, strengthening the regulations with regards to the spread of COVID-19 in France. Face masks are now required for all indoor spaces (even those covered by a pass sanitaire) and a pass sanitaire is now required to access the ski lifts for everyone aged 12 years and over. As of 1st December 2o21, a face mask is also required in busy outdoor spaces, such as each of the village centres around our valley.

Borders are currently open between the UK and France for those flying to French airports or driving to the Alps but there are regulations, stipulations and declarations. It’s complicated for everyone and there are a huge number of variations depending on your personal circumstances. Here’s what we know about the current travel situation ahead of this winter season and we’ll do our best to keep this page updated, however you should absolutely always check your own personal circumstances against the French Government website and the  UK Government website.

*Another disclaimer! Because the vast majority of our readers are from the UK, we’ve concentrated on travel regs between the UK and France. Unfortunately we can’t keep on top of the regulations from other countries, sorry!

Travelling to France from the UK

The UK is currently on France’s amber list and entry requirements are different depending on whether or not you’re double vaccinated / have UK ‘fully recovered’ status. In either scenario, and as detailed above, travellers aged 12 and over need to produce a negative COVID-19 PCR or anti-gen test (*see note below) taken within the preceding 48 hours to enter France from the UK.

*Just a note on the type of test – it must detect the N protein of SARS-COV-2, which does rule out many anti-gen tests. Be sure that your test to travel is the correct kind of test in advance.

Double Vaccinated:

– The French definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ is two jabs from a list of approved vaccinations. The French Government recognises the following vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson (the vaccines recognised by the European Medical Agency). “Fully vaccinated” is defined by the completion of a vaccination schedule, specifically:

– If you’re fully vaccinated, you can travel to France without an ‘essential reason’ and you do not need to isolate on arrival.

– You should also complete a déclaration sur l’honneur to confirm you have no COVID-19 symptoms and that you have not been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the preceding fortnight.  You can download this form in English HERE.

– You will need to present proof of double vaccination as you leave the UK. France accepts the UK’s NHS COVID pass for travel, if you don’t already have this, learn more HERE.

Not Double Vaccinated:

– Unless you’ve received both jabs as specified above, you are only permitted to travel to France for essential reasons.

– You’ll find the list of essential reasons HERE. Note, that a ski holiday does not constitute an ‘essential reason’.

– You will also need to present an International Travel Certificate.

– You’ll also need to isolate for 7 days after arrival.

– There are a number of other requirements for non-vaccinated travellers arriving in France, you can learn more about them HERE.

Children:

– Children under the age of 12 take on the vaccination status of their parents as they travel from the UK to France. They do not need a negative COVID-19 test to enter France.

– Children, whether or not they are vaccinated, are not subject to compelling reasons and quarantine if they are accompanied by a vaccinated adult.

– However, unvaccinated children aged 12 and over must have taken a PCR or antigen test (*see note below) in the 24 hours before arrival in France. You’ll be asked to produce a negative result as you cross into France. Note that children younger than 12 years do not have to present a test to arrive in France.

*Just a note on the type of test – it must detect the N protein of SARS-COV-2, which does rule out many anti-gen tests. Be sure that your test to travel is the correct kind of test in advance.

– Here in France, children aged 12 and over are not considered to be fully vaccinated until they’ve had two doses of a recognised COVID-19 vaccine. This is an important detail for the Pass Sanitaire, which we explain below.

Travelling from the UK to France via Switzerland

If you’re flying to Geneva Airport (or any other Swiss airport) for your holiday this winter, you’ll be asked to present the Swiss version of a passenger locator form as you check in for your flight. You’ll also be asked to produce confirmation of your onward travel arrangements in France. You’ll also need to present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of your arrival.

You will also be asked to present proof that you’re travelling on to France, rather than remaining in Switzerland. You should therefore keep confirmation of your accommodation reservation or any other proof handy, in case you’re asked.

The Swiss entry form is very easy to complete, you can do this online HERE.

Rules for re-entering the UK after travel to France (whether directly from France or via Switzerland)

If you’re double-vaccinated, there are a number of things you must do before returning to the UK:

– Present a negative anti-gen or PCR test as you re-enter the UK, taken within the preceding 48 hours. This can be taken in resort, see the section below on testing in our local pharmacies.

– Book and pay for a day PCR 2 test – this rule was changed on 27/11/21 – the day 2 test MUST now be a PCR rather than an anti-gen test. The UK Government called this a ‘temporary and precautionary measure’ in the face of the new Omicron variant, to be reviewed in three weeks. You must isolate until you receive a negative result from your PCR test.  Note, the day 2 test can be taken at any time after your arrival in the UK, but not after the second day. A number of UK airports now offer a testing service, which you can pre-book and take up when you land.

– You’ll need the unique reference number from this test purchase to enter on your UK passenger locator form

– Complete your UK Passenger Locator Form – you can do this online HERE.

– You’ll be asked to produce your proof of vaccination status, your pre-departure anti-gen test result and your Passenger Locator Form as you leave France

– On 27/11/21 a new rule was introduced for international arrivals to the UK in response to the Omicron variant. You must now isolate at home until you receive a negative test result from your day 2 test. The UK Government called this a ‘temporary and precautionary measure’ in the face of the new Omicron variant, to be reviewed in three weeks.

– Children aged 4 and under they do not have to take any COVID-19 travel tests to return to the UK.

– Children ahed 5 to 17 years old must take a day-2 test

Rules for re-entering the UK after travel to France via Switzerland

The rules state that even if you’re in transit through a Swiss airport, you should still complete the Swiss entry form before travel. You can do this up to 2 days ahead of your journey home HERE.

We’ve received many questions regarding whether a test is required to enter Switzerland when you’re travelling home to the UK. It’s fair to say that the official guidance on this point differs, but having undertaken hours of research and spoken with airport officials and the Swiss government, we’re confident that you do not have to perform any tests to return to Geneva Airport because you’re travelling into Switzerland from a ‘border region’ (Morzine, Avoriaz and Les Gets sit within the Auvergne Rhone-Alpes region in case you’re not aware).

You will however, be required to fulfil the UK government’s requirements to produce a negative anti-gen test to return to the UK, taken 48 hours or less before your arrival at the airport. These tests can be booked in each resort, see the notes below.

We definitely recommend doing the passenger locator form mentioned above however, and keeping details of your onward travel handy.

Download a copy of the Swiss federal rules concerning this point (in English) FAQs Rules for entry into Switzerland

 

What is a Pass Sanitaire?

This is France’s digital health passport and it’s currently used to confirm that someone has been double vaccinated against COVID-19. A pass sanitaire is required to access our ski lifts, venues, restaurants, bars, cafes and cinemas here in France.

Masks are required in shared bubble lifts and in lift queues as well as all indoor spaces. You do not need a pass sanitaire to visit shops and supermarkets, but you will need to wear a mask. This is compulsory.

People double vaccinated in the UK can import the NHS QR code confirming their double-vaccinated status into the TousAntiCovid app. You’ll be asked to present this as you access ski lifts, bars, restaurants, cafes and venues. You can also present a digital or paper NHS certificate showing your full vaccine status if for some reason you cannot access the app. NOTE* It’s the vaccination certificate that includes a scannable QR code that you’ll need for both the TousAntiCovid app and to scan on entry to ski lifts, restaurants, bars, etc.

Unvaccinated / not fully vaccinated travellers can also get a pass sanitaire by producing a negative PCR or anti-gen test in resort, at their own cost. On 25th November, the validity of this pass was reduced to just 24 hours (previously 48 hours for anti-gen and 72 hours for PCR tests), which means that unless you’re double vaccinated (under French regs), you’ll need to take a daily test in order to access the pass sanitaire to visit restaurants, bars, etc and to use the ski lifts. More on this testing below.

Both anti-gen tests and PCR tests are available in our resorts, with prices for an anti-gen test starting at €25 during the week and €30 at weekends, and results are available within 15/20 minutes. PCR tests are administered by the medical centres in each resort, where as anti-gen tests are undertaken at the pharmacies in each resort.

In-resort testing

Morzine:

The Grande Pharmacie de Morzine in the centre of the village has the capacity to test up to 1500 people each day between the hours of 8.30am and 8pm. They’re open every day during the winter season. In effect, this makes it Morzine’s mass testing centre for holiday makers. The Grande Pharmacie de Morzine also has the ability to double its capacity to 3000 tests per day during peak times and requires just two hours notice to upscale its testing capacity, moving to Morzine’s Palais du Sport.

You’re advised to pre-book your in-resort anti-gen testing requirements in advance of your holiday using the Doctolib website. We’ve broken down the process for you below – note that it’s slightly arduous but entirely worth the time, giving you peace of mind in advance of your holiday. Walk-in tests are also available.

Note: Currently only the Grande Pharmacie de Morzine is available to book on Doctolib. For booking arrangements at the pharmacies in Les Gets, Avoriaz and St Jean d’Aulps, please read on.

The Pharmacie du Bourg in Morzine also has the capacity to undertake 50 tests per day. These are not available to book in advance. Pharmacie du Bourg is open every day from 8.30am to 7.30pm.

In Morzine, PCR tests are undertaken at the medical centre.

Avoriaz:

Between the Pharmacie des Portes du Soleil in Avoriaz and the medical centre in the village, Avoriaz has the capacity to perform 500 anti-gen tests per day.

The pharmacy is located in the centre of the village and is open 10am – 12.30pm and 3pm – 6pm each day.

The medical centre in Avoriaz will also perform a large volume of anti-gen tests each day on a walk-in basis. The medical centre is open between 9am and 6pm each day.

Les Gets:

We’re unsure of the testing capacity of the pharmacy in Les Gets but they have assured us that they’re able to perform enough tests each day to cope with demand. It’s not possible to book tests in advance and the pharmacy is open 9am – 12noon and 4pm – 6.30pm every day during the winter season.

St Jean d’Aulps:

We’ll update this shortly.

Tests for 12-17 year olds

Here in France, British teenagers aged between 12 and 17 years, who’ve received just one vaccination, are not considered to be ‘fully vaccinated’ and therefore cannot access a pass sanitaire until they produce daily negative anti-gen results to ‘top up’ their pass sanitaire. This concerns many of you and we understand that it’s complicated.

Many people have asked us if it’s possible to obtain an ‘equivalency certificate’ if your teenagers have received one COVID-19 vaccination and they’ve also recovered after testing positive for COVID-19. We had hoped that this was possible, but unfortunately the process is not currently available to those vaccinated in the UK, as confirmed HERE. We will of course share further details if this rule changes. For more on this, tap HERE.

We’ve also seen on various official websites that self-testing under the supervision of a medical professional can be accepted as proof of a negative test and therefore used to top-up a pass sanitaire. We’ve asked for clarification on this and we’ll update ASAP.

Booster Jabs

Lots of you have asked us for advice on this point. However, because each scenario is different, we’re unable to answer your individual questions on this issue. However, here’s some guidance on booster jabs and how they’ll affect your access to a Pass Sanitaire this winter.

From 15th December 2021 here in France, all over 65yrs who have not had their booster (3rd jab or 2nd jab in the case of having a Janssen vaccine) will have their health pass deactivated on this date. If your 2nd jab was within less than 7 months of the 15th of December, you still have up until the end of this date to get your booster (7 months from 2nd jab).

From 15th January 2021 here in France, all 18 to 64yrs who have not had their booster (3rd jab or 2nd Jab in the case of having a Janssen vaccine) and they are past 7 months from the date of their 2nd jab, will have their health pass deactivated.

This does not mean that everyone’s health pass will be deactivated on this date, as it all depends on when you had your 2nd jab as to when your health pass is valid until. Those who had their 2nd jab on or before the 17th June 2021 will be deactivated.

For example; if you had your 2nd jab on the 15th of July 2021, you can get your booster anytime from 15th December 2021 (5 months from the date of 2nd jab), you then have up until the 15th of February 2021 (7 months from 2nd jab) to get your booster. If you don’t get your booster by this date, your health pass will be deactivated.

Your health pass deactivation will all be based on 7 months from your 2nd jab, whenever that was.

When you get your booster, it has been recommended that you wait a few days (up to 7) to load onto the TousAntiCovid App, as there have been issues with it recognizing this 3rd jab straight away.

For more information on booster jabs in France, please head HERE.

Masks and other in-resort regulations

Further detail on the operation of our ski lifts is expected very soon, however face masks will once again become compulsory in all indoor spaces, even those in which a pass sanitaire is required, which reinstates the rules that we were previously used to. You’ll now need to wear a mask while moving through a venue / restaurant / bar, but not whilst you’re seated, eating or drinking.

Face masks will also become compulsory for large gatherings outdoors, such as Christmas markets, which could also require a health pass. On 1st December, face masks became obligatory in all busy outdoor spaces, including the centres of our villages.