Latest Covid travel rules for skiing

COVID test, travel, vaccination & mask changes and updates
COVID test, travel, vaccination updates

The latest Covid travel rules for skiing in 2022 have been published by the French government.

These include a relaxation of the ban on UK travelers coming to France for a ski holiday. The rules are, compared to what was in place beforehand, relatively easy to follow.

The full documentation (in French) is available here:

Here is a Google translation:

<<Translation begins>>

[COVID19] Travel conditions between France and the United Kingdom

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Travel changes and updates 13 Dec 2021

COVID test, travel, vaccination & mask changes and updates
COVID test, travel, vaccination updates

In addition to the information in the previous blog on this subject, (worth a read if you haven’t seen it) there have been some changes and updates to the situation. Most of the information is still current but a few things have changed or been added.

Unvaccinated children 12-16 years

Unvaccinated children between the ages of 12 years and 2 months and 16 years must now have a negative PCR or Lateral Flow test within 24h of arriving in France. Either of these tests should be carried out by a healthcare professional. Self-administered free tests do not count towards the “Passe Sanitaire”.

Our local Pharmacy is now almost fully booked for testing with the seasonal workers and the local inhabitants. When I asked at the Mairie what options there were for tourists they could only say that they were working on it. I’ll let you know about any changes and updates.

The Pharmacie des Bergers in Alpe d’Huez is taking bookings and the Pharmacie des Jeux is operating as a walk-in.

Booster vaccinations

From the 15th of December, everyone 65 years and over must have had booster vaccination for their “Passe Sanitaire” to be valid. If the booster is a third vaccination it becomes valid immediately. However, if the booster is only the second vaccination, then it becomes valid after 7 days.

Discos & nightclubs

Discothèques and nightclubs are shut and dancing in bars and restaurants is prohibited until the 6th of January.

Life on the slopes

When we went skiing last Sunday almost everyone was wearing a mask in the lift lines and the usual crush was slightly further apart. Our passes were not checked but that does not mean that no checking is going on.

In other changes and updates, large amounts of snow have fallen and there are great conditions on the slopes. This amount of snow is usually enough to provide a good base for the rest of the season. Slope preparation is underway and the resort will be fully open by the 18th of December.

COVID test, travel, vaccination & mask

COVID test, travel, vaccination & mask changes and updates
COVID test, travel, vaccination updates

This is about the current (7th December 2021) regulations regarding covid tests, vaccinations, and mask-wearing in the French Alps.

Before reading this and panicking, please remember that things can change very quickly. In the last few weeks, Switzerland introduced a whole raft of measures, including 10 days isolation for all arrivals, in response to the Omicron variant.

This, of course, meant a 7-day ski holiday (and all other travel) became impractical. This prompted a whole load of skiers canceling their holidays or having their holidays canceled by the tour operators. The airlines canceled the flights that were due to take these people and hotels closed off their availability.

Just a few days ago the Swiss government changed their minds about the risks and lifted the need for isolation as well as some of the other measures.

However, the result is now skiers without holidays, hotels without guests, airlines without planes, and ski resorts without tourists.

We suggest that you leave any decisions as late as you can. Please check the links for up-to-date information.

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A new name for Oz

a new name for oz
The New Name For Oz Station is OZ 3300

The Mayor of Oz en Oisans, Phillipe Sage, has announced that there will be a new name for Oz Station, the ski resort.

The Mairie thought that “Oz Station” did not reflect the real status of the Commune of Oz within the Grand Domaine of Alpe d’Huez.

The new name for Oz Station will be Oz 3300.

Pic Blanc is in Oz

It is common for visitors to the area officially called Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine to think that the highest point of the resort, Pic Blanc, is in Alpe d’Huez and that Oz is just a small area at the northern end, dominated by Vaujany.

However, Pic Blanc is in the commune of Oz and around 25% of the Grand Domaine is in Oz. The famous Tunnel run is also entirely in the commune of Oz.

There are four 2000m vertical descents that can be made from Pic Blanc. Two are entirely in Oz and one is in the Oz-Vaujany ski area. The Sarenne piste which starts at Pic Blanc runs through the communes of Le Frenay d’Oisans and Auris.

Fabulous skiing

Along with a new name for Oz station, the Mairie will be emphasizing the commitment of the commune to the ski domain and the size of its fabulous skiing area.

Even within the Oz-Vaujany ski area visitors are often confused about which commune is which, often assigning a large part of Oz to Vaujany.

In fact, though Vaujany only contributes the Montfrais area of its commune to the domain it also has some of the biggest and busiest lifts in the whole of the Alpe d’Huez Grand Domaine.

Although Alpe d’Huez is the most famous of the 7 villages that make up the Grand Domaine the new name for Oz should help raise Oz 3300 in public awareness.

COVID and 2021

Covid and 2021
Covid and 2021 news

This has been an unusual year for all of us and we hope you have managed to get through it without too many problems. We thought you would like to know how we are managing COVID and 2021.

We are currently opening our apartments this winter season with the option of room service meals. As soon as restaurants can open, we will be serving meals in the dining room.

Skiing dates

The current date for the opening of the ski lifts is 7th January but this is still to be confirmed. The only skiing possible is ski touring.

Otherwise getting out on the mountain on snowshoes is the only other option. The good news is that there is plenty of snow.

The ESF has morphed into a semi-guiding operation with offers to lead you out onto the mountain on snowshoes or touring skis.

Groups must come from the same family group.

Equipment rental

All the equipment can be rented from the usual shops. Early reservation is advised as the shops don’t have as much of this equipment as usual alpine skis.

There is also a small cross-country ski track that runs around the resort. Perhaps this is the time to try it out?

All the latest information on other activities is on the Oz-en-Oisans web site.

We are hopeful that the summer will prove to be near normal and we will be open as usual from the end of May. We will be following any health guidelines that may be in force.

COVID and 2021 Summer

Last summer we were very busy in the 6 weeks from the middle of July-the school holidays. We are happy to say that the health guidance seemed to work as nobody got ill.

So, we’ll sign off 2020 by wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and we look forward to welcoming you soon in 2021.

Ski Resort Opening Dates

ski resort opening dates
Ski Resort Opening Dates

What are this year’s ski resort opening dates? Who really knows at the moment? The latest information from France Montagnes, a group of the larger ski resorts, is that they WILL be opening.

After the usual early opening of the upper slopes in some of the highest resorts with glaciers, all French resorts have shut again.

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Current COVID-19 Cleaning & Social Policies

COVID-19 Policies, cleaning and social distancing recommendations.

The French government has classified our department, Isère, as “green” as it has a low circulation of the virus.

You are required to wear a mask on all public transport, including the ski lifts. Some shops require the wearing of masks and all restaurants until you are seated. In the local swimming pools wearing a mask in compulsory in the communal areas and the changing rooms.

It is prudent to carry a mask with you at all times.

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New Routes in the Oisans

There are some new routes in the Oisans for cyclists to enjoy.

A local plan to build a sealed pathway between Allemont and Venosc has created some interesting new options for cyclists.

It means you can leave our house and, once you have dropped down to Allemont, can get onto a nice quiet sealed pathway.

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Mountain cols are late to open

The mountain cols are late to open this year.

This is due to both a huge amount of snow and the COVID-19 induced restrictions which have resulted in no one being able to use them.

Work has started on clearing our local cols but it has been a very snowy year and there is a great deal of snow above 2000m.

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COVID 19 Cleaning

covid 19 policies
Covid-19 Cleaning

We are updating our COVID 19 cleaning methods to match the current recommendations.

In line with industry best practice, we are following the advice of the French Government, our local Prefecture and those of the WHO.

In addition to our usual high standards, we are paying particular attention to those parts of the property that are often touched.

This includes door handles, light switches, room keys and other hard surfaces.

The soft furnishings in the rooms will be steam cleaned and everything will be thoroughly disinfected.

We are also installing hand sanitisers at the entrance of the building. Hand soap is always provided in the rooms.

The garage, which is used for cycle storage in the summer, will also be included in our COVID 19 cleaning.

For this summer we are closing the communal areas. The lounge and the dining room will be closed until we receive advice that it is acceptable for people to be in close proximity.

This will probably be when restaurants and bars are allowed to open as normal.

Until then, all meals, breakfast, and evening meals, will be served in your room. All the usual choices and standards will be maintained.

We’ll deliver a tray with your meal on it and pick up the tray later.