Here we go again! If you are here you have opened our email and clicked the link so thank you, It's a reasonably long one, but will, we hope add some clarity to the confusion. If you arrived from another universe please sign up at the bottom of this page so you don't miss anymore emails from this epic news series.
You will all want to know our plans going forwards and what your options are so we will be doing a bi-weekly email shot to try and keep you best updated again as we did last year.
We have for the second year been forced to cancel our operation in Finale Ligure, Italy, this Spring. Disappointing for our colleagues on the Italian riviera and a real shame to all the clients that had booked in the hope of getting a break from the last 12 months. Most have chosen to move their trip to Autumn, by which time every source going indicates things will return to normality. If you wish to book a Finale Ligure Autumn trip don’t wait as they will sell out very soon, See HERE
Summer however is different. There are many questions coming our way, doubters and optimists alike all have their opinions on where we will be in a couple of months time. Regardless of what you’ve read in the papers, we’re going to go through what governments are planning and will be keeping you updated.
As always, every booking is individual and we will do everything to make sure you are confident in your booking with MTB Beds. Our financial failure insurance protects your money, and we will do everything we can to make your holiday happen, with flexibility wherever it can be provided.
WHAT IS THE UK GOVERNMENT SAYING?
The Government have not ruled out Summer holidays. Far from it. Though impossible and illegal today, the May 17th date set months ago is still the line in the sand for international travel to begin. It was also announced that the 01st of July is a new travel date however it is not. Holiday Extras summed this up very well as below,
On Feb 22, Boris Johnson announced that holidays would be banned until May 17 ("at the earliest"). Currently, that ban is achieved through the "stay at home" rule - the one that says you can't leave your house except for specific reasons, and holidays aren't one of them. That stay at home rule came to an end on Monday (29 March). Thus, the government needed a new rule to stop people going on holiday between Mon 29 March and Mon 17 May. Without a new rule, we could all have hopped on a plane on Monday. That's all it is - a little gap in the legislation that they needed to fill with a new rule, doing what they always said they were going to do.
So why does the new law last until July then? Just in case. The thing that could still cause a problem is a new variant that's resistant to the current vaccines. But right now, there doesn't seem to be one. As soon as overseas holidays start again, which we expect to be on or around May 17, we expect they'll either repeal or supersede the law that coming in from Monday 29th March.
The Government intends to use a traffic light system to designate countries as to whether there will be any restrictions on travel or on the person returning to the UK. More details of this system are due this week, what has been published to date is HERE
One thing that has been made clear is tests will be required pre-arrival and departure. These are due to be delivered to households twice weekly in the UK soon and also readily available in Morzine pharmacies. They are free lateral flow tests with the results returned in 20 minutes. PCR tests are available in resort, though the results do take at least 24 hours to be returned.
WHAT IS THE SITUATION IN FRANCE?
It stands to reason that any UK measure on travel will be influenced by the situation in the country travelled to. The UK media are having a field day with France at the moment. Some of what is being said is true and some does seem to bend the truth. So what is going on in France?
- A 4 week lockdown was introduced on 31st March, due to end on 26th April.
- During the lockdown, schools are closed, as are all but essential shops.
- Masks are mandatory in any enclosed public area, though they always have been.
- People must stay within 10km of their home.
- Non essential travel between regions is prohibited.
- The police have been instructed to shut down any gathering, especially where alcohol is being consumed.
- Nationwide curfew from 19h - 6h.
In Morzine we can tell you they are taking this one seriously, with police checkpoints constantly pulling over vehicles at every major junction to ensure people are in fact residents, with a proof of address required and patrols regularly circulating town.
The infection rate in France is very high, over 10,000 cases were reported yesterday, with numbers as high as 60k in a day last week. The lockdown will hope to bring these numbers down significantly. Mistakes were made over February, if the goal was to surpress the spread of the virus. Inter regional travel and staycations in private homes were permitted for school holidays. Now they are not.
Hospital ICU wards are full across the country, the figures are significantly influenced by the high infection rates in greater Paris, greater Lyon and the South East of the country where rates are the highest but the majority of the country is under some pressure.
The vaccine roll out in Europe has not been a fast one. Though the French government have significantly stepped up the effort and intend to have every at risk category offered a jab by mid June, at which point anybody can book an appointment.
At the time of writing France has administered 9.3 million first jabs and has 3.1 million people fully vaccinated with two shots, a huge ramp up in the last two weeks. Though relatively unimportant, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes has the highest vaccinated person rate in the country at the moment.
Macron intends to begin opening France up from mid May, with outdoor dining and certain cultural centres re-opening. Though the ski season in France did not happen, it looks very likely that the summer season will. Though at this time we do not know what limitations maybe put onto operations.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST SUMMER?
Considering we are in a similar position to one year ago, it’s worth noting what happened last summer. We still intend to operate and will do so with the same parameters as 2020 in our chalets.
- Lift queues separated and masks mandatory in them, and on the lifts
- No restrictions on the number of people on a lift, on the sale of lift tickets, or on trail use, other than masks worn on the lifts
- Masks to be worn on entry or when circulating any public space, such as a restaurant, bar or on public transport
- Seating in bars and restaurants should have a minimum 1 metre gap between seating
MTB BEDS CHALETS
- Dining tables separated, no shared seating
- Automatic hand sanitisers at every entrance point and throughout properties
- Staff will be masked at all times
- Clients wear masks when circulating the property
- Covid cleaning checklist conducted 4 x daily
- No shared rooms between parties who do not know each other
Last summer was great. This is not a sales pitch, it’s what happened. People came, had a great time, rode their bikes and had a holiday. It all came together at the 11th hour. We could not operate the first week of the season in late June at capacity, but July and most of August had an awesome buzz. We had to cut the season short by 1 week, due to the quarantine imposed by the UK government on arrivals from France.
WHAT DO WE THINK WILL HAPPEN THIS SUMMER?
The vaccine changes everything. The vaccine means we have a light at the end of the tunnel. 2 weeks ago, we were not as confident as we are now that Europe could catch up on their relatively slow start to the roll out. Now we believe they can. The question is how fast?
It becomes a guessing game at this point. We know from industry talks that there is immense pressure from the travel industry, including the airlines to resume non essential travel asap. It is costing millions of pounds a day and is not sustainable. The added pent up desire for people to have an escape is also very relevant and with countries eager to allow travel, Governments are going to be doing everything they can to find a balance between allowing travel, and suppressing infection increases.
We think there will be a summer season in Morzine, where Brits are allowed to travel. The next date where concrete information is due beyond the 12th April is May 17th. By then the ‘traffic light’ system will have been introduced and Europe will have caught up significantly on their vaccine program. That will still be one month away from our first week due to kick off in Morzine with our Self-Catered properties and 5 weeks before our Catered operation starts.
So what should you do right now, book a holiday, cancel your holiday or move your dates? Well we say don't cancel as you could lose your deposit and there are many other options like a date swap. Do book now if you can, why? Because once the restrictions are lifted there will be a booking frenzy, availability will be low and the cost of a holiday will increase across the industry due to demand (our prices for 2021 are fixed). You also have the flexibility to change dates or take credit notes. That's just our two pennies and we know everyone's situation doesn't afford some of those options.
For now that is what we know and we have all fingers crossed. You can also keep upto date on our Covid Website page where you can revert back to older info and if you miss any emails.