The most relevant information for your mountain bike holidays this summer in both Morzine and Italy, as of April 29th.
In the three weeks since our last update much water has passed under the bridge and though not much concrete information about summer holidays has been released, there is still plenty of detail to digest. The French have released their road map out of lockdown up until June 30th, and the UK are set to announce the details of which countries will appear where on their traffic light system.
WHAT IS THE UK GOVERNMENT SAYING?
Grant Shapps has promised to outline the countries that will appear on the ‘Green List’ in the next two weeks. Reports have indicated May 7th, 10 days before international travel could resume according to the Governments road map. He also announced that the NHS app will be used as a de-facto Covid Passport, indicating your vaccination status and test results.
We do not know if France will appear on the green list. Maybe nobody does at the moment, so it is all guess work with plenty of time to pass before the decision is made. We believe that the system will be updated every month, with countries going onto a watch list.
If this is correct, if France is not on the list May 7th, the next possible window for the green light will be June 7th at the earliest.
It is expected that 3 different tests will need to be carried out for a holiday to happen this summer. 1 test before leaving, another before returning and 1 more within 2 days of returning to the UK. The first two tests can be lateral flow tests, the third and final test taken 2 days after you return home must be a PCR test.
HOW MUCH WILL A COVID TEST COST?
A Lateral flow test in the UK will cost you £3 - £6, a PCR will currently cost £105, but this will be brought down to somewhere between £45 & £58. This is before any travel initiatives that may decrease the cost further have been introduced.
HOW MUCH WILL A COVID TEST COST IN FRANCE?
A lateral flow test, with results ready in 30 minutes, will cost you nothing at the Grand Pharmacie du Bourg in the centre of town, even if you are a non-resident. If you prefer a PCR test, it will cost €54, taken at a lab 20 minutes from Morzine, with the results available within 48 hours (usually 24). The medical centre in Morzine will also perform the tests but results may take longer.
WHAT IS THE SITUATION IN FRANCE?
The vaccination effort in France has been held up slightly due to the issues with the Astra Zeneca and J&J vaccines. Despite this hold up as of April 28th over 25m doses have been delivered, with 14.9 million people having at least 1 jab. The rates are expected to increase as vaccine deliveries speed up in the coming weeks.
The infection rates remain comparatively high to the UK. 25,300 new cases were reported on April 29th. The figures in France should be considered over afew days as there are often delays in reporting, as only 5,952 were reported Tuesday. The current 7 day average is around 26,000 cases, with 12,000 hospitalisations in the last 7 days.
Much has been made in the UK of the French being anti-vaccination. Read whatever polls you want, but at the moment vaccination centres are overbooked with millions on the waiting lists. Demand far outweighs supply. From experience we can say the French are sceptical about many things, Governments and vaccines included. But as far as the facts show, the French are queuing up to get a Covid jab ASAP.
WHAT IS THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT SAYING?
The French Government has outlined their re-opening strategy, which like the UK will occur in stages.
- The lockdown will end, allowing travel between regions
- The curfew of 19h will remain in place
- Restaurants and bars with outdoor seating can open, maximum 6 per table
- Public gatherings of up to 10 people possible
- The curfew extends to 21h
- Non-essential businesses can open
- From June 9th a health pass (Pass Sanitaire) will be implemented to allow access to certain events or facilities
- The curfew pushes back to 23h
- Public outdoor events of up to 1,000 people may take place, with the health pass
- Indoor seating at bars and restaurants can start again, maximum 6 per table
- Non EU tourists (That's the UK), can travel to France for tourism, a health pass will be required
- The curfew will be lifted
- Events will be able to held indoors with up to 1000 people, with a health pass
WHAT IS A HEALTH PASS?
The full details are not known but essentially it is the same as the much talked about Covid passport. It will simply be a way of detailing your status in relation to Covid-19. Are you vaccinated, have you had the virus and recovered, showing antibodies or when your last test was and the outcome.
WILL THE WORLD CUP IN LES GETS GO AHEAD ON JULY 3RD?
At the moment yes, the track is under construction. Will spectators be allowed? Unsure, the pits will be closed off no doubt. When we have the details we will share them, Les Gets will be working hard based on todays announcements to make it as normal and safe as possible.
WHAT ABOUT ITALY?
Most of Italy has been declared a yellow zone by the Government. Citizens can now travel freely between yellow zones. The other regions marked as orange, or moderate risk include Valle D’Aosta. Sardinia is the only red zone.
In yellow zones in Italy, outdoor sports and dining is possible, including uplift operations. With indoor dining and bars allowed to start from June 1st. June 2nd is a date that has been floated to allow the start of international travel.