France considers vaccine passports for ski lifts over fears of Britons spreading Covid

Booster jab: Gillian Keegan discusses travel advice

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France is said to be considering bringing in its health passport requirement for ski lifts at resorts this winter. The French health passport requires people to be double vaccinated or take regular negative tests.

The French tourism minister, Jean Baptiste Leymoyne, is considering bringing in the health passport for ski lifts to prevent Covid spread.

French ski resorts are very popular with British tourists and officials are said to be concerned about the high levels of Covid in the UK.

Leymoyne said: “We can see that in Great Britain the incidence rate and the number of cases are very high, between 40,000 and 50,000 cases per day and in France we see a slight increase in the incidence rate.”

He added that the British market was “very important for French skiing” so ski resorts could soon require the pass to keep levels down in France.

Professor Antoine Flahault, director of the Geneva Institute of Global Health, told The Connexion that the UK had high Covid levels as it had been less “prudent” than France.

He said: “By relying solely on their high vaccination coverage and abandoning all other measures on July 19, when the Delta wave was in full swing, the UK authorities failed to break the epidemic curve during summer.

“[This] is now taking a heavy toll, in terms of suffering, hospital overcrowding and deaths.”

The Professor said the UK needed to take measures now to protect itself against a difficult winter.

He said: “If not, it risks having its health system saturated, and one must note that its hospital network is in worse shape than those of its neighbours in continental Europe.

“[There] are no elements today that suggest the vaccine has lost its efficacy against serious forms of the virus, even those linked to the Delta variant.”

Although the Professor said there was no way to tell if France or the UK would fare better this winter, if France remains “prudent” it could be safer than the UK.

The Professor said that the UK would be in better shape if it also brought in a health passport like the one in use in France.

The French health pass is compulsory for every adult and every child over the age of 12.

It requires proof of being fully vaccinated, recent recovery from Covid or a negative Covid test from within the last 72 hours.

Tourists will need to pay to purchase regular Covid tests in France if they are unvaccinated to qualify for a passport.

The health pass is compulsory to enter restaurants, bars, nightclubs, tourist attractions and other indoor venues.

Currently, it is not required on ski lifts but could be brought in as the ski season gets underway in France.

Switzerland, another popular skiing destination, has said the health pass will not be required for ski lifts but will be for après ski bars and restaurants.

Morocco banned flights from the UK on October 20 over concerns about the country’s high levels of Covid.

Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, has urged people to get booster jabs amid warnings that cases could reach 100,000 per day in the UK.

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