Ski holidays thrown into doubt as France mandates vaccine passport for lifts

·2-min read
 (Shutterstock / Julia Kuznetsova)
(Shutterstock / Julia Kuznetsova)

France has mandated the use of vaccine passports in ski lifts, throwing the winter travel plans of thousands of British families into doubt.

Anyone over the age of 12 will need a pass to show they are fully vaccinated, or have had one dose and recovered from Covid-19 in the last 180 days from December 4.

But Thursday’s announcement will cause misery for Brits with teenagers - as the NHS app with a Covid pass is only available to the over-16s, the Times reports.

It could force families to shell out hundreds of pounds on tests so their children can come with them.

Children aged 12-15 are also only eligible for one dose in the UK, and so don’t count as fully vaccinated.

France’s vaccine passport is already mandatory for bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues, but will be extended to ski lifts, ministers announced yesterday.

In order to qualify for the same rights as an NHS Covid pass holder, many single-dosed children would need to take a PCR or antigen test.

Coronavirus vaccines are only authorised for use in children aged 12 and older in the UK (Nick Potts/PA) (PA Wire)
Coronavirus vaccines are only authorised for use in children aged 12 and older in the UK (Nick Potts/PA) (PA Wire)

One school trip travel provider has already cancelled trips for 2,000 schoolchildren to Italy and Austria over similar rules.

Stephen Craeven, group commercial director of PGL, told the I newspaper he was “heartbroken” to have to postpone between 40 to 50 trips in February next year but that UK vaccine rules mean that they could not go ahead.

Ski resort bosses are still waiting to hear how the pass sanitaire (health pass) will be checked at ski lifts.

Dr Olivier Véran, the French health minister, also announced that booster doses would be available to everyone over the age of 18, five months after their second shot.

From January, the booster within seven months of a second dose will be needed for adults to get a vaccination pass, he said.

While tests and proof of immunity will still be accepted, the conditions surrounding them will be tightened.

France’s main health regulator had earlier warned there was a “stronger than anticipated” spread of Covid, with over 30,000 new infections recorded for a second day in a row on Wednesday.

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