New news for France’s confinement and how to prepare to re-open

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In a fast changing landscape we look at today’s announcements from France regarding reopening from 8 weeks of confinement and how we need to adapt and move on safely and reassuringly

New Covid 19 news for France and how to prepare for re-opening

Prime minister Edouard Phillipe has just added some detail to what was already known about ‘reopening’ France on 11th May. He also issued today the new Covid Map of France which highlights which ‘départements’ can start to lift restrictions and which cannot.

There is a stepped reopening with based on regions of France most/least affected – what we already knew

  • Retail outlets to re-open with social distancing policies in place from May 11th
  • Bars and restaurants not opening (other than takeaway services)
  • Individual sports will be permitted with no restrictions, team sports will have to wait
  • The mountains are open, we are allowed to take full advantage of the national park
  • Cinemas and theatres will remain closed
  • Some schools will reopen and local authorities will be deciding how and when (see below)
  • Travel permitted up to 100KMs from ones domicile
  • Borders will remain closed for unessential travel
  • Public transport will reopen (with restrictions in place) – this includes ski lifts
  • Public spaces, public transport. Wearing a mask is obligatory, and social distancing measures must continue to be respected (this includes ski lifts).
Newly announced on 7th May
  • The Prime minister Edouard Phillipe released the map of France showing 4 departments are still in the red zone l’Île de France, les Hauts de FranceGrand Est and Bourgogne Franche Conté (see below).
  • Bars, restaurants colleges will reopen 3 weeks from today (28th May?)
  • France is ready for mass testing
  • The most fragile are free to move around but they must try and limit their contact with others, any medical visits will be reimbursed – do not hesitate to see your doctor – masks will be free of charge for these people


covid map of france
red and green zones of France
Risk assessments for safety are paramount

As resorts, public transport, shops and workplaces open from 11th May and then smaller event spaces, bars and restaurants re open at the end of this month, this represents relief and hope for many but also trepidation and fear for others. The business community will have to proceed with caution, assiduity and with a clear strategy to create safe spaces for the public and then strong monitoring systems to keep the strategy on its rails.

At Alps Integral we are currently consulting on risk assessments and measures to be taken in the hotel and bar restaurant sector in French Ski resorts.

The legislation and advice from local government sources and health and hygiene authorities can seem daunting. The French administration is being understandably thorough and takes the safety of personnel and clientele very seriously in ‘normal’ times, let alone in a pandemic. As a company policy we are currently setting aside time each day for reading and interpreting the advice we are receiving (which is on a constant stream from the various sectors agents and quangos;, UMIH, Audiens and Undia to name but a few).

Please do get in touch if you would like to see any of the legislative advice we have received (free of charge of course).

Main Risk assessment headers

Even with our fingers on the pulse this remains an evolving situation and although perfect advice doesn’t actually exist, we have been able to advance our critical thinking, arriving at consensus around the main themes.  These are the main headers we have based our more detailed venue specific risk assessments around. I hope you find them useful.

  • Hand washing facilities adequately equipped and with improved availability (even if it involves building new temporary hand washing facilities). Stop gap measures (gels) for interim occasional use.
  • Distancing measures between customers, table spacing and in waiting areas
  • Distancing measures between customers and members of staff
  • Staff training, staff re-training, on the job monitoring
  • Electronic and other touch equipment cleaning
  • Customer facing information and signage
  • Auto-control systems and reporting
  • Thorough and constant cleaning of surfaces with correct detergents and correct concentrations. Objectified targets for correct cleaning practices.
  • Reception and unpacking systems for deliveries
  • New food handling and kitchen hygiene measures
  • Waste management measures
  • Room cleaning and cleaning of high touch areas on surfaces and equipment
  • PPE, masks, glove use (and the traps of glove use).
  • Monitoring health of staff members, monitoring each other.
  • What to do when staff member or clients suspect symptoms/measuring temperatures/Self isolation measures

We have encouraged our clients to open the debate with front-line staff also, this is new territory and everyone’s input is welcome. If the staff feel safe at work its a no-brainier, but more importantly their collaborative input during a risk assessment period will highlight detail that management may not see and assure professional adherence to the measures taken and so they will be safer. The staff will feel more inclined to follow procedure if they have helped to write it.

Risk assessments your next social media post

Not only are we concerned with the health and hygiene of the surroundings and the public but also about telling and informing the public about the measures taken. Our clients in the event and leisure sectors face the daunting reality that many of their customers may fear returning to ‘people spaces’ right now and thus our clients risk losing business precisely at a time when they actually need more business.

Early signs from China’s reopening is seeing trade in the hotel, bar and restaurant sector down by 50% on the seasonal averages.

Many of our clients will have never thought about public health and marketing as bedfellows. In this instance it is almost the only message to be putting out there. Signage around the venue or event space will speak to clients about how they are taking health and hygiene seriously – Social media posts showing the measures taken within a risk assessment will allay fears and will help reassure potential customers that it is safe to come to your business.

What others are doing well and some not doing at all

Businesses and the resorts themselves will be favoured by customers if they are seen to be taking this seriously and who communicate well the measures they are taking to prevent the further spread of Covid. The time to act is now!

First out the blocks have been the resorts of Chamonix and Val Thorens. Chamonix announced via the Dauphiné Liberé newspaper that from 16th May the Aiguille de Midi lift will be operating again and immediately posted that face masks would be obligatory and showed an image of the ‘standing apart’ system for passengers (grid lines on the floor). The images said it all and comes before the rest of the images showing the beauty of the mountain.

Aiguille de Midi Chamonix
Obligatory Mask
photo Bruno Magnien (DLibéré)

Val Thorens, released a video in which health and hygiene were highlighted as a no1 priority for them on their agenda along with letting everyone know the resort will be definitely be open. It sounds obvious to do this right?

They have absolutely seized the initiative  here where there has been silence from other major ski resorts. We think this summer above all could be a great brand building summer for ski resorts. The alps offer wide open spaces, clean living, plenty of sunshine and a chance to reconnect with nature. Val Thorens have understood that.

Resorts and business could follow the example the large global hotel chains who have all issued very public statements and to show what measures have been taken in China. They are a few weeks ‘ahead’ of us in their journey to normality

One example we found of this is Sukhotai hotel China.

These measures are posted clearly front and centre on their booking pages, they make no bones about putting a public health message out there as a reason to book!

Many of us have been enjoying the tranquillity and peace of lock down, but if we’re to come out of it safely, whilst reigniting our businesses – now is the time to get on the front foot to not only take appropriate measures for public health and reassure your public about the measures you’ve taken

For any in-resort advise or help please do get in touch with Richard at


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