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Covid-19 in Alpe d'Huez

Discover the latest Alpe d'Huez Covid-19 Coronavirus updates

Ana Hernández, Alpe d'Huez Editor | Published

After a very successful summer season, with visitors being able to enjoy the mountains in complete safety, Alpe d'Huez is gearing up for the ski lift opening, which will happen on the 5th of December 2020. Everyone’s been working really hard to ensure that skiers and snowboarders can use all of the ski area’s facilities and services without having to worry about their health and safety. This is what skiing in Alpe d'Huez will look like this winter.

The 2020/21 ski season will surely be a unique one. With the global pandemic still very much in everyone’s minds, all the teams and businesses in Alpe d'Huez have worked hard to implement health and safety protocols. Therefore, there’s nothing to worry about. With skiing and snowboarding being outdoor sports, risks are minimal, and there are plenty of ways to ensure that you stay safe while off the slopes. Plus, the snow will come just like it does every winter – there have been some substantial early-season dumps that have us hoping for a very snowy ski season. We even expect a drop in the number of skiers which means that the Alps will probably be quieter than ever... a silver lining if ever there was one!

Can you ski in Alpe d'Huez this winter?

Yes! Winter opening dates have already been announced – Alpe d'Huez is welcoming skiers and snowboarders this season from December 5th 2020 to April 24th 2021. Even better, there are no limitations on the number of people on the slopes or the amount of ski passes on sale.

What measures have been taken to ensure everyone's safety on ski lifts?

Being able to maintain social distancing on lifts and mountain areas is something that both authorities and local businesses have been contemplating for months. Thanks to the lifts opening over the summer, Alpe d'Huez have been able to test out their Covid-19 safety measures on lifts and fine-tune them for the winter. So far, there are no limits on the number of people in the mountain at the same time, although this may change depending on how the pandemic develops.

This is how Alpe d'Huez is keeping you safe on lifts this winter:

  • Face masks are mandatory not only while riding the lifts but also while waiting to board.
  • Public areas are disinfected regularly.
  • Buying ski passes online in advance is highly encouraged.
  • They’ve reorganised the way people queue to buy ski passes and board the lifts to respect safety distances.
  • Hand sanitiser is available at ski pass offices, lift boarding areas and any other public spaces.
  • At the rail sledge, seats and handles are disinfected after each customer.
  • Staff has been trained on the new health and safety measures, which are also publicly displayed for everyone to see.

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Where to stay in Alpe d'Huez this winter?

Chalets, apartments and hotels in Alpe d'Huez are operating as usual this winter, with the only difference that strict health and safety measures in place to protect both customers and staff.

Booking policies have also been updated and many accommodation providers now offer flexible cancellations and full refunds when trips are cancelled because of Coronavirus – look out for the Covid-Proof Booking symbol on our Apartments and Chalets page. In any case, your accommodation provider will be able to inform you about the specific measures they're taking – we recommend you ask them directly before booking.

Finally, self-catering is undoubtedly very popular this ski season – staying only with a reduced group of friends or family means fewer chances of getting infected. That’s why many chalet and apartment companies have increased their portfolio of self-catered properties. This doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t any catered chalets and apartments available in Alpe d'Huez this season. Not only are they still on offer but they're also as safe as self-catering thanks to the new protocols that mean that staff wears face masks at all times and all areas are disinfected regularly. Some companies have even implemented contactless catered holidays where meals are laid out before you sit at your table and cleaning takes place while you're out on the slopes.

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What are businesses in Alpe d'Huez doing to keep customers safe?

Alpe d'Huez is a huge outdoor playground where keeping a safe distance from other people is as easy as it gets. Take advantage of the many open-air activities and events on offer in this wonderful ski area this winter!

Ski hire shops, ski schools, activity companies and other tourist businesses in Alpe d'Huez are doing their best to implement strict safety measures to give everyone peace of mind while taking ski or snowboard lessons, participating in activities or renting gear.

  • Face masks are obligatory both for staff and customers.
  • Hand sanitiser is available at ski hire shops, ski schools and even while taking part in activities.
  • In general, groups are cut by half to ensure social distancing while outdoor activities are favoured.
  • Online booking is also preferred and contactless payment encouraged.
  • All areas, materials and indoor surfaces are disinfected regularly.
  • Just like with your accommodation, flexible cancellation policies have been implemented.

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Are bars & restaurants open in Alpe d'Huez this ski season?

Yes, they are! It's not a proper ski holiday if you can't enjoy an apres-ski drink or a piping hot pizza after a hard day on the slopes. That's why restaurants and bars in Alpe d'Huez are implementing strict protocols to make sure everyone's safe.

Staff wears face masks at all times and washes their hands frequently while clients also have to wear masks, except when sitting at their tables. Only table service is allowed, so no standing at the bar, and there is at least 1 metre between tables plus, to make is even safer, contactless menus are encouraged – be it by using QR codes, good old blackboards… Contactless payment is preferred while hand sanitiser is available everywhere and surfaces and spaces are disinfected regularly.

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Can you travel to Alpe d'Huez this winter?

In general, the answer is yes but it depends on the coronavirus situation in the country you’re departing from.

There are no restrictions, quarantine or paperwork required for EU citizens and people coming from the UK, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, the Holy See, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Rwanda, San Marino, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. However, bear in mind that you may need to self-isolate or undertake a quarantine upon your return to your country of origin.

Passengers from all other countries will have to fullfill a list of requirements – take a look at France Diplomacy’s website for more information. 

Strict safety measures such as temperature checks, disinfection of aircrafts, compulsory use of masks, online check-ins and reduction in the number of bags to be taken onboard ensure that everyone is safe when coming to Alpe d'Huez.

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7 tips to stay safe in Alpe d'Huez this winter

1. Follow safety and hygiene guidelines
We keep repeating it but following safety and hygiene rules is the best way to stay safe on your holidays in Alpe d'Huez: keep a distance of 2 metres, wash your hands and wear a mask (or cover your nose and mouth). Try not to touch your face as well... we know, easier said than done!

2. Trust local businesses
Not only are businesses in Alpe d'Huez putting strict safety and hygiene measures in place but they've also made cancellations much more flexible. This means that, if for any reason you're forced to cancel your holiday, you'll probably be given a full refund. Look out for our Covid-Proof Booking symbol when booking your accommodation, your ski lessons, your ski hire or your activities on our site.

3. Avoid the crowds
The easiest way to comply with social distancing is to avoid crowds altogether. We've got a few strategies to help you with that like, for example, booking a whole chalet or an entire apartment instead of a hotel room, that way you can prevent bumping into other guests during your stay.

After weeks of confinement, being outdoors, breathing fresh air and feeling the sun's warmth on our skin is just what we need. Scientists are actually testing whether heat and UV radiation in sunlight might affect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, two things which are plentiful in Alpe d'Huez both in the summer and the winter – just remember to lather up with sunscreen!

In Alpe d'Huez, you can easily enjoy the outdoors while avoiding the crowds. Just opt for private lessons and activities instead of group ones, such as booking a private ski or snowboard instructor just for you and your group of friends or family, or a private transfer to take you from Geneva airport to your accommodation. There are plenty of other things you can do in the area in small groups both in the summer and the winter.

4. Book early
Limitations regarding the amount of people that businesses can welcome or the crowds that events can gather are being enforced. That's why, now more than ever, we recommend you book early. This will ensure you get the best table in Alpe d'Huez's hottest apres-ski spot!

5. Get off the beaten path
Another great strategy to avoid the crowds and to discover Alpe d'Huez's hidden gems along the way is to visit the area's lesser-known places. The valley is full of charming secret spots and the best way to explore them is to book a local guide. You'll get to ski remote stashes of powder, hit challenging trails on a mountain bike (or an e-bike – perfect for the whole family!), hike the Alpine summits and try out new things. There's a world of choices away from the tourist crowds in Alpe d'Huez!

6. Entertain at yours
Celebrations aren't off the table this summer and winter in Alpe d'Huez. However, instead of booking a restaurant or a bar, why not ask a catering company to bring the party to you? Private chalets and apartments make for great venues and Alpe d'Huez has an excellent selection of catering companies ranging from private chefs to delivered ready-made meals providing the best street grub from your own garden.

7. Drive to Alpe d'Huez
Maintaining social distancing on planes and trains can be quite tricky, so why not drive to Alpe d'Huez? It takes around 9 hours to get from Calais to Alpe d'Huez town centre and tolls cost around €80 each way. We know that cars aren't great for the environment but their carbon footprint is much lower than that of planes with studies suggesting that flights emit around 133g of carbon dioxide per person while a diesel car carrying four passengers emits only 43gr per person. Once in Alpe d'Huez, leave your vehicle at one of the local car parks and move around on foot or using the great network of free shuttle buses that'll take you to the foot of the slopes in no time.

More information

Everyone's working hard to ensure that Alpe d'Huez has a safe summer and winter season. For up to date information on travelling during the Coronavirus crisis, please visit the Covid-19-dedicated WHO's website and the UK Foreign Office's France travel advice website or ask your local authorities.

You can also check real-time Covid-19 data in France below: 

Stay safe and remember that we're here to help you with your bookings and with any questions you may have about Alpe d'Huez.

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