The following update (in French) published on 2 June comes from UIAA member association, FFCAM – Fédération française des clubs alpins et de montagne (FFCAM). It details the decision by French authorities to allow mountain huts to reopen. FFCAM’s own huts will open gradually with prior reservation mandatory. A translated extract from the communication reads:
A gradual reopening
FFCAM will gradually reopen its huts with capacities initially reduced compared to their usual numbers. Capacities will then gradually increase. Each refuge (hut) will have its own configuration, it will have its own solutions, whether it is the installation of a small separation between the mattresses, or even the fact of raising the mattresses which will be left voluntarily unoccupied to guarantee social distance. Obviously, several questions still arise: firstly, will the measures taken prove effective? “For this, it is essential to continue working together, and to rely on feedback from good practices,” proposed Nicolas Raynaud, FFCAM President. And secondly, the question of the economic model which arises with potentially reduced capacities and additional work for the guards.
In any event, the first protocols are being validated by the prefects, and several refuges will open from the weekend: the Conscripts in Haute-Savoie, the Dent Parrachée, the Fond d’Aussois, and the Col Vanoise in Savoie, Les Écrins and Glacier Blanc in Hautes-Alpes, the refuges of Nice and Merveilles in Mercantour.
– the dormitory space will be adapted, allowing better separation of groups of people;
– a space dedicated to people with symptoms of Covid-19 will be set up;
– the catering service will be adapted (meals if possible outside, setting up several services);
– movement within the building, like what is done in shops, will be redesigned.
– reservation will be compulsory;
– the signing of an “Individual commitment charter for a stay in a safe mountain refuge, for me and for others” is mandatory;
– each and everyone must bring protective equipment (mask, gel, etc.) as well as individual equipment which will not exceptionally be provided this summer