COVID CASES IN FRANCE
There have been a number of cases of Covid in a group of trainees on a course in France.
They had just arrived to start their qualifications with BASI as well as their Outdoor First Aid qualifications.
All had travelled in the UK in accordance with UK regulations and then entered France in accordance with advice from the French Consulate in London.
All trainees travelled with negative PCR tests as required by French law.
A few days after arrival one trainee felt tired and slightly unwell, so was immediately tested.
This test was positive and all the trainees were immediately isolated and then tested.
Despite the absence of symptoms in many trainees there were a number of positive results.
At every point we have followed the guidance of the medical services here in France and the trainees have been excellent in cooperating and helping with the track and trace procedure.
We continue to follow French rules on quarantine and are working with the authorities here to help contain the situation.
UPDATE April 20, 2021
Now the season has finished we wanted to just add to this post with some details and facts.
First of all the trainees followed all the French requirements for self-isolation until they were judged safe to travel by the medical authorities. This was then confirmed with the Swiss authorities.
At every step we were liaising with the French regional health authority, the British Embassy, the Swiss national health authorities, the Swiss national migration office and also the local health authority in Valais to ensure all policies were followed, risk was minimised and travel was approved by every single body involved.
Happily almost every single trainee who tested positive had virtually no symptoms. A few had very, very mild symptoms. All recovered completely.
Crucially the cases were isolated immediately and there was no trace of a single infection spreading to outside the trainee group. The local community was not infected.
There is absolutely no evidence that the trainees brought the virus from the UK – whilst it is a possibility it could just as easily been picked up on the busy mainline train services in France.
The news stories around this event lead to a lot of people questioning why the trainees were skiing. It also lead to a great deal of distress for members of the local community which we deeply regret.
However, the trainees were travelling in complete accordance with government policies in France, the UK and Switzerland. Education was – and remains – an acceptable reason for international travel but under strict controls.
Many people are not aware that ski teaching is a heavily regulated profession and many do not feel it is ‘education’.
But this is not the case.
BASI qualifications are recognised internationally in the ski industry – an industry that is probably most heavily regulated in France itself.