French campsites are preparing for a summer of social distancing (photos)


ATlimited access to the swimming pool, reinforced cleaning, redesigned activities: French campsites have to juggle between strict application of health protocols and maintaining the spirit of conviviality specific to this type of holiday, which should still appeal this summer despite the context.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced Thursday that campsites could reopen on June 2 in the green zones, and on June 22 in the “orange” zones, where vigilance remains in the face of Covid-19.

Already many reservations

“Since this announcement, reservations have exploded: people call and make it happen, they were ready, they just needed a date, and also and above all the assurance that the swimming pools at the campsites could reopen”, summed up AFP Nicolas Dayot, President of the Federation of Outdoor Hotels (FNHPA).

With 8,000 sites – including less than 1% in the “orange” zone – camping is the leading form of accommodation in summer in France, with 129 million overnight stays recorded last year and two thirds of French customers.

Reopening next week

A good part of the “small” campsites should reopen this Tuesday, “and the larger ones will have a bit of a lag,” said Nicolas Dayot. The reopening will be on June 13 for Homair Vacances, specializing in stays in mobile homes, which offers 130 destinations including 104 in France.


“It will be conviviality, but without promiscuity. Campsites are like small villages, with places to live and to pass, you have to think of everything, “underlines Romain Lucas, director of establishments in this group which, in addition to applying the health protocol developed by the sector, has uses a company specializing in health risk management.

“In the mobile homes, between each rental, we will insist on cleaning the door handles, windows and fridges with virucidal products, and we will increase the waiting times between the customers who leave and those who arrive, to have between six to eight hours, “he explains.


Very strict rules

Around the pools, “we thought of a system of colored bracelets with reserved slots,” says Romain Lucas. In the water or around the basins, the FNHPA notably proposed to the health authorities to apply the rule of 4 m2 per person.


“The water slides will remain open, but there will be some distance in the queue. And the hot tubs will be open to couples, but not to two people from two different families, “says Bryce Arnaud-Battandier, general manager of the platform (Pierre et Vacances group), which distributes 1,400 campsites in France and Spain, including 12 affiliates.

He underlines that “disinfection in mobile homes is the strongest expectation of customers, such as washing dishes with virucidal products”.


“We are in a fairly important level of detail, and this is the first time that I have to talk about cleaning products AND holidays! But the goal is to take the minimum of risks, “adds Mikaël Quilfen, marketing director of Siblu, operator of 21 high-end campsites in France which will reopen on June 6.

The month of June, a test

“The month of June will allow the teams to prepare for the high season, and to verify the implementation of protocols. Currently, we are testing different cleaning products, and we have also decided not to offer quilts and pillows as usual because we cannot wash them between each client, “he said.

As for entertainment, no children’s clubs this summer, and rather karaoke or “one-man shows” in the evening, specifies Mr. Quilfen.

“Overall, we are trying to humanize the posting of instructions as much as possible, the objective being that people feel safe, but not always on the alert,” summarizes Nicolas Dayot for the Federation of the sector. .

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