French President Emmanuel Macron has said that he can’t see how the country’s ski resorts will be able to re-open for Christmas and New Year and thinks it’s more likely they’ll be able to do so in January 2021. according to French media reports.
In a televised address on Tuesday evening. 24th November, President Macron said that ski areas would probably not be able to open for the busy Christmas and New Year holiday periods as France tries to consolidate its November lockdown success in dramatically cutting infection rates.
President Macron said he hoped ski resorts would be able to open in January and that he hoped to give a clearer picture within the next 10 days.
His comments appear to have generated different interpretations. Many French media sources are taking this as a definitive announcement that ski areas won’t open until January and that the announcement in the next 10 days will be about the details of a January opening. Others are interpreting them as meaning there’s still hope of a pre-Christmas opening and that that could be what’s announced in the next 10 days.
Although virus infection rates in France have dropped dramatically in recent weeks, health authorities in the country’s ski regions have warned that they would quickly be overwhelmed if virus cases surged when lots of skiers arrived from all over France and further afield, reports in French media say.
Elsewhere in Europe Swiss ski areas are currently open but ski areas in Austria, Germany and Italy are closed due to November lockdowns.
President Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who is reported to hold similar views on not opening Italian ski areas until January either, are reported to be seeking a pan-EU approach to avoid skiers heading from a country with closed areas to one where they’re open causing a danger of spreading infection, but the Austrian government are reported to be less keen on shutting down ski areas there over the holiday period.