French President Emmanuel Macron said in a national TV address yesterday that the country’s ski resorts will not be allowed to open for Christmas and New Year holidays. Macron said coronavirus risks made it “impossible” to allow winter sports to resume quickly.
The President will consult with neighboring countries to co-ordinate start dates for the winter season. Just yesterday, Italy revealed how it planned to ban skiing over the holiday period, and that ski resorts should not open until the end of January when the number of infections falls and European countries can start vaccination campaigns.
President Macron hopes to see ski resorts reopen in January, and will provide updates on his plans within the next ten days. The bombshell came during a wider speech where it was announced that France will lift its national lockdown on December 15th, with shops authorized to reopen as early as Saturday following weeks of closure.
France has 350 ski resorts employing more than 120,000 people during the high season and generating an estimated 10 billion euros ($11.9 billion) of revenue each year. Across Europe, ski areas in Germany, Austria, and Italy remain closed. Swiss and Polish ski resorts are currently open.
France has had 2,153,815 confirmed covid-19 cases and 50,237 deaths with covid.