The Italian government wants to ban ski holidays across Europe over the Christmas period in a dramatic effort to prevent the spread of covid-19, an Italian daily paper (La Repubblica) reports.
According to the government, ski resorts should not open until the end of January, when the number of infections falls and European countries can start vaccination campaigns, and is seeking the support of its European neighbors. The country believes anti-covid measures should not be relaxed, lest they risk a third wave in January, after the holidays.
The Italian government has declared The Aosta Valley, Lombardy, and Piedmont as ‘Red Zones,’ meaning people can only leave their homes for essential reasons. Unfortunately, despite what we might think, skiing is not deemed essential.
Home to the country’s biggest and best ski areas, the three areas began the strictest form of lockdown on Friday 6th November 2020. Calabria, in the south of the country, joined them.
The rules of the lockdown are:
- No one will be able to leave or enter a “red zone”
- Citizens must stay home, except to go to work or shop for essentials
- Citizens can also exercise near their homes but must wear masks
- Factories will remain open, as will essential services such as pharmacies and supermarkets
France, Austria, and Germany are all currently engaged in strict lockdowns, meaning ski resorts are closed. In all nations, the lockdowns are due to end in early December.
Leaders of the six northern Italian regions where the ski resorts are based are appealing to the government to abandon the plans.
“Closing the ski slopes over the Christmas holidays means sentencing the mountain communities to death. While there will be skiing in Austria, Switzerland, and France, the government in Italy wants to close everything. The northern Italian regions have designed anti-Covid precautions for the ski facilities, thanks to which you can ski in complete safety.”
– Massimo Sertori, the representative for the mountain communities of the Lombardy region
Government officials are reviewing their strategy for the Christmas period and will release their recommendations to the Italian public before December 3rd when the current regulations expire.
For the second day in a row in Italy, both the number of people testing positive for covid-19 and the number of fatalities fell in the last 24 hours on Sunday. 50,453 people have died with the coronavirus in Italy.