Ski holidays or not? Winter sports countries are struggling with corona policy

Popular winter sports countries in the Alpine region are struggling with the coming winter sports season. The number of positive corona tests is still rising, leading some countries to argue for a joint closure of winter sports areas. Other countries see no point in this and have just reopened the ski slopes. An overview.

Prime Minister Italy advises against skiing while on holiday and wants European policy

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has called on residents not to go on winter sports during the Christmas holidays in order to curb the second corona wave in the country.

The ski areas in Italy are closed for the time being. However, measures are being taken in the areas to allow the areas to be open, such as limiting the number of winter sports enthusiasts in the ski lifts or the number of ski passes to be sold per day. Whether the measures are sufficient for the government to permit the opening of the areas remains to be seen.

Conte is already arguing for a European policy with regard to the opening of winter sports areas. He says he has spoken with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron about what he says “European problem”. “If Italy closes all ski lifts without any support from France, Austria and other countries, then Italian tourists risk traveling abroad and taking home an infection,” he told the Italian channel on Tuesday. LA7.

Macron has also said it wants to coordinate the start dates of the winter sports season with other countries in the Alpine region.

In France, the ski areas remain closed until at least the end of the year. Macron deems it “impossible” to get winter sports to resume quickly due to the risks of the virus and says an opening in January is more likely if conditions are right.

French slopes are likely to remain empty for the rest of the year. (Photo: ANP)

However, a joint closure of the winter sports areas cannot count on much support from Austria. “If the EU wants to oblige ski resorts to remain closed, it will cost up to 2 billion euros”, suggested Minister of Finance Gernot Blümel. “If that is really what the EU wants, then they should pay for it.”

According to Blümel, winter sports holidays in Austria are safe, subject to a number of measures. There is no après-ski, people have to keep their distance from one another and mouth masks are mandatory in public areas.

A lockdown was introduced in Austria on 3 November, which will last until at least 6 December. Health officials insist that measures can only be relaxed gradually if the numbers remain favorable.

Winter sports areas in the country set their sights on an opening almost immediately after the lockdown is lifted. Some popular destinations have already announced their opening dates: Mayrhofen bets on December 6 and Ischgl hopes to open on December 17th.

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