Piste off: Germany wants to close all alpine ski areas by mid-January in order to fight the pandemic, which endangers the British Christmas vacation plans, but Austria does not want to lose billions
- Reaching an agreement with neighboring Austria is proving difficult
- Austria's nationwide lockdown is to be lifted on December 7th
- However, it is not clear what this will mean for the ski sector
Ski season is almost here, but ski-loving Brits should be careful with their plans.
This is because Germany wants the Alpine countries to keep the ski areas closed to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
However, reaching an agreement with neighboring Austria is proving difficult, said Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday.
A closed chairlift can be seen in the Passo Tonale ski area in the Dolomites, which has become a virtual ghost town after the government's decision to close everything for fear of the increasing number of coronavirus infections
Germany wants the Alpine countries to keep the ski areas closed in order to take action against the coronavirus pandemic. The Mühlbach am Hochkonig resort in Austria is shown
& # 39; The ski season is getting closer. We will try to coordinate in Europe whether we can close all ski resorts, ”Merkel told parliament, adding that this may not be possible in view of the resistance from Austria, but Germany would try again.
In the first wave of the corona virus at the beginning of the year, many Germans were infected in the Austrian ski resort of Ischgl. Last month, Germany issued travel warnings for popular ski resorts in Austria, Italy and Switzerland.
France, Italy, Austria and Germany have ordered that the high altitude lifts, which could run this early in winter, also remain closed for the time being, in the hope that all resorts can benefit in the high season if the infection rate slows down.
Austria's nationwide lockdown is due to be lifted on December 7, but it's not clear what this will mean for the ski sector. Austria was lukewarm about common European rules.
Germany is Austria's largest source of foreign tourists.
France, Italy, Austria (picture) and Germany have even ordered that even the high-altitude lifts, which could run so early in winter, remain closed for the time being
Earlier this week, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte warned people not to ski during the Christmas holidays in an attempt to contain a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
He also urged other European countries to agree common rules for the sector to prevent cases from being imported from abroad if Italy keeps its slopes closed.
France says its ski slopes must be closed until 2021.
If the European Union forces the ski resorts to remain closed, it will mean losses of up to two billion euros, which the EU should cover, said Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Bluemel earlier this week.
Switzerland, which is not part of the EU, allows almost normal operation in its ski areas.
On Wednesday, Merkel agreed with the heads of state and government of the 16 German federal states to extend and tighten the lockdown on the corona virus until December 20, but to simplify the rules for the Christmas holidays so that families and friends can celebrate together.
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