It is the European dilemma, to open or not to open the ski resorts.
Most European countries have opted for the closure of the facilities, although nobody prevents walking through the deserted mountain.
A measure taken after the experience of the first wave of coronavirus, this spring, when a well-known Austrian ski resort, Ischgl, was a source of infection for many European citizens.
But Austria, which was already reluctant to close its stations for Christmas, has finally decided to open them; Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has announced that it will be possible to ski in Austria from December 24th, although the hotel structures will be closed until January 7th.
Merkel defender of closure
Austria thus ignores the advice of Germany while accusing Angela Merkel of interference after her statements stating that she wanted to ban ski holidays, at least until 10 January.
“We will try to get the closure of skiing approved at the European Union level,” said the chancellor, after learning that other countries such as France and Italy were implementing such measure.
France and Belgium will apply control measures
In France, President Emmanuel Macron has warned the French that he will take action if they fall into the temptation to go skiing outside their borders, such as Spain, since in France the stations will be closed for Christmas.
“If there are countries in the European Union and outside the European Union that keep their ski resorts open, we will apply control measures to first discourage our fellow citizens from going to areas where we consider there are risks of infection, and on the other hand we do not want create a situation of imbalance with closed stations in France, Italy and Germany while others would be open “.
He added that these “restrictive and dissuasive” measures, which will be refined in the coming days.
The Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, who gave a joint press conference with Emmanuel Macron, shares this opinion and stated that Belgium will carry out “border controls” to prevent this type of tourist travel and to respect the quarantine that is applied. it imposes those who enter from areas where there is a strong circulation of the coronavirus.
“There has to be solidarity between European countries and third countries with which we share borders. I think that you cannot ask our ski resorts to stop their activities and see that people can go to others.”
Precautions not to generate another Ischgl
Other stations that may be in Switzerland or in Spain where, for example, Baqueira Beret opens on December 11 and Sierra Nevada is waiting
Of course, respecting the safety measures such as mandatory mask, social distance, disinfection and restricted capacity on the ski lifts so as not to generate another Ischgl.