Germany, Italy and France are in favor of closing ski resorts but Austria and Switzerland fear economic damage by shutting down the ski industry. The Guardian reports German chancellor, Angela Merkel, announced on Thanksgiving they will be joining Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, and the French president, Emmanuel Macron, in calling for a Europe-wide shutdown of winter sports until January 10th to curb a fresh coronavirus wave.
“We will push for a vote in Europe on whether we can close all ski resorts. If you listen to noises coming out of Austria, it sadly doesn’t currently look like we will find an easy solution – but we will try again.” –Chancellor Merkel
Ski resort’s pandemic operations are a bit of a mishmash across the pond and people aren’t soon forgetting the COVID clusters in Alpine resorts such as Austria’s Ischgl playing a key role in in the first wave of the pandemic with ski vacationers from several European countries bringing the virus back home following ski trips abroad. Austria’s finance minister, Gernot Blümel, warns of economic fallout of closures (15% of Austria’s GDP comes from ski resorts):
“If the EU does in fact force skiing areas to stay closed, that will mean costs of up to €2bn” over the holiday period, the finance minister, Gernot Blümel, said. “If ski resorts have to stay shut, the EU has to offer compensation.”
Heavy decisions in the coming weeks across Europe’s high country. Stay safe out their friends.
images from theskiproject IG