Germany, France, and Italy put on pressure Austria, Bulgaria to ban skiing holidays over the Christmas break in an attempt to control the coronavirus pandemic.
Austria’s tourist minister accused the German government of interfering in its domestic affairs after Angela Merkel said she had wanted a ban on skiing holidays.
According to media reports, Italian and French governments back Germany on banning ski holidays.
French President Emmanuel Macron announced that resorts in the country are unlikely to open for Christmas. A final decision is expected in the coming days, but Macron said he favours reopening in January under good conditions and that he would like to coordinate with the rest of Europe on this issue, according to euronews.
Switzerland, which is not in the EU, is also open and a number of resorts, including Zermatt, Saas-Fee, Verbier, Engelberg and Andermatt, are already offering a small number of lifts running on a limited basis, with full openings expected some time after December 5.
Resorts in Sweden, which has tightened restrictions in recent days but has never imposed a national lockdown, are also open for skiing.
Bulgaria, which is in the EU, has also reportedly rejected Germany’s call to shut ski resorts.
It’s now increasingly unlikely that Europe’s ski season will get fully underway before 2021, and even then it could be subject to last-minute cancellations and closures, according to CNN.