Germany wants Alpine countries to close ski resorts to fight the coronovirus epidemic, but reaching an agreement with neighboring country Austria is proving difficult, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.
Merkel told Parliament, “The ski season is coming to a close. We are trying to coordinate in Europe whether we can close all the ski resorts”.
In the first wave of coronovirus at the beginning of the year, many Germans were infected at the Austrian ski resort of Ischgal. Germany last month issued a travel warning for popular ski areas in Austria, Italy and Switzerland.
France, Italy, Austria and Germany have all also ordered high-altitude elevators, which may be closed earlier this winter, to remain closed now in the hope that all resorts can benefit in the peak season – if And when the infection rate slows down.
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Austria’s nationwide lockdown is scheduled to be lifted on 7 December, but it is unclear what this would mean for the ski area. Austria has been lukewarm about common European rules.
Germany is Austria’s largest source of foreign tourists.
Earlier this week, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte warned people not to ski during the Christmas holidays to curb the second wave of the coronovirus epidemic.
He also called on other European countries to agree on general rules for the region to prevent cases of imports from abroad if they keep their slopes off Italy.
France says its ski slopes should stay away from the border by 2021.
If the European Union forces the skiing areas to remain closed, it would mean a loss of up to 2 billion euros (more than $ 2.38 billion), which the European Union should cover, Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Blumel said earlier this week. I said
Switzerland, which is not part of the European Union, is allowing normal operations at its ski resort.
Merkel agreed with the leaders of Germany’s 16 federal states to extend and tighten the coronovirus lockdown by Wednesday 20 December, but ease rules over the Christmas holiday to celebrate families and friends together.