Emmanuel Macron Wants to Prevent French Skiers From Going Abroad at Christmas

EMMANUEL MACRON Wants to Prevent French Skiers from Going Abroad at Christmas.

After failing to succeed in coordinating with its neighbours, France could take “restrictive and dissuasive measures” to prevent the French from going skiing abroad at Christmas, especially in Switzerland, while many ski lifts in France will be closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“If there are countries which keep stations open, there will be controls to dissuade the French” and “not to create a situation of imbalance with stations in France”, declared the head of state after having received Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo on Tuesday.

“We will have restrictive and dissuasive measures” which “will be refined in the coming days with the government and depending on the review clause that was planned around December 11,” he said.

Macron was answering a question about Switzerland in a news conference, following a meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. “Yes, we will take restrictive and dissuasive measures,” Macron said. Details of the measures will be decided by the French government in the coming days, he added.

Prime Minister Jean Castex announced last week that French winter sports resorts will be allowed to open for the Christmas season, but ski lifts, and thus, ski slopes, will have to remain shut at least until next month. The measure aims to dissuade people from travelling and mixing in ski resorts to prevent further virus infections.

France has started relaxing lockdown measures on Saturday, but bars and restaurants will remain closed at least until Jan. 20. Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo agreed that “we need solidarity … at our borders. We cannot ask (ski ) resorts to stop their activities and see that people are travelling. In fact, all of us, we don’t need a virologist to know that if that’s forbidden in France, doing it in another country may not be very clever,” he said.

France and Germany, which has closed its ski resorts, are pushing for similar measures to be taken in other European countries, like Italy and Spain, for the Christmas season. Ski resorts are already open in Switzerland, which has allowed skiing.

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Tony Winterburn

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