Winter sports enthusiasts in Germany seem to be facing another disappointment. Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder has come up with a proposal for a European-wide temporary closure of ski areas and lifts across Europe, in order to combat the coronavirus pandemic. “If we want to keep borders open, we also need a clear agreement on winter sports, including alpine skiing. Otherwise, a difficult situation awaits us “, – stated Zöder.
The politician stressed that winter sports fans returning from ski resorts in risk areas are required to be in quarantine for ten days. Zöder added: “I would prefer that we adopt a single agreement at the European level: lifts will be closed everywhere, not open anywhere or ski holidays will not take place in any country.”
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has already announced that it will be impossible to ski between Christmas and New Year in Italy this year. “We cannot afford it,” the politician said, referring to the risk of possible infection. The head of the Italian government stressed that Christmas should not be the beginning of the third wave of Covid-19 in Europe.
Conte’s proposal was heavily criticized by the President of the Piedmont region, Alberto Sirio. He believes that the ski lifts should be left open, while closing the bars and restaurants in the ski areas.
Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Blumel rejected Italy’s offer to close ski slopes across Europe by Christmas. “I do not in any way support Italy’s proposal to close European and, including Austrian, ski resorts,” he told Reuters. The politician added that if the EU does indeed ban winter tourism, Austria will demand compensation.
“If the EU actually decides that the ski areas should remain closed, for us this means costs up to two billion euros. And if the EU really wants it, then it must pay for it, ”said Blumel.
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Germany plans to start Christmas holidays on December 18 and end on January 11