French president warns of steps to dissuade holiday ski trips to Switzerland

French president warns of steps to dissuade holiday ski trips to Switzerland
© Getty Images

French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronMacron tells UK to 'get serious' on migrant crisis amid fresh tensions Cities prep security plans for large holiday crowds Harris's communications director to depart next month MORE announced on Tuesday that France will be applying restrictions to prevent people from going to Swiss ski resorts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Macron said French ski slopes would remain closed during the holiday season, according to The Associated Press. Switzerland is not part of the European Union and has allowed ski resorts to largely operate as they usually do.

“If there are countries ... which maintain their ski resorts open, we will have to take control measures,” said Macron when speaking on dissuading people from going to these areas.


Macron made the comments during a press conference following a meeting with with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. Details on the restrictions will be decided on in the next few days, Macron said.

“We need solidarity ... at our borders. We cannot ask (ski) resorts to stop their activities and see that people are traveling,” said De Croo. “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.” 

French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced last week that winter sports resorts will be allowed to remain open, though ski lifts and ski slopes will remain closed. These measures have been put in place in the hopes of discouraging people from traveling and mixing at ski resorts.

The announcement comes less than a week after German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on countries in the Alpine region to close down their ski resorts to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also warned people against skiing during this holiday season though he did not order a restriction on the activity.

France, Germany, Italy and the U.K. have all recently gone under national lockdowns. France began to relax its lockdown on Saturday, reports the AP, but bars and restaurants will likely remain closed until Jan. 20.

According to Reuters, Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Bluemel stated that if the ski sector is shut down, Europe could lose up to 2 billion euros, arguing that such a financial loss should be picked by the European Union.