Macron said French ski slopes will 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 operate largely as they usually do.
“If there are countries … that keep their ski resorts open, we will have to take control measures,” Macron said of deterring people from going to those areas.
Macron made the comments at a press conference following a meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. Details on the restrictions will be decided in the coming days, Macron said.
“We need solidarity… at our borders. We cannot ask (ski) stations to stop their activities and see people traveling, ”said De Croo. “In fact, all of us don’t need a virologist to know that if it’s banned in France, doing it in another country may not be very smart.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced last week that ski resorts would be allowed to remain open, even though ski lifts and ski slopes will remain closed. These measures were put in place in the hope of deterring people from traveling and mingling at ski resorts.
The announcement comes less than a week after German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on countries in the Alpine region to close their ski resorts to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also warned people against skiing during this holiday period, although he did not order activity restrictions.
France, Germany, Italy and the UK have all recently been subject to national lockdowns. France began loosening its lockdown on Saturday, the AP reports, but bars and restaurants will likely remain closed until January 20.
According to Reuters, Austrian Finance Minister Gernot Bluemel said that if the ski industry is closed, Europe could lose up to € 2 billion, arguing that such a financial loss should be chosen by the European Union.