December 31, 2020
This is the date that was announced by President Macron when he ordered the elevators to be closed. Doubts remain, but there are signs of hope. NEW
Cases in France remain at around 15,000 per day, which is above the target of 5,000, but they are not increasing like in other parts of Europe, including the UK.
The UK currently has over 53,000 a day.
France has 67.8 million inhabitants and the United Kingdom 66.6 million.
Some locals we spoke to at resorts in the Alps fear they won’t, but the government has said France will not return to lockdown in the near future.
The confirmation of the closure of the elevators was made on December 11, the French court confirms the closure of the elevators and the date set for the opening in January.
Health Minister Olivier Véran said there would be a consultation on additional measures for the worst affected areas only, including a 6 p.m. curfew.
Parts of the French Alps lie in some of the worst affected regions, with eastern France recording the most cases.
There are 20 departments in France that could potentially be affected by the early curfew, including Hautes-Alpes and Alpes-Maritimes.
The entire country is currently under a curfew from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
Bars, restaurants, cafes, gymnasiums, theaters, cinemas, museums and cultural centers are closed in ski resorts.
Hotels are allowed to remain open.
Hospital pressure remains high, but stable, and there is capacity.
Olivier Véran indicated that the Council had therefore decided not to reintroduce the lockdown.
France is to mobilize 100,000 police on New Year’s Eve to break the holidays and enforce an enforced curfew to fight the spread of the virus.
The officers will be instructed to break up the underground parties as soon as they are reported, to amend the participants and to identify the organizers.
Patrols must carry out “appropriate identity checks” and search vehicles.
Like other European countries, France will experience muted New Year’s Eve celebrations
Elsewhere in the Alps:
The ski resorts are open in Suisse with few restrictions on the arrival of foreigners.
The hotels are open, but the bars and restaurants are closed.
In Austria they are open but only to locals with quarantine restrictions in place for international visitors and most resort facilities such as hotels, bars and restaurants are closed.
French authorities will likely look at the image in Suisse and Austria.
Resorts in Italy stay closed.
In the Pyrenees the ski areas of Andorra are closed, while there are some open in the Pyrenees.
Norway, Finland and Sweden all have their complexes open.
For our full weekly roundup of all the ski nations in Europe, see here:
In France, consultation is underway with local authorities in the worst affected areas and new measures are expected to focus on introducing a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
This would only apply to the most affected departments and cities, and not to the regional level.
Speaking on national televisions, he would not question whether cinemas, theaters and cultural centers could reopen as planned on January 7, saying the government wanted to see data showing whether the Christmas holidays led to an increase the number of cases.
The same criteria would be applied to determine whether ski resorts can start their ski lifts.
For the moment, the slopes are open but only for ski touring, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Some people have hiked.
French ski resorts are getting ready for Christmas without ski lifts
PlanetSKI goes up in the French Alps
Currently, the ski lifts are expected to start on January 7, but it all depends on the number of new infections recorded during the holiday period.
A decision is not expected until the beginning of the new year.
Bars, restaurants, cafes and gyms were to reopen on January 20, although again this will only happen if the health situation is under control.