France Reveals Measures to Stop Its Citizens Skiing Abroad
1st December 2020
President Macron said on Tuesday he will take measures to dissuade people from skiing in neighbouring Switzerland. Details have now been revealed. UPDATED
With it looking increasingly likely that French resorts will have to close their lifts over the Xmas period President Macron said on Tuesday he would take “restrictive and dissuasive measures” to prevent French people simply heading to Switzerland to ski.
“If there are countries which keep their ski resorts open, we will have to take control measures,” he said.
On Wednesday morning the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, told French television that random border controls would take place and a 7-day quarantine for French people who ski abroad.
The resorts are open in Switzerland and seem unlikely to close.
Resorts in Spain in the Pyrenees have not said whether they will open, but some indications say they will.
Jean Castex, in an interview on French TV Channel BFM said “We are going to set up a quarantine with the neighbouring authorities, there will be random checks at the border.
“You will be placed in quarantine for seven days and you will undergo tests.”
“I’m doing my utmost to appeal to every colleague,” said Jean Castex.
“The Italian prime minister, the German chancellor and France are working together. The Spaniards and Swiss aren’t going along with us, but diplomatic action is under way.”
France has managed to bring down its rate of Covid-19 sharply with its lockdown, and it now has 116 reported cases per 100,000 people over a 7-day period.
Switzerland has restrictions in place, but no lockdown.
It has 310 cases per 100,000 people.
On Monday the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, had further discussions with representatives from the French mountain communities.
They will meet again on December 11th to “discuss the situation and decide when resorts can reopen”.
It is understood if cases go down significantly there may be some form of relaxation over Xmas though no details have been revealed.
Ski resorts in France have reacted angrily to the news that their lifts may be unable to run with a series of demonstrations taking place this week.
The Swiss resorts in the Portes du Soleil ski area had reported to be already planning to pick up skiers in the French resorts and bring them round to the Swiss side.
The Portes du Soleil ski area staddles France and Switzerland.
“We plan to pick up the skiers near Châtel and the other French resorts by bus. We are preparing to absorb part of the French clientele,” said the director of the Portes du Soleil Switzerland, Enrique Caballero.
The French resorts in the Portes du Soleil include Chatel, Morzine, Les Gets and Avoriaz.
The resorts of Champery, Les Crosets and Morgins are in Switzerland.
The mayor of Chatel in France has decked out the town hall with Swiss flags.
“A lack of listening and consultation, a rash decision – France has decided to close its ski areas when its neighbour has taken a different position. Symbolically, the town hall of Châtel is decked out in the colours of Switzerland,” tweeted the mayor, Nicolas Rubin.
Intense lobbying is going on from the French ski resorts to try to open for Xmas and New Year.
Resorts have been told they can open, but will not be able to run the lifts.
People will be allowed to do other on-snow activities as long as they do not require using a lift.
Germany, Italy and France want their resorts to remain closed, but Austria and Switzerland want them to be open.
Resorts are currently open in Switzerland and the Austrian government meets on Wednesday to discuss what measures will remain in place when it comes out of its lockdown on Sunday December 6th.
The rules for ski resorts will be under discussion.
Here at PlanetSKI we are getting indications that Austria’s government may ban skiing holidays over the Christmas break.
Quarantine measures are likely to be imposed on international visitors, though resorts will be running lifts.
We stress that this has not been confirmed and details will be unveiled on Wednesday.
President Macron said further details of the measures affecting France will be “decided by the French government in the coming days”.