Andorra Closes Its Ski Slopes
4th December 2020
Last modified on December 8th, 2020
Andorra has announced the ski lifts will not run over Xmas. Resorts in the French Pyrenees will be closed until January at the earliest. There are restrictions in Spain.UPDATED
“It is a difficult and painful decision, but from a health point of view, it is better to postpone the opening of the ski resorts until January,” said the Prime Minister of Andorra, Xavier Espot.
Andorra has one of the highest rates of cases in Europe.
It currently has 534 confirmed cases per 100,000 of population over a 7-day period.
Of the other nations in the Pyrenees, Spain has 128 and France 111.
The principality sits high up in the Pyrenees and is sandwiched between France and Spain – it stressed it was keen to display its “loyalty” to Europe.
The ski resorts had planned to open this weekend.
One of the main UK operators to the area is Andorra Resorts, and it says it is looking forward to the slopes opening in January.
“We’ll be contacting customers who have bookings for December to organise amendments or refunds, and we’re excited to be able to welcome you to Andorra in a few weeks time,” it said.
The announcement comes as some welcome snow falls in the Pyrenees.
In Spain travel has been restricted, with Spaniards only able to head to the mountains over the Xmas period for family visits.
Spain has not ruled out opening its ski resorts for locals, but the situation remains unclear.
In the Aragon region of the Spanish Pyrenees Formigal, Panticosa, Cerler and Valdeinares and Javalambre have delayed the opening of their resorts until the situation is clearer.
Staff are on Spain’s furlough scheme, ERTE.
Candachu and Astun haven’t set a date for opening yet and have also placed staff on ERTE.
The resorts of Masella, Boí Taüll, La Molina, Port Ainé, Vallter 2000, Espot Esquí and Tavascán had all announced that they are opening on December 9th.
Spain’s Tourism Minister, Reyes Maroto, said that the “government is in favour of opening in a safe way”.
In Spain the regions are largely responsible for imposing their own coronavirus rules, set within national guidelines.
The Health Emergency Chief, Fernando Simon, has warned that any relaxation of measures could lead to a resurgence in the spread of the virus.
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France has already said resorts in the Pyrenees cannot open and had said its citizens should not go to other countries to ski and has put in place quarantine restrictions.