France says its ski lifts will remain closed for at least another month

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By Euronews  with AFP
Chairlifts are stopped in Val d'Isere, in the French Alps
Chairlifts are stopped in Val d'Isere, in the French Alps   -  Copyright  AP Photo/Gabriele Facciotti

France’s ski lifts are to remain closed for at least another month, the prime minister’s office announced on Monday evening.

A reopening date for the lifts in the country’s ski resorts has not been set.

Prime Minister Jean Castex’s office said “the evolution of the health situation does not allow us at this stage to reopen the ski lifts”, which have been closed since the start of the season due to lockdown and further restrictions.

Businesses involved in the industry which rely on winter tourism, such as ski equipment shops, will be eligible for financial aid.

It comes as COVID-19 infections, hospitalisations and deaths have been rising steadily in France in recent weeks.

Many doctors have been calling for a new nationwide shutdown like those imposed in several other European countries.

On Friday, Castex said borders would be closed to countries outside the EU in a bid to tackle the worsening health situation.

He warned of the "great risk" of COVID-19 variants and said the country had time to prevent a third national lockdown. All passengers arriving from inside the bloc are required to produce a negative virus test.

France already had limits on cross-border travel because of the virus and imposed tougher checks in airports and ports last week.

Police at the Gare du Nord train station in Paris were seen checking passengers' documents and test certificates on Monday.

Castex ordered stepped-up police checks of those who violate France's 12-hour-a-day curfew, hold secret parties or reopen restaurants in defiance of a closure order in place since October.