It's no !
The ski resorts are now fixed on their fate: the ski lifts will remain closed in February, the government has decided.
The sector is moving towards "a white season", announced the Secretary of State for Tourism Wednesday, a few hours after a Defense Council devoted to the health situation.
Indeed "a reopening in mid or late February seems highly improbable", insisted Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne.
At the end of November, despite the protests of elected officials, deputies, regional presidents such as Jeanine Dubié, deputy of the Hautes-Pyrénées and president of the ANEM (National Association of the Elected of the Mountain) and around fifteen organizations and companies such as the Ski areas from France (DSF), Compagnie des Alpes, Club Méditerranée or Pierre et Vacances, Jean Castex right in his boots had announced the closure of ski lifts in ski resorts.
"The time is no longer for hesitation"
A blow to the approach of the end-of-year celebrations for this sector which represents more than 11 billion euros of annual turnover and employs more than 120,000 people in territories whose local economy is often dependent on the essentials on this sector.
The government at the same time announced that depending on the situation, a date for the opening of the stations could be considered from February 1.
Finally, the executive decided, to the chagrin of professionals in the sector.
On Tuesday, ski lift operators deplored the government's “silence” as this date approaches.
"The time is no longer for hesitation or permanent approximations but rather for action and decision-making," said their professional chamber, Domaines skiables de France, stressing that the closure of the ski lifts had resulted in an 80% drop in the economic activity of mountain resorts during the Christmas holidays.
No cluster in Switzerland
"It is time for the government to take an objective look at this issue and respect the word given to open on January 7, because there is no longer any justification for banning an activity that takes place in the open air and with appropriate health protocols. », Underlined Alexandre Maulin, president of DSF.
The ski resorts also point out that in Switzerland no cluster has been declared in the resorts which have remained open.
Nothing stands in the way of the opening of ski lifts.
Alpine ski slopes must be allowed to reopen!
Our proposals in our last press release: https: //t.co/ExjY7EDMn3 pic.twitter.com/x81JJaYAnT
- Ski Areas (@DSkiables) January 5, 2021
"If we miss the February holidays (spread from February 6 to March 1), it is a dark season" which is coming, also warned Jean-Luc Boch, president of the National Association of mayors of mountain resorts (ANMSM).
Even if mountain professionals promise to put in place an “effective” health protocol, this new government procrastination is partly explained by the increase in the number of daily contaminations in France since the end of the second confinement.
Tuesday evening, more than 20,000 new contaminations were identified in France during the last 24 hours, far from the target of 5,000 daily cases that Emmanuel Macron had set at the end of November as a precondition for the reopening of the tracks for the French.