Misc 02/12/2020

The Catalan ski resorts agree to open after Bank holiday

Home Affairs calls for people to be "sensible" during the weekend and warns that it will condition Christmas

2 min
Esquiadors a Espot, la temporada 2019-2020. / G.L.T.

BarcelonaThe Catalan ski slopes will finally stay closed until after the Bank Holiday weekend. They will do so from 9 December, provided that there is snow, there is no longer a weekend lockdown and there are no new restrictions, as explained by Ricard Font, president of Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC), who manages the public slopes and has given details of the pre-agreement to TV3. The Minister of Home Affairs, Miquel Sàmper, celebrated the decision in an interview with Catalunya Ràdio and congratulated those responsible for the ski slopes for having decided to avoid "a certain collapse" during the coming holidays. Especially, from Monday, when the weekend confinement is expected to end and, therefore, crowds could gather on the slopes.

Font has stressed that he wants to avoid large numbers of skiing over the bank holiday weekend. He also explained that skiers will be required to stay silent and wear facemasks in chairlifts and cable cars. The decision not to open during the bank holiday weekend was been taken by both public and private ski resorts.

Yesterday, the ski slopes became a new battleground for European leaders, who do not agree on whether they should be closed during the Christmas holidays, as a measure to contain the expansion of covid-19, or whether they should be able to open so as not to sink the sector economically. France, Germany and Italy are all in favour of keeping ski resorts closed until January, but have met with opposition from Austria, which intends to open them.

The Minister of Home Affairs has assured that this bank holiday weekend is decisive for what may happen at Christmas, and has called for people to be "sensible". He also reminded people that they are not allowed to move between towns at the weekend.

Sàmper has stressed that for restrictions to be eased, the R number must be below 0.9 and hospital admissions must be reduced. Government spokesperson Meritxell Budó claimed that if data worsened, the restrictions would have to stay in place longer, whilst the head of the Health Department, Alba Vergés, claimed that the current rise in cases was expected and the the plan is still in place.