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SAM Magazine—Paris, France, Dec. 2, 2020—The debate about restrictions on opening ski resorts, especially for the holidays, in European nations is evolving as government leaders begin to announce decisions about what can be open, when, and who can’t go where. Les2AlpesOver 300 ski area workers attended a protest to open the resort at Les 2 Alpes in France on Nov. 30.

The leaders of Germany, Italy, and France are attempting to rally fellow European Union nations to join them in a call to keep ski areas closed until mid-January to mitigate holiday crowds and stem the spread of the coronavirus. The hope is these ski nations can develop a unified plan to avoid citizens traveling from a country where ski areas are closed to one where ski areas are open.

France is addressing this very issue with random border checks being imposed to stop French skiers from traveling to neighboring Switzerland, where ski resorts are open. Switzerland is not a member of the EU.

While lifts won’t be allowed to spin for the holidays in France, ski resorts can still open for the holidays, with some promoting shopping and to-go dining in villages.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the ski lifts in his country can reopen Christmas Eve, but only for locals, and hotels must remain closed for the holiday period. As of now, ski tourism in Austria may resume Jan. 7, and hotels can reopen.

—This article is based on reporting by Patrick Thorne, The Snow Hunter

Read more: To Open Resort or Not: Europe in Turmoil from Nov. 30.