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Portes du Soleil To Half Open for Christmas and New Year

The Portes du Soleil, one of the world’s largest ski areas with 600km of slopes, will have its slopes half-open for Christmas and New Year.

The giant ski region straddles the French / Swiss border with ski runs accessed from around a dozen separate ski resorts on either side.

On Thursday the French Prime Minister appeared to confirm that French ski slopes will definitely be closed until January, whilst Swiss leaders said they expected their slopes to remain open. The result is, what the Portes du Soleil summarise as, “an unprecedented situation.”

“In Switzerland the ski lifts will be open in December above the resorts of Morgins, Champéry, Val d’Illiez Les Crosets Champoussin and Torgon.  In France the ski lifts will remain closed,” a statement from the region confirmed.

In common with many French ski areas however the region is stressing its individual resorts on the French side will still be open, but without downhill skiing.

“Access to all stations will however be possible, shops will be open and restaurants will offer delicious take-away meals. The Portes du Soleil resorts are therefore ready to welcome all mountain lovers. Our teams are committed so that you can practice outdoor activities in the best conditions. So come and take a deep breath of fresh air in our wonderful mountains. Thank you for your messages of encouragement in this difficult period, it’s heart-warming!” the statement concludes.

Some skiers have been expressing concerns on social media that with French ski lifts closed, some might be tempted to hike up to ski down runs which made not be being maintained and kept safe by ski lift operators.

There is currently an initiative led by France, Germany and Italy to keep all EU ski areas closed until January 10th but it is unclear if this will be successful.  Some EU countries say they are handling the pandemic better than France, Germany and Italy and don’t need to close ski areas where they are.  Others say their ski resorts are more essential to their economies than those in France, Germany and Italy are to theirs and that they therefore don’t want to shut them down.

4 Comments
  1. Baz

    27th November 2020 2:45 pm

    And the covid fiasco continues. Utter nonsense, as it was back in March last year. All that is required to keep a better transmission rate is to stop chalet holidays. Apartment style and hotel style is no more of a problem than living at home, in fact it’ll be better for you to be outside all day. Not to mention that if you are not suffering with any co-morbidity (sounds like everyone going on a ski holiday to me) your chances of any problems with covid are less than they are with Influenza…. as data from the NHS website confirms when you look at all deaths with covid (not even because of it) and no co-morbidity there have been less than 2000 in the UK in total since the start. Utter nonsense, and a total disgrace in terms of wasting public funds and ruining peoples lives on mass with rocketing unemployment. And all this is on top of the negative effects of covid, not instead of – so tell me how is it in anyway justified or something to be applauded? Most people wouldn’t even know they had it if they weren’t tested…..

    • martin walker

      28th November 2020 7:05 am

      This is reckless conduct! How on earth can Austria and Switzerland open their resorts and France, Germany and France do not. So the French, Italians and Germans can go skiing next door(like in Ishgl) and bring the dreaded China virus back home to kill thousands. To the Swiss and Austrians its only about money for themselves and for the Austrians to say that the EU must pay is laughable. A few more months and this dreaded disease will be contained -and if some money obsessed Swiss or Austrian has a less this year it cannot be more important than human lives!! The big EU countries must introduce a quarantine and test program so that all of their citizens who go skiing in these rogue countries must go into quarantine for 10 days and be tested and their cost. We are so close to resolving this terrible pandemic but now its sheer greed being displayed.

      There are nearly 1,5 million known deaths from this dreaded disease and a working vaccine is nearly there-one season -possibly half wasted -but no Money and more money for the Austrians and Swiss some of the richest countries in the world.

      No wonder that Hitler was Austrian and the proceeds of his crimes banked in Switzerland.

    • martin walker

      28th November 2020 7:06 am

      This is reckless conduct! How on earth can Austria and Switzerland open their resorts and France, Germany and France do not. So the French, Italians and Germans can go skiing next door(like in Ishgl) and bring the dreaded China virus back home to kill thousands. To the Swiss and Austrians its only about money for themselves and for the Austrians to say that the EU must pay is laughable. A few more months and this dreaded disease will be contained -and if some money obsessed Swiss or Austrian has a less this year it cannot be more important than human lives!! The big EU countries must introduce a quarantine and test program so that all of their citizens who go skiing in these rogue countries must go into quarantine for 10 days and be tested at their cost. We are so close to resolving this terrible pandemic but now its sheer greed being displayed.

      There are nearly 1,5 million known deaths from this dreaded disease and a working vaccine is nearly there-one season -possibly half wasted -but no Money and more money for the Austrians and Swiss some of the richest countries in the world.

      No wonder that Hitler was Austrian and the proceeds of his crimes banked in Switzerland.

  2. martin walker

    28th November 2020 7:57 am

    We cannot have half open and half closed in Europe. If there is a material medical risk-which judging by the closing of restaurants, shops etc-there is -then we need to close for a few more weeks but an arbitrage between open and closed resorts 15 minutes from one another is nonsense.

    Switzerland and Austria must put their finances aside and think about the many people who died because of this virus. If they don’t their returning residents will have to pay for two covid tests(on arrival and again before going back to work) and go into quarantine for 10 days. Think of how many people died due to the ishgl infection and nobody can say with certainty that its only from the bars and restaurants-crowded cable cars, ski lines etc destroy social distancing.

    Its only one-or maybe half a season to go until this nightmare is over!

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