Skiing in France and the US now ends

15th March 2020, by Abi Butcher

Ski resorts across France have now closed due to COVID-19

Ski resorts across France have now closed due to COVID-19

France and the US have now followed Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Norway and Andorra in closing their ski lifts for the remainder of the season due to the COVID-19 threat. Skiers due to travel today are being urged not to travel to the airport.

Last night, the French government ordered all ‘non-essential’ public places to close, including cafes, bars, restaurants and ski lifts in resorts across the country. The situation will be desperate for those skiers who travelled to France yesterday in hope of a week’s holiday who now have to fight their way back to the UK again.

Tour operators, holiday companies and guiding outfits have described the move as devastating. At 11:28pm last night, Crystal Ski Holidays announced that it has had to cancel its ski holiday programme for the rest of the season.

The safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff is our highest priority,” said Crystal, which is beginning the lengthy process of repatriating guests from around the world.

For customers due to travel over the remainder of the season, Crystal says: “We’re cancelling your booking and you will be proactively refunded your full holiday cost within 14 days.”

For the full Crystal Ski Holidays statement, click here.

Inghams has said that despite Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice remaining unchanged about travel to France (it is not banned) “as a responsible tour operator, we will not be operating Inghams ski holidays to these resorts for the rest of the 2019/2020 winter season: Alpe d’Huez, Avoriaz, Chamonix & Les Houches, Courchevel, Flaine, La Clusaz, La Plagne, Les Arcs, Les Menuires, Les 2 Alpes, Méribel, Montgenevre, Morzine, Samoens, Serre Chevalier, Tignes, Val d’Isère and Val Thorens.”

To read the full Inghams statement, click here.

Consensio Chalets, which operates in France, said in a statement on social media: “This is devastating for everyone including our guests, our staff, our owners, our suppliers and all operators.”

Upguides, a mountain guide company that operates out of the Maurienne Valley said: “We are affected by this decision, and so are you our guests. Our deepest thoughts are with all of you who are directly impacted by the situation, morally or financially.”

Company owner Fred Buttard added:  “Please, please remember that making our way through this pandemic will be similar to skiing in avalanche terrain; it’s all about having the right attitude and knowing when it’s time to be focused and when it’s time to relax. Panicking is never a solution. Be well.”

The governor of Colorado yesterday decreed that all ski resorts must close for the upcoming week, and many resorts have announced they will close until further notice. All of Vail Resorts’ North American mountain resort are closing as of this morning, Sunday 15 March.

Ski shops and mountain clothing outfitters are following suit, with the likes of Patagonia and Arc’teryx closing all stores, offices and warehouses for the immediate future. 

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