Coronavirus: French ski stations to close
All ski stations in France are to close in a further measure to contain the Covid-19 virus, the national union governing ski stations and lifts has announced.
Some stations have closed immediately and others will shut tonight (Sunday March 15).
Director of the tourist office in L'Alpe-d'Huez (Isère), François Badjily, told daily newspaper Le Parisien: "It's a hard blow because the snow conditions are incredible at the moment, but we're not questioning it. Health comes first."
#Coronavirus: la saison de ski se termine aujourd’hui.— Domaines Skiables (@DSkiables) March 15, 2020
Chaque exploitant a pris ses consignes auprès de son autorité organisatrice dans la nuit.
Vacanciers et professionnels, tous passionnés, nous devons nous faire une raison face à la gravité de la situation.#Solidarité
The move comes after French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced last night that the country must "close all non-essential locations, notably cafes, restaurants, cinemas, nightclubs and non-essential shops" from midnight.
As well as disrupting holidays, the move means that seasonal and permanent staff are now without work. Previously, the ski season was not due to shut down until the end of April, and the beginning of May for some.
The French government has issued health advice to help stop the virus from spreading.
This advice includes:
- Keep a 1 metre distance between yourself and others.
- Wash your hands with soap or hydro-alcoholic sanitiser gel frequently.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than your hands.
- Use single use tissues and dispose immediately after use.
- Do not shake hands, or greet people with kisses on the cheek.
- If you are sick, stay at home and wear a mask in the company of others.
If you believe you are sick, do not go to the hospital or visit your local doctor as you may infect others. Instead call your local doctor and take paracetamol for the fever. Do not take anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or cortisone to treat the possible symptoms of Covid-19 as these could actually worsen the infection.
If you have returned from a high risk area, including China (mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao); Singapore, South Korea, Iran or the Lombardy and Veneto regions of Italy, and present symptoms of respiratory infection such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing within 14 days of your return, call the SAMU emergency number, 15. Do not go to your local hospital or doctor.
A free hotline service can answer your questions about the coronavirus Covid-19 non-stop, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 0800 130 000. It cannot give medical advice.
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