France shuts down its ski resorts two months early as country is put on lockdown after coronavirus death toll rose to 91
- Most French ski resorts usually close in April or May but they’ll be closing today
- Shutdown comes just three weeks before the French and British school holidays
- It is another heavy blow to France’s tourism industry because of the coronavirus
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
All French ski resorts are closing on Sunday and will not reopen for the rest of the season as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, ski resort operators said, dealing another heavy blow to France’s tourism industry.
‘The ski season ends today,’ Domaines Skiables de France, which group’s the country’s resort operators, said on Twitter.
Holiday-makers and professionals, we’re all passionate about skiing and must face up to the seriousness of the situation.’
Most resorts usually close in April or early May.
The shutdown comes just three weeks before the French and British school holidays, one of the busiest periods of the season.
Ski resorts in France have closed two months early, after Swiss ski resorts (pictured) were also closed because of the coronavirus
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Saturday evening that France would shut all shops, restaurants and entertainment sites.
It comes as French voters used hand sanitiser and face masks to head to the polls to cast their vote during local elections, despite the coronavirus lockdown.
They have also been asked to bring their own pens and stand three-feet away from each other as they turn out to vote in local elections for mayors and municipal councils.
President Emmanuel Macron committed to the vote last night as he placed the country in lockdown and closed all ‘non-essential public places’ including cafes, bars and restaurants.
French voters have used hand sanitiser on entry and exit to booths during France’s local elections for mayors and municipal councils today. (Pictured is Paris’ incumbent mayor Anne Hidalgo preparing to vote)
French polling staff pictured wearing face masks at the polls in Paris today
But officials fear that many will stay away despite assurances that the most basic measures will protect even the most vulnerable.
France reported a surge in coronavirus cases by 832 last night, bringing its total to 4,499. As many as 91 people have died from the virus.
There has also been a rapid increase in serious cases, said head of public health Jerome Salomon, with 150 people below the age of 60 in intensive care.