WHO urges countries to look very, very carefully at ski season plans – Reuters UK

German Chancellor Angela Merkels government on Monday urged European Union member states not to undermine pandemic-slowing contact restrictions by allowing early-season skiing, a sharp contrast to the Swiss whose high-altitude resorts have been open for weeks– with masks required on lifts– in a nod to the nations tourist economy.
Austria Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has actually left the door open up to skiing in coming weeks, while France keeps lifts closed at Christmas and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has informed his nation “holidays on the snow” would not be possible.

Allowing ski resorts to operate goes far beyond snowboarding itself, Mike Ryan, the WHOs leading emergency situation professional, said on a call with reporters.
” Many individuals will not be contaminated barrelling down the slopes on their skis. The real issues are going to come at airports, on buses, on ski lifts– pinch points in the skiing experience where individuals come together in great deals,” Ryan stated.
” We would ask that all nations take a look at the ski season and other factors for mass events and look very, very thoroughly at the associated risks.”

A closed chairlift is seen at the ski resort of Passo Tonale in the Dolomites which has ended up being a virtual ghost town after the federal government choice to close whatever down in worry of the rising numbers of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections, in Passo del Tonale, Italy, November 26, 2020. REUTERS/Guglielmo MangiapaneGENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organisation (WHO) prompted nations on Monday to carefully consider the coming ski seasons dangers, as Switzerland runs lifts and Austria mulls following match while Germany, Italy and France shutter mountain operations to slow the pandemic.
The WHO encouraged versus unneeded holiday travel and highlighted threats prowling in airport crowds or cramped restaurants and gondolas, but stopped short of a particular recommendation on whether nations need to enable snow sports this winter.
The worldwide health agency instead stated countries must take a “risk-based technique”, choosing which activities can go on and which need to be postponed– and if they cant be delayed, how they can be done safely to decrease brand-new infections.

Reporting by John Miller and Emma Farge; Writing by Hugh Lawson; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Aurora Ellis