Although ski resorts employees in France were hoping that the Government will allow cable cars and ski lifts to reopen from 1 February 2021, Jean Baptiste Lemoyne, the French tourism minister, announced that they would remain closed.
The president of the Haute-Savoie department, Christian Monteil, was indignant at this measure, which "scuttles the life of a territory".
Christian Monteil declared that chairlifts and ski lifts allow for social distance to be respected since they are in the open air.
Moreover, he recalls that the COVID-19 incidence rate has fallen in Savoie and Haute-Savoie since early January 2021.
Tourism workers are waiting for substantial help
Occupancy rates at ski resorts have already collapsed to "20 or 30 %" at most, "compared with 95 % usually" during the Christmas holidays, said Prime Minister Jean Castex.
He is expected to meet representatives from the tourism sector in the next few days, to discuss and finalise economic support measures for those deeply affected by the closure.
According to Agence Savoie Mont-Blanc, the total loss for the sector could approach 6 billion euros. 200,000 jobs are at risk.
France's mountain resorts are open, but ski lifts, restaurants and bars remain closed. Also, there is a nighttime curfew running from 6 pm to 6 am across all France.
Some winter sports, such as cross-country skiing and snow-walking are still possible, but more popular sports, such as downhill skiing and snowboarding are not, without ski lifts.
Sources @Radio Mont-Blanc, thelocal.fr, The Guardian