COVID-19: Germany Will Try to Get EU Deal to Close Ski Resorts
Germany is seeking an agreement with EU countries to keep ski resorts closed until early January, in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus.
"I will say this openly that it won't be easy, but we will try," Chancellor Angela Merkel said after speaking to Germany's regional leaders on Tuesday.
The news came as the country extended its partial lockdown until 20 December.
Some of the early European coronavirus hotspots were at ski resorts, helping spread infections across the continent.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has already backed delaying the start of the ski season, but has stressed the need for a European solution.
Many Italians head for the slopes over the Christmas and New Year break and the period is a vital part of the local economy for ski resorts across Europe.
President Emmanuel Macron made clear on Tuesday that ski resorts in France would stay shut until the New Year.
Austria has voiced concern over an EU-wide plan saying that if the EU forced ski areas to remain closed, "then they will have to pay for it". Compensation would run into billions of euros.
Switzerland is not in the European Union and, unlike other Alpine destinations, its ski resorts are already open, so skiers unable to spend their winter breaks in neighbouring countries could head there instead./Bbc