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Key health meeting with communities for the “safe opening” of ski resorts in a pandemic

Publication: Monday, November 30, 2020 07:31

Spain is entering a key week for the economy with ski resorts as protagonists. At present, the opening of these centers, which are still closed due to the health crisis caused by the coronavirus, is in the air due to the restrictions and mobility limitations decreed by the authorities to contain the curve of contagion.

This Monday, the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, meets all the autonomous communities that have ski resorts. The goal, as Illa has pointed out, is “to try to come to a common understanding”. The government is in favor of “these open activities with security”, as the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto recently expressed it.

“We believe that with our security protocols and with the measures we have taken, such as requiring PCR from all international travelers, we have ensured that Spain is a safe destination,” Maroto said in an interview with RNE , in which he added: “We’re going to see these days how it is substance.” However, he doesn’t consider it part of the European Union, which advocates keeping stations closed until after Christmas.

In fact, the debate over its opening arose after German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a consensus from the rest of the EU member states to keep them closed in a bid to prevent further outbreaks of COVID-19 derived from this activity: “We will deal with having the closure of skiing approved at European Union level”.

A proposal to which countries such as France and Italy could adhere, which are currently studying the opportunity to join the closure of ski slopes. In Spain, for the moment, many of these stations still do not have a start date given the uncertainty generated by the pandemic, which endangers thousands of direct and indirect jobs, as well as millions of euros of losses.

“Everything is very deserted, all the premises are closed; economically it is a disaster”

An example of this is the Sierra Nevada. Its ski resort, which should have opened this weekend, generates 700 direct jobs and 3,000 indirect jobs each season, in addition to an economic movement around it of more than 400 million, since it also affects hotels, restaurants and shops that live there. of movement around these activities in order to make a profit.

Those affected have already started to notice the consequences: “Everything is very deserted, all the premises are closed. Economically, it is a disaster. Hopefully Christmas can save us and let people come.” The president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, has already warned of his intention to open the Sierra Nevada “as soon as possible”. However, he set the condition that there be a unique setting across the country for ski resorts.

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