March 15, 2020 / 8:29 AM / 21 days ago

Coronavirus forces closure of all French ski resorts

FILE PHOTO: A general view shows the French Alpine resort of Les Contamines-Montjoie, France, where five British nationals including a child have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, after staying in the same ski chalet with a person who had been in Singapore, February 8, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

PARIS (Reuters) - 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 a 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.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced on Saturday evening that France would shut all shops, restaurants and entertainment sites.

Reporting by Antony Paone; Editing by Richard Lough, Kirsten Donovan

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