Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has announced relaxation and set a date for the opening of the ski season in his country.

According to Kurz, skiing is safe during Christmas.

The slopes in Austria can reopen from December 24th.

That is later than popular destinations such as Mayrhofen and Ischgl had bet on, but earlier than some government leaders had hoped.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel previously unsuccessfully asked the Alpine countries to keep the slopes closed this year to slow the corona outbreak.

Then she called on the countries to "at least not reopen too soon".

Kurz was one of the government leaders who disagreed

.

The Austrian chancellor seems to want to accommodate Merkel by deterring winter sports enthusiasts from countries where the corona virus is not under control.

Restaurants open later, curfews are limited

If more than 100 per 100,000 inhabitants test positive in the country of origin, winter sports enthusiasts must be quarantined for ten days upon arrival in Austria.

According to the latest data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), this measure affects almost all of Europe, including the Netherlands and neighboring countries Germany and Italy.

During the ski season no winter markets are organized and restaurants are initially closed.

The catering establishments may open their doors again on 7 January.

This Monday, shops and primary schools will open again and people with a contact profession will be able to return to work.

The curfew is limited to the period between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m.

France wants to prevent French travel by means of border controls

French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Wednesday that he would carry out random checks at national borders to prevent residents from traveling to winter sports areas.

"The goal is to keep the number of infections among the French population as small as possible", says Castex.

France keeps its own ski slopes closed, unlike Switzerland.

According to local authorities, the cancellation of the ski season has too great an economic impact.

The WHO health organization has also urged countries to be "very careful" with the reopening of the ski season.

During the first corona wave, winter sports areas turned out to be hot spots of the virus.

Several of the first corona infections in the Netherlands could be traced back to areas in Austria and Northern Italy.