Italy delays opening of ski resorts

Rome: Italy postponed the reopening of its ski resorts on Saturday until later this month, after regional authorities asked for more time to meet coronavirus regulations.

The ordinance signed by Health Minister Roberto Speranza delays the reopening the country’s ski lifts and facilities until January 18.

Authorities in Italy’s northern and central regions had alerted the government that a planned January 7 opening date was not realistic.

“At the present time, due to the recent epidemiological trend at international level that has not facilitated the taking of the necessary decisions, it is believed that the conditions do not exist to allow initiatives and actions to allow the opening of the facilities on January 7,” they wrote, as cited in the ordinance.

The Italian government’s scientific technical committee, which advises on Covid-19 rules, had signalled “medium-high” risk of crowds, inside gondolas, as well as at lift lines and during après-ski.

Most of Europe shut down its slopes for the usually busy Christmas and New Year’s holiday season.

Andorra, however, opened its ski stations on Saturday but only for residents of the independent principality between France and Spain.

Over the weekend, Italy reported another 9,166 new infections and 364 deaths from Covid-19.