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TOURISM

German teen electrocuted in freak handstand accident

A German tourist was electrocuted and died in an “improbable and surprising” accident, doing handstands near a street lamp on a school trip in Corsica.

The 17-year-old was playing with his schoolmates around the lamp on Saturday night, when he did a handstand in bare feet, hit the lamp and was electrocuted.

“The lamp in questions seems completely normal, no wires were exposed, and it’s placed in an area where up to 300 people could go past it in a day,” a judicial source told AFP.

“For now, the campsite is not being blamed for anything, neither is the behaviour of the kids.”

The group of 50 German teenagers had arrived the same day for a week-long stay on the island.

Police in the area have confirmed psychological support has been offered to the teenagers, and the German consulate was informed.

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TOURISM

Tourism minister: Book your French ski holiday now

France’s ski resorts will be open for business this winter, tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne has promised - but no decision has yet been taken on whether a health pass will be required to use ski lifts.

Skiers at a French Alpine resort
Photo: Philippe Desmazes / AFP

“This winter, it’s open, the resorts are open,” Lemoyne told France 2’s 4 Vérités programme.

“Compared to last year, we have the vaccine,” he said, adding that he would “invite those who have not yet done so to [book], because … there will soon be no more room.”

And he promised an answer ‘in the next few days’ to the question of whether health passes would be required for winter holidaymakers to use ski lifts. “Discussions are underway with the professionals,” he said.

The stakes are high: the closure of ski lifts last winter cost manufacturers and ski shops nearly a billion euros. 

This year ski lifts will remain open, but a health pass may be necessary to access them. The health pass is already compulsory for après ski activities such as visits to bars, cafés and restaurants.

COMPARE The Covid rules in place at ski resorts around Europe

Many town halls and communities which depend on winter sports have found it difficult or impossible to make ends meet.

“It’s time for the French mountains to revive,” Lemoyne said, pointing to the fact that the government has provided “more than €6 billion” in aid to the sector.

Winter tourism professionals, however, have said that they are struggling to recruit for the winter season.

“Restaurant and bars are very affected,” by the recruitment crisis, one expert told Franceinfo, blaming a lack of urgency from authorities towards the winter holiday industry.

“We are all asking ourselves what we should do tomorrow to find full employment in the resort,” the expert added.

Post-Brexit visa and work permit rules mean that ski businesses have found it difficult to recruit Brits for short-term, seasonal positions.

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