‘Yellow vest’ protests: Paris to close host of cultural sites around city

Paris tourist chiefs announced on Thursday a list of museums and other cultural sites that will be closed during the 'yellow vest' protests in the French capital this Saturday amid security fears.

'Yellow vest' protests: Paris to close host of cultural sites around city
Photo: AFP
The cultural sites that have announced closures on Saturday December 8th so far are the Petit Palais in the 8th, the Musee d'Art Moderne in the 16th, Musée Cernuschi (8th), Musée Cognacq-Jay (3rd), as well as the Maisons Victor Hugo (4th). 
On top of that tourists will not be able to visit the Catacombs (14th), the crypt of the Musee Carnavalet (4th), Musée des Arts Décoratifs (1st) or take Le petit train bleu sightseeing tour run by Another Paris. 
However other shops, tourist sites and Metro stations around the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysées could also close on Saturday.

French presidency fears 'major violence' at Saturday's protestsPhoto: AFP

The city's transport board told The Local on Wednesday that visitors have no need to worry about coming to Paris in the run up to Christmas in an attempt to quell fears many visitors may have over the violent 'yellow vest' protests and the effect they would have on their trip.
“It's important to remember that the protests are only happening in a small area of the city and during a limited time frame,” General manager of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau Corinne Menegaux told The Local. 
“If people are really worried, I would suggest steering clear of the 8th arrondissement,” she said, referring to the area of the city where most of the violence occurred on Saturday and where the famous Arc de Triomphe monument became the epicentre of the clashes between protesters and police. 

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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.

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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.