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Disneyland Paris to stay closed until February

Disneyland Paris has announced that it will not reopen until February, despite French government plans to lift lockdown in January.

Disneyland Paris to stay closed until February
Disneyland Paris' Sleeping Beauty Castle. Illustration photo: AFP

The theme park said the decision had been made following French President Emmanuel Macron's speech on Tuesday where he laid out a three-stage process to gradually lift lockdown in France in the coming months.

“As a consequence, our parks and hotels will remain closed until February 12th 2021 included,” they wrote in a statement published on Twitter.

 

“We had hoped to reopen Disneyland Paris during the Christmas holidays,” they wrote, “unfortunately the latest government announcements will not allow us to.”

The French government has planned to lift lockdown completely on January 20th if the number of daily Covid-19 cases stay low, with a set threshold of 5,000 new positives per day.

Before that, more restrictions will be lifted on December 15th if the health situation allows, but theme parks and other places receiving many people at the same time will likely not be allowed to resume their activity.

The company asked those with reservations in the period leading up to the reopening date to turn to their website to change or cancel their reservation.

Disneyland has changed their cancellation policies for this period and cancellations of tickets booked for Disneyland Paris before February 12th will be fully reimbursed. 

 

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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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