European Union member states should not undermine contact restrictions meant to slow the spread of the pandemic by letting the ski season start early, a spokesman of German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday. “It doesn’t make sense to undermine national contact restrictions … by starting the ski season too early,” Steffen Seibert said at a regular news conference.

Merkel last week said Germany wants Alpine countries to keep ski resorts closed to help fight the pandemic, but reaching an agreement with neighbouring Austria is proving difficult. In the first wave of the coronavirus at the start of the year, many Germans were infected at the Austrian ski resort of Ischgl.

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