The UK’s biggest ski tour operator has cancelled all snowsports holidays to France this December.
Crystal Ski Holidays confirmed the move following the news that many French resorts may not be able to open amid coronavirus restrictions.
The decision will mean thousands of Britons’ Christmas holiday plans are now scuppered.
“We’re sorry to confirm that due to the impact of Covid-19 and the restrictions now in place, we can’t operate our holidays to France for departures up to and including 31 December 2020,” the company said in a statement.
“We’re aware of the French President’s recent announcement regarding restrictions in France.
“We’ll be proactively contacting any customers whose holidays are impacted as soon as possible to discuss their options, prioritising those due to travel in the coming weeks.
“We are continuing to monitor the situation.”
The widescale cancellations were prompted by the French President Emmanuel Macron’s pronouncement on 24 November that it was, “impossible to consider reopening [ski resorts] for the year-end festivities.”
There have been similar stirrings in Italy – Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte has called for all European ski holidays to be cancelled to prevent a third wave of Covid-19 across the continent.
However, resorts in Switzerland are planning to remain open, while Austria has suggested resorts could open mid-December.
Crystal Ski Holidays has said it is constantly monitoring the situation, and letting guests know if their holiday has been cancelled around two weeks prior to departure.
Customers who are affected can rebook their trip for free with added incentives, or cancel for a full refund.
As part of measures introduced to give customers peace of mind during the pandemic, Crystal is also letting holidaymakers amend their booking up to 28 days before travel.
Those who test positive for Covid-19, are told to self-isolate or are affected by local lockdown rules can also change their holiday dates free of charge.