12:14 GMT18 January 2021
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    VIENNA, (Sputnik) - Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Thursday that he opposed the common guidelines for all European Union countries on operation of ski resorts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Earlier in the day, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would seek an EU-wide suspension for ski resorts during the upcoming winter break to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

    "It would be an exaggeration to talk about international agreements. Some countries said they were opening a certain number of ski resorts, just like others said they were opening certain catering services or events on a certain date. Some countries have expressed a desire that others would follow them. I discussed this with the head of the European Commission [Ursula von der Leyen] and the president of the European Council [Charles Michel], and I got the impression that the European Union does not see the task of setting details for certain countries," Kurz said.

    According to the chancellor, every country will take its own steps to reopen various areas, including sports, in different ways, depending on the infection tally in each country.

    To date, Austria has confirmed 253,349 COVID-19 cases, with a death toll of 2,408, according to the World Health Organization.


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