French ski stations will require masks in ski lift lines - media

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FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in the winter ski resort of Isola 2000
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PARIS (Reuters) - Skiers waiting in line to get on a ski lift in French winter resorts this season will have to wear a mask, but a health pass will not be required unless the pandemic worsens, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Saturday, according to French media.

Skiers will be allowed to take their masks off once they are on the seat of open-air ski lifts, but masks would have to be kept on inside enclosed gondola-type lifts, Castex said in a speech in the French Alps, according to daily Les Echos and Le Figaro.

In parts of the speech posted on his Twitter feed, Castex also said that if the national Covid incidence rate - the number of new infections per 100,000 people per week - rises above 200, the health pass would become mandatory in ski resorts.

The incidence rate now stands at just under 70 after remaining below 50 the first weeks of October. It peaked at nearly 250 during the fourth wave of infections in mid-August, and at 438 mid-April during the second wave.

The health pass - which proves that people have received two vaccinations against COVID-19 - is required in French restaurants, long-distance public transport and at many indoor events.

(Reporting by GV De Clercq; Editing by Ros Russell)

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