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Empty slopes on the Zugspitze. Photo: Angelika Warmuth/picture alliance via Getty Images

France and Italy are keeping ski resorts closed through the holidays, but Switzerland's share of the Alps is already open.

Driving the news: French Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced random border checks to keep French skiers from hitting the Swiss slopes and returning to France. Germany has called for EU-wide closures of ski resorts until Jan. 10.

Flashback: Some of Europe's earliest outbreaks were traced back to ski resorts like Ischgl in Austria, where skiers from around the world caught the virus and brought it home with them.

  • The WHO says the concern isn't skiing itself, but crowded lodges, lifts, shuttles and airports.

Where things stand: Countries like Austria would take a massive economic hit if resorts were forced to close. Austria's government currently plans to start the ski season on Dec. 24, and it's said it will demand compensation if any EU-wide closures come into effect.

  • Switzerland isn't in the EU and plans to keep its lifts running. So far, resorts report that most of the skiers are Swiss.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 21, 2020 - Health

Countries restrict travel from U.K. to curb spread of COVID-19 variant

London's Heathrow Airport. Photo: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Canada on Sunday evening became the latest country to suspend travel from the United Kingdoms after the U.K. and World Health Organization said they'd identified a new variant of COVID-19 in England.

Driving the news: Dutch officials were first to impose the restrictions after they identified at least one case of the same variant in the Netherlands. France, Germany, Italy, the Belgium, Austria, Ireland and Bulgaria have announced similar U.K. travel bans.

UNC race conscious admissions process upheld by judge

Students walk through the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Aug. 18, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can continue its race conscious admissions process, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

Why it matters: The case could end up in the Supreme Court after the conservative nonprofit Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) vowed to appeal the judge's ruling that UNC didn't discriminate against against white and Asian American applicants in its policy that it said was designed to increase diversity.

SEC debunks conspiracy theories about meme stock mania

Photo: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The SEC issued its long-awaited report on the meme stock mania, which downplayed the narrative that a "short squeeze" was the primary driver behind GameStop's historic stock moves — and shot down conspiracy theories about the event.

Why it matters: The postmortem was highly anticipated, largely because of what it could hint about what the regulator thinks should be done in wake of the saga. But the report stopped short of specific policy recommendations.