Ighams has urged customers due to travel to France not to go to the airport today as ski lifts in resorts are being closed for the rest of the season.

The operator said it was attempting to contact as many prospective travellers as possible.

In an update to the trade, the company said last night: “If you have customers due to travel to France tomorrow (Sunday), please advise them not to go to the airport.

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“If you have customers currently in one of these resorts, their local rep will be in touch with further updates.

“If they are due to travel there this winter we will contact you in the coming days.”

Inghams said: “As a result of this change, we are now working on plans to bring home all guests currently in France and move or cancel all holidays to France departing in the next few weeks.

“If you are currently on holiday with us in France, we will be in contact to confirm arrangements as soon as we can.

“This is an unprecedented and rapidly evolving situation, and we understand that it may be unsettling.”

This follows many authorities across Austria, Andorra, Italy and Switzerland closing ski lifts and resorts as a precautionary measure against the spread of coronavirus in Europe.

The company said on Friday afternoon: “Even though the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice has not changed for all countries, as a responsible tour operator, we will not be operating Inghams ski holidays to resorts in any of these countries for the rest of the 2019/2020 winter season.

“If you are currently staying in one of the affected resorts, your departure back to the UK will go ahead as planned this weekend.”

Inghams has also been forced to cancel its winter ski programme to Canada after authorities changed entry requirements.

All travellers arriving in Canada are now being told to self-isolate for 14 days to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Holidaymakers in resort will return to the UK as planned.

Agents with clients due to travel to Canada in the next few weeks will be contacted by the operator with further information.

Inghams said: “We will contact those due to depart soonest first and kindly ask for your patience and to only contact us if urgent. If your customers call us direct, they will be directed back to you.

“Please be patient as we work through all our ski destinations that are falling by the day in date priority order.”