16 May 2020

No restrictions on numbers when skifields open

8:52 pm on 16 May 2020

First published on Otago Daily Times

Skifield operators will not be restricted in how many skiers they have on the slopes under Covid-19 Level 2 rules this season.

Coronet Peak pictured in snow last weekend prior to more snowfall.

Skiers at Coronet Peak. [file pic] Photo: Supplied/Coronet Peak

However, they will be required to manage the skiers so they comply with level 2 rules.

In a joint press release yesterday, NZSki chief executive Paul Anderson, Cardrona Alpine Resorts general manager Bridget Legnavsky and Ruapehu Alpine Lifts Ltd chief executive Jono Dean said they had been working with the government on behalf of the industry to clarify how ski resorts could operate.

Legnavsky said skifields had been working hard to demonstrate they could implement safe procedures.

Skifields will have to manage physical distancing, ensure contact tracing was in place and increase cleaning and sanitation.

"The large areas over which ski areas operate mean that there is no cap on the total number of people allowed on the ski area provided physical distancing can be managed," Legnavsky said.

Ski resort restaurants and hospitality facilities would be subject to hospitality requirements.

Anderson said it was "fantastic" to be able to plan the season with confidence.

"We're looking forward to bringing people safely back to the mountains so will be ready for opening in about a month."

This story was first published in the Otago Daily Times

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