The delayed start to the New Zealand ski season on Friday will be a fairly normal one with restrictions on the number of people using lifts at any one time or entering mountain restaurants and other buildings no longer an issue.
Ski areas had been planning their operations under the country’s ‘Level 2’ lockdown measures for months, which required social distancing and other operating restrictions for skiers and boarders, although the New Zealand government had already said that unlike re-opened ski areas in some countries, there would be no limit on the number of people outdoors on the slope so long as social distancing measures were in place.
It is believed some measures, like requiring contact tracing info for skiers visiting, may still be required, but that’s not currently clear, according to resort operators.
Now the country has moved to “near normal” level 1 however, even these measures are no longer required. It follows New Zealand’s successful suppression of the virus to date. At the time of writing there have been no new cases in the country for more than a fortnight.
Last month ski areas announced opening dates that were a little later in June than planned and many planned reduced opening periods and midweek closures in low season. It is unclear whether this will now change, however New Zealand’s borders remain closed and the country’s ski areas do rely to a greater or lesser extent on income from international skiers in a normal winter.
New Zealand’s ski season is due to begin this Friday June 12th at Mt Hutt (*pictured above earlier this week). Mt Lyford is pictured top.
Coronet Peak is pictured below last weekend.