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Several Scottish Ski Areas To Open to Locals Only in Latest Lockdown

Most Scottish ski areas opened for the 20-21 season last weekend, but the Scottish Government announced that most of the country is going in to the ‘#highest tier’ in the Scottish system, which is more-or-less lockdown, from Boxing Day, December 26th, for at least three weeks.

This places further restrictions on the already tight restrictions in place due to the pandemic, but most of the centres believe they can continue to operate under tier 4.

Although only ‘essential travel’ is permitted under the new restrictions, “non- contact sport” is allowed so long as only people travelling from the local area participate.

The biggest change therefore is that only people living local to the ski areas can ski and board the slopes of the open centres from Saturday.

Glencloe is allowed to have people visit from Highland Region only, with The Lecht saying they can welcome skiers from Moray and Aberdeenshire only and Glenshee (pictured above this week) from Perthshire and Aberdeenshire only.

Cairngorm has decided to close “indefinitely” due to the tier 4 restrictions and Nevis Range had already said it would not open until later in the winter when it hopes trading conditions and snow conditions will allow it to operate commercially viably after making a big loss through 2020.

The three centres that are opening are stressing it’s important that only skiers living in the areas they are allowed to accept skiers from during the three week period attempt to visit them.

“From the 26th of Dec for 3 weeks we will only be able to accept visitors from the Highlands. *Please note travel restrictions will be enforced and breaches of the travel guidance are highly likely to lead to our closure,” a statement from Glencoe on 23rd December reads, continuing, “We appreciate how frustrating it is if you don’t live in the Highlands but please respect the governent guidance so that at least some local people can get out  and enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of getting out in the mountains and we can also hopefully earn enough money to keep the wolf from the door. …Fingers crossed from mid January we will be able to welcome many more of you to Glencoe Mountain Resort.”

Most parts of the ski day can be, and should be, purchased in advance online by those who can still go skiing.

So far Scottish areas have, in any case, only been able to open small amounts of terrain using their all-weather snowmaking system, but a large storm is expected to roll in over Christmas following the lighter snowfalls in recent days.  

1 Comment
  1. Ronnie Hunter Blair

    16th January 2021 8:19 am

    Last March in 2020 I went skiing for the day on three days spread over the first three weeks of March. The resort closed 23rd March 2020.
    On my first day in early March 2020 I got up early in Fife and left home at 6am which meant I was at Glenshee before 8 am. The car park was perhaps half full and I assumed that there would be long queues as I remembered in the 1960s sometimes there were hour long waits to get up on some lifts. After I had got my ticket I put on my skis and helmet, which covered my face with a visor. This meant that from head to feet I was completely covered with layers of socks, gloves, waterproof jacket and trousers.
    At the bottom of the lift there were only three people In front of me and with two metre skis I was at least three metres from any other skier. The design of the lift meant that one person went up at a time and the gap between each person was several metres. I was showing my free day ticket from my anorak and at the top two male skiers who were 90 and 91 could see from my ticket that I was over 75. I spoke to them from a distance and then a younger women arrived and I asked one of the men if she was his girl friend and we all laughter when he said she was his daughter. Then the husband arrived and it transpired were all doctors. For the next four hours of non stop skiing I was several times skiing near the family group and at lunch time they asked me to join them. As we all skied without getting out of breath i knew non of us had the virus. After lunch the couple went off to ski together and I helped the 91 year old to clip on his boots. I the skied with him for a few runs. In
    the next two days of skiing again there were lots of cars but again no long delays at the lifts. I reflected that this was due to there being 22 lifts and a proportion of the skiers would be beginners and would not be using the lifts. In the 1950s at Glenshee I remember counting 70 buses but now the majority come by car.
    Skiing is not a contact sport and the skiing itself tells you that you do not have the virus if one is not out of breath.
    My conclusion is that ski resorts should not be shut down although perhaps temperatures should be taken on arrival. That is what happened when I worked for a week at the Irish Open Golf in 2020. Golf is not a contact sport either and my Fife club is open after being closed for part of last year.

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