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SKI RESORT IN NORWAY EXTENDS ITS REOPENING

Myrkdalen opened at the weekend and says it will open next weekend too. Social distancing measures are in place and the resort claims they will be enforced. Some question the decision.

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Government coronavirus advice

Government coronavirus advice

The resort has now announced that it will be reopening next weekend.

“Thank you to all our guests for a great long weekend themselves if the weather was not as good as it should be,” said the resort on Sunday 3rd May.

“There are nice conditions in the mountains and we will have an extra weekend open May 8th – 10th. The next opening day will be on Friday 8th May.”

It comes as the resort is able to open, with social distancing measures in place, but the Norwegian government has urged people to stay at home and not travel.

It has posted the following two pictures on its facebook page as it made the announcement of skiing and snowboarding next weekend.

In the first one two people are not social distancing, though of course they could be from the same household, and neither are all in the group wearing face coverings correctly.

Myrkdalen, Norway

Myrkdalen, Norway

In the second one the people on the chairlift are not 2m apart, though again they could be from the same household.

The resort is allowing 3 people on to the lifts, but this means they are not 2m apart.

Myrkdalen, Norway

Myrkdalen, Norway

“It is important that everyone follows the guidelines” said the resort and that it would “closed again at short notice” if it judged people not to be following the rules.

– There is at least 2m distance between people.
– Access is prohibited for people who are infected, quarantined or have the slightest symptom of infection.
– A maximum of 5 people in any one group.
– Everyone must wear gloves on the ski lifts.
– Parkane and ski cross trails are closed.
– People must ski within their ability at all times.
– On the ski lifts maximum 3 persons in chairlift and only one on a T-bar. There is an exception for families and those arriving in the same car.

“There are good conditions and welcome everyone to ski in Myrkdalen,” said the resort on Saturday morning.

There was rain at resort level with a reported 6cm of fresh snow at the top and a temperature of -1.

The motto of  some of Norway’s ski areas had been to encourage people to remain at home: “Stay Home Today To Ski With Us Tomorrow”.

Here are some web camera images from Saturday.

Myrkdalen, Norway

Myrkdalen, Norway

Myrkdalen, Norway

Myrkdalen, Norway

Myrkdalen, Norway

Myrkdalen, Norway

“The ski center is open!” said the resort in a statement earlier this week as it announced its move.

“Still lots of snow and good skiing!”

Myrkdalen closed along with all the other ski areas in Norway on Friday 13th March.

Earlier Norway eased its tight lockdown restrictions and the resort has interpreted the new rules and believes it is allowed to re-open.

Norway eases more lockdown restrictions

“Together we have taken control of the virus, therefore we can open up society little by little,” said the Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, as the easing of restrictions was announced.

The health minister said the epidemic was “under control” in Norway, pointing to the low rate of transmission since lockdown measures were put in place.

The government is, however, advising that travelling inside the country is strongly discouraged, so any opening of ski resorts could be seen as irresponsible.

Other skiing countries that have eased restrictions, including Austria and Switzerland, have not seen ski resorts re-open.

Myrkdalen, Norway

Myrkdalen, Norway

Some have welcomed the move, but others point out that there may be a rush of local people to ski and that social distancing rules will inevitably be broken.

It also seems odd that the resort insists on 2m distancing but will allow three people on a chairlift at the same time.

“We are following all national guidelines and are not pushing any limits – we all want to play safe!” the resort said to PlanetSKI.

Myrkdalen, Norway

Myrkdalen, Norway

Some resorts in the USA were oping to open but the governor has now extended the ban on ski resort closing.

More resorts in the USA look to re-open

Colorado extends ban on skiing in ski resorts

Norway though is recognised to have handled the pandemic well with 206 deaths, and the virus has not taken hold.

External borders into Norway remain closed except for essential workers.

Norwegians are being advised not to travel abroad.

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