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Coronavirus Impact on Skiing & Snowboarding

The team at PlanetSKI is reporting all the news & developments as it affects the snowsports world in our ever-popular rolling blog. If you want to see its impact and the response of skiers & snowboarders then read on… UPDATED

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Saturday 22nd August

A Travellers Tale From Austria

People returning from the Austrian Alps to the UK will now have to go into 14-day quarantine.

Austria now has  34.6 cases per 100,000 of the population which is deemed to make it too high for people to return without taking measures.

That is up from 30.8 coronavirus cases per 100,000 when the UK government made its announcement on Thursday.

Austria has seen a 93% rise in cases in the past 7-days.

In comparison Italy now has 12.1, UK 21.5, Portugal  28.5, Croatia 52.2, France 54.4 and Spain 152.7.

The Warnes family from Margate in Kent were on holiday in the village of Seefeld in the Tirol in the Austrian Alps and have told of their experiences to the BBC.

Seefeld, Austria

Seefeld, Austria

The family spent about £2,000 to cut their holiday short by one day, in order to get home before the quarantine rules came into effect.

They left Seefeld – a town with “hardly any people there” – at 02:00 on Friday to get to Munich airport, for an early morning flight to Heathrow.

“As our car was parked at Gatwick, another cab journey was needed and we finally arrived home in Kent at midday,” Mr Warnes said.

“Austria appeared to be adhering to all social distancing measures and hand sanitation stations were in all the shops. Our small hotel had three alone on the ground floor.

“With this in mind we were so surprised when the government restrictions were put in place as Austria have had a historically low level since March. There didn’t really appear to be any problems at all,” he added.

For more coverage on the BBC of people in the countries affected then see here.

Seefeld, Austria

Seefeld, Austria

Coronavirus will be present ‘forever’

Coronavirus will be present around the world indefinitely and people are likely to need regular vaccinations.

That’s according to Professor Sir Mark Walport, a member of government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, Sage.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Covid-19 could not be eradicated in the way smallpox has been.

“This is a virus that is going to be with us forever in some form or another and almost certainly will require repeated vaccinations. So a bit like flu, people will need re-vaccination at regular intervals,” he said.

STA Travel Goes Out of Business

It specialised in trips for young people and had 52 shops in the UK out of a total of 200 across other countries.

About 500 UK jobs are thought to be at risk as a result of the firm’s failure.

It had been operating for more than 40 years.

The firm’s parent company, based in Switzerland, said the pandemic had “brought the travel industry to a standstill”.

The news will “send a shockwave through the industry, bringing to life the very real pressures that travel is under at the moment,” said a statement from the Association of British Travel Agents.

Ski businesses have already been affected and more casualties are expected in snowsports:

Leading UK ski tour operator goes into administration

Hotelplan UK to close head office and cut jobs

“Over recent months, the company took decisive measures to secure the business beyond Covid-19,” said a statement from STA.

“However, sales have not picked up as anticipated, due to consumer uncertainties, further restrictions and renewed lock-down measures, which are expected to largely continue into 2021.”

The majority of flights and holidays sold by STA would be protected by the Atol scheme, an insurance scheme which protects holiday package bookings.

STA Travel

STA Travel

Quarantine Needed Entering UK from Austrian Alps

From 04.00 on Saturday people coming into the UK from Austria need to go into 14-days quarantine and self-isolate.

Austria has seen a 93% rise in cases in the past 7-days.

Over a two-week period Austria recorded 30.8 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

It has had 24,431 confirmed cases with 729 deaths.

There was a scramble for flights and people were able to drive back though Switzerland or German and then across part of France even though France was put on the UK quarantine list last week.

Drivers had to stay in their car across France and not let anyone else in.

Plus they have to use the Channel Tunnel rather than a ferry crossing where again they must have stayed in their vehicle.

Self-driving across France with no need to quarantine remains possible

Austria

Austria

Two Years Until World Over Covid-19

The World Health Organisation has said it hopes the planet will be over the coronavirus pandemic in less than two years.

Its head, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said it should be possible to control it faster than the deadly 1918 Spanish flu.

Dr Ghebreyesus said “globalisation, closeness, connectedness” has meant Covid-19 has spread around the world at lightning speed.

But there is the advantage of far better technology.

“It took three waves for (Spanish flu) to infect most of the susceptible individuals,” said the WHO emergencies chief, Michael Ryan.

The 1918 Spanish flu killed around 50 million people.

Coronavirus has so far killed almost 800,000 people and infected 22.7 million.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

FIS draws up its World Cup Risk Management Covid-19 Testing Protocol for upcoming events.

The International Ski Federation’s protocol is “an important tool for the national health authorities to see they are dealing with a Sport and Organisers who are responsible and capable through adopting clear protocols”.

It will likely be essential in the coming season.

Coronavirus is expected to be around and already the World Cup ski races I North America have been called off.

All North America World Cup alpine ski races axed due to Covid-19

The protocol has been drawn up by the FIS Medical Committee Covid-19 Project Group led by Chairman Hubert Hoerterer and Rasmus Damsgaard, who was appointed as FIS Covid-19 Expert for Testing and Hygiene.

Rasmus Damsgaard

Rasmus Damsgaard

Skidata will facilitate the event logistics, having undertaken this role during the current pandemic for several sports.

The company has a proven track record for aiding in the return of sports adapting to the current circumstances.

International Ski Federation

International Ski Federation

Friday 21st August

Scramble to get back to UK from Austrian Alps

From 04.00 on Saturday people coming into the UK from Austria will need to go into 14-days quarantine and self-isolate.

Austria has seen a 93% rise in cases in the past 7-days.

Over a two-week period Austria recorded 30.8 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Austria had several large outbreaks in its ski resorts back in March, but since then had done well in containing the virus.

It has had 24,431 confirmed cases with 729 deaths.

1,800 cases of Covid-19 linked to Ischl

Strict quarantine measures lifts for 3 Austrian ski resorts

Austria to open its borders to 31 countries but not the UK

There has been a scramble for flights and people are able to drive back, even though France was put on the UK quarantine list last week.

Drivers have to stay in their car across France and not let anyone else in.

Plus they have to use the Channel Tunnel rather than a ferry crossing where again they must stay in their vehicle.

Self-driving across France with no need to quarantine remains possible

Austrian plane

Austrian plane

Scotland has added Switzerland to its quarantine list.

Switzerland has had 38,760 confirmed cases and 1,719 deaths.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is urging countries to consider reinstating some restrictions if they have started seeing a resurgence of new cases.

If countries fail to implement or reinforce restrictions, the risk was “very high”, it warned.

France has seen a dramatic rise in cases – 4,771 infections and 35 new clusters in the past 24 hours.

Poland has reported 903 new Covid-19 cases and 13 deaths in the previous 24 hours – the highest daily increase since the start of the pandemic.

Austria

Austria

Fall in Covid-19 Cases in Victoria

The Australian state of Victoria has seen daily cases drop under 200 for the first time in over a month.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison called it “a week of increased hope” – but officials said it was still too early to ease lockdown restrictions.

All the ski resorts in the state remain closed.

Mr Buller closes bringing ski season in Victoria to early end

Mt Buller, Australia

Mt Buller, Australia

Swiss Travel Company Under Threat

STA Travel has 200 shops of which 52 are in the UK.

In a statement issued by Switzerland-based STA Travel Holdings, the firm said it had no option but to appoint an external administrator who will ‘determine the next steps’.

STA parent, Diethelm Keller Group, said the company has not been immune from the ‘global magnitude of the pandemic’.

“It has brought the travel industry to a standstill, including STA Travel,” the statement said.

“Over recent months, the company took decisive measures to secure the business beyond Covid-19.

“However, sales have not picked up as anticipated, due to consumer uncertainties, further restrictions and renewed lock-down measures, which are expected to largely continue into 2021.”

STA Travel

STA Travel

All North American World Cup Alpine Ski Races Axed due to Covid-19

It is no great surprise but the racing in Canada and the USA in November and December has been called off. Other races in Europe remain under threat.

– Killington (USA) giant slalom and slalom events on 28th-29th November (Men).

– The speed week in Lake Louise (CAN) on 1st-6th December (Men).

– The speed weekend in Lake Louise, 25th-29th November (Women).

– The speed and tech events at Vail/Beaver Creek (USA), 1st-6th December (Women).

International Ski Federation

The races will be held at existing events in Europe – if they can even go ahead.

See here for our full story:

All North American Alpine Ski Races Axed due to Covid-19

Thursday 20th August

Austria Added to UK’s Quarantine List

Austria has been added to the list of countries that people need to quarantine from after entering the UK.

Austria has seen a 93% rise in cases in the past 7-days.

Scotland has added Switzerland to its list.

 “I completely get the inconvenience involved in all of this, but it is just a fact of this summer,” said the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps.

Over a two-week period Austria recorded 30.8 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

The UK had 20.9 and Croatia had 41.7 cases per 100,000.

The changes apply to anyone arriving after 04:00 BST on Saturday

People who do not self-isolate when required can be fined up to £1,000 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

In Scotland the fine is £480, and up to £5,000 for persistent offenders.

It will be a blow for holidaymakers in the countries at the moment or those planning to visit.

Portugal has been taken off the list and Croatia added.

“It’s not fair. But it’s legitimate,” said Croatia’s State Secretary for Tourism, Frano Matusic.

He blamed the rise in cases on tourists and young people.

Mr Matusic said an increase in the infection rate had originated from a lack of social distancing in nightclubs.

He claimed that young people were not “taking Covid seriously”.

Austria border

EU health authorities are urging countries to consider reinstating some restrictions if they have started seeing a resurgence of new cases.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said there is evidence that the novel coronavirus is picking up speed.

“While many countries are now testing mild and asymptomatic cases, which has resulted in increased case reports, there is a true resurgence in cases in several countries as a result of physical distancing measures being relaxed,” the agency said.

The Stockholm-based agency said for those countries seeing an increase “the risk of further escalation of Covid-19 is high”.

If those countries fail to implement or reinforce restrictions, the risk was “very high”, it warned.

Coronavirus Cases Rising Again in Some European Ski Countries

Italy, Spain and Germany are dealing with a surge in cases, while the number of infections in France is now as high as it was in May.

Spain reported 3,715 new infections in its daily count on Wednesday.  It’s the highest number since the end of June when the country came out of its strict lockdown.

Italy reported 642 new cases, marking the country’s highest daily rise since late May.

And Germany said on Thursday that it had 1,707 new daily cases, its highest since April.

France yesterday reported a daily rate of 3,800 cases.

France is introducing stricter rules on the wearing of face masks, including outdoors in some of the worst affected areas, and in workplaces from 1st September (see below, under Wednesday 19th).

Better News From Down Under…

Victoria has recorded its lowest rise in infections for a month after reporting its worst day on Monday this week.

The city of Melbourne has been in strict lockdown for more than a month, and the worsening situation across the state had forced ski resorts to close.

Victoria is still the worst affected area in Australia but the health authorities there say they hope to reduce the number of daily cases to below 200 by next week.

The neighbouring state of New South Wales, where ski resorts such as Perisher and Thredbo are still operating, has recorded its fewest cases in more than a month.

There’s more good news for those lucky locals who can get to the slopes with fresh snow falling in the resorts.

By the end of Thursday Perisher had 26cm of snow in the latest storm with more to come.

Perisher, Australia 20 Aug 2020- photo resort

Perisher, Australia, Thursday – photo resort

Bens Bus Airport Transfers from Lyon Go On Sale With Covid-19 Protections

Lyon airport serves the resorts of Alpe d’Huez, Les Deux Alpes, Tignes, Val d’Isere, Val Thorens and more.

Bens Bus also has transfers from Geneva airport on sale.

All its transfers from Grenoble Airport, except to the Serre Chevalier resorts and Chamrousse, are also able to be booked.

“Summer’s almost over, let’s start thinking snow!” said Ben.

Bens Bus

Bens Bus

Further details on the Lyon transfers can be found here.

Lyon airport

Lyon airport

Lyon airport is a favoured way of ours at PlanetSKI of getting to the Alps.

Going DIY

Flying in to Lyon airport

Flying in to Lyon airport

And there has been some reaction to the news on Facebook:

Facebook reaction

Facebook reaction

Covid-19 precautions

“We believe we handled the closure of the French resorts last year as well as any company could,” said Ben Bus.

“Not only did we rapidly create emergency buses to help our customers travel home at very short notice, but we also turned around refund requests within 7 days.

“This year, when you book with us, we recommend you upgrade to our new Enhanced Refund Terms in case you need to cancel your booking.

“These enhanced terms are administered by Refund Protect and cover most Covid-related circumstances.

“We would strongly recommend you read these Enhanced Refund Terms as well as our Conditions of Sale before booking with us and that you select this upgrade.

“Although it is too early to say exactly what additional, Covid-related measures we will be taking, preparations for the season have already started.”

Read more here on the Covid-19 precautions of Bens Bus as money-back options.

Wednesday 19th August

Covid-19 Testing Facility for Heathrow

Collinson and Swissport have installed the facility in Terminal 2 and test results could be available within hours.

It can test more than 13,000 passengers a day.

However even with a negative test people from certain countries will still have to go into quarantine and it is yet to get government approval.

“It is hoped that with approval from the government, people testing negative during the process will be allowed to exit quarantine early,” they said.

The two companies added they were “committed to working with Government to find the optimum testing proposition that balances public health and economic recovery”.

Austria has been offering tests at its airport for several months and other countries, including
Germany, France and Iceland, have followed suit.

Heathrow’s proposal is for a two-test model, with the first test taken at the testing facility on arrival and then a second test a few days later.

People who test negative in both tests could then be released early from quarantine.

Nurses will oversee tests at the new facility, with swabs taken to a lab near Heathrow.

The tests will be transported using the same protocols as the NHS uses for home swab testing.

The tests will cost £150.

“Testing will not only avoid the ‘quarantine roulette’ that so many passengers faced in Spain and France, it will also open up flights to key trading partners such as the US, Canada and Singapore,” said Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye.

“The government’s own research shows that a double test has a high level of accuracy in screening for COVID.

“This facility is an oven-ready opportunity to see how Britain can safely reopen for business, as other countries are doing.”

Terminal 5 is set to get a similar testing facility shortly.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

La Parva Ski Resort in Chile Opens

It is only for locals and with coronavirus restrictions in place.

Tickets have to be bought in advance and online, plus there are limits on numbers.

“The day is finally here! Today we start the 2020 season,” it said on Facebook.

“We have implemented a strict health protocol to ensure your health and that of our workers, as well as we will have reduced capacity, so you must complete an application to enter the center every time you go, which will be awarded depending on the amount of quotas available.”

¡Por fin llegó el día! Hoy comenzamos la temporada 2020 🙌🏼❄️ La recarga online ya se encuentra disponible pero la venta de tickets por boletería en montaña no estará habilitada. Hemos implementado un estricto protocolo sanitario para asegurar tu salud y la de nuestros trabajadores, así también, tendremos aforo reducido, por lo que deberás completar una solicitud para ingresar al centro cada vez que vayas, la cual se te otorgará dependiendo de la cantidad de cupos disponibles.👆🏼 Conoce todo el procedimiento y adquiere tu permiso para esquiar en el link de muestra bio 🙌🏼 ¡Nos vemos esquiando!#laparva2020#lomejordelamontaña 📸 @matiasdonosophoto

Posted by Ski La Parva on Tuesday, 18 August 2020

In South America two resorts in Argentina are also open, but the opening in Cerro Catedral was overshadowed by a fatal avalanche in the resort.

Two resorts in South America to open

La Parva, Chile

La Parva, Chile

La Parva, Chile

La Parva, Chile

France Makes Face Masks Compulsory in Most Workplaces

People working in the Alps and the Pyrenees will have to wear coverings from September 1st as covid-19 cases continue to rise.

It will to apply to all people in shared spaces in offices and factories.

France has seen a sharp rise in coronavirus cases since July and masks are already widely used.

The UK has ordered most people coming from France to quarantine for 14-days.

UK introduces quarantine from France

Its average number of new cases over seven days is now well above 2,000 – double what it was at the beginning of August.

On Tuesday 18th August it had 2,238 new cases and 17 new deaths.

People in the Italian Alps have to wear at bars and clubs in the evening.

Facemask in France

Facemask in France

The UK government is not considering making face coverings mandatory in workplaces.

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, said the evidence from NHS Test and Trace was that people were mainly catching the virus when meeting another household, usually in one of their homes.

He said the number of people catching Covid-19 in workplaces was “relatively low”.

UPDATE:

One PlanetSKI reader, Richard Shead, had this reaction on our Facebook page:

Richard Shead: With offices in France I am monitoring this very closely and I suspect this will now start to have a more significant impact on the season ahead of us sadly.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

Another UK Ski Company Ceases Trading

Project Ski has been offering accommodation in Val D’Isere in France for over a decade, but has called it a day.

It offered catered and self-catered chalets.

It blames Brexit and Covid-19.

Project Ski

Project Ski

It is one of many UK companies in France and across the Alps under severe pressure.

Several others have already shut.

Harris Holidays, that traded as Ski Weekends, went into administration earlier this month as we reported at the time on PlanetSKI:

Leading UK tour operator goes into administration

Project Ski was run by Naomi Annetts and traded from Sittingbourne in Kent.

It had partners in Val d’Isere including Oxygene, the Development Company and Precision/Ski Republic.

Guests and staff have expressed their sadness on the company’s Facebook page:

Hannah Eldridge: Hey Lovely, so sorry to read this. It is the hardest thing our industry has ever seen. I wish you well hun xxxx

Emma Rand: Sad times such a shame xx

Sarah Goulden: Oh Naomi … I’m gutted to read this. thinking of you! Thanks for everything you did for me when I worked for you. So sad to hear this. Hope you will be back up and running again in the future xxx lots of love and best wishes xxxx sar xxx

Richard Edlmann: Very sorry to hear. Great company. Damn this f*cking virus.

Ciso Barbosa: Oh!sorry for you guys. Good luck xx

Alex Badger: Really sad to hear this Nomes. I’m sure the future has new adventures in it for you, and you’ll make them sparkle – just as Project Ski did.

Holly Waddell: For what Project Ski was you should be insanely proud. You created such a wonderful beast Gnomes and it was a privilege to be a small part of that adventure. Here’s to the next wonderful thing and many more adventures for you!

Project Ski

Project Ski

Tuesday 18th August

Protests over Handling of Covid-19 in Argentina

Thousands of demonstrators defied the lockdown in force in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires.

Marches were also held in other major Argentine cities.

Some were voicing their opposition to the way the government has handled the pandemic, while others were opposing judicial reform.

Earlier some ski resorts opened – the only ones to do so in South America.

There has been some limited skiing and snowboarding, but the opening of Cerro Catedral was marred by a fatal avalanche:

Two resorts in South America to open

“The only medicine we have found so far is to limit the movement of people and the face-to-face meeting of people as much as possible,” said President Alberto Fernández.

Argentina has just under 300,000 confirmed cases, with 90% in Buenos Aires.

Cerro Catedral, Argentina

Cerro Catedral, Argentina

Canadian Ski Resorts Look to Hire 100s of Locals as Foreign Workers Restricted Under Covid-19 Regulations

Sunshine Village near Banff in Alberta has as many as 400 jobs to fill.

Usually foreign workers, many from the UK and Australia operate the lifts, serve in the bars/restaurants and work as ski instructors.

UK instructor in Sunshine Village, Canada

UK instructor in Sunshine Village, Canada

The ski resorts are now looking to fill many of the posts with Canadians and are looking for local high school grads and post-secondary students.

“Especially those in the class of 2020. They graduated during the pandemic and may want to defer their university until they can go back into the classroom,” said the director of communications at Sunshine Village, Kendra Scurfield, to CBC.

“We are reaching out to students to recruit. And we want to attract as many Canadians from Alberta …, Manitoba, British Columbia, as we can.”

The resorts say they are aiming to open in mid-November as usual but understand there may be some changes.

Sunshine Village, Canada

Sunshine Village, Canada

Sunshine Village, Canada

Sunshine Village, Canada

Monday 17th August

Chill Factore has Reopened

The indoor snow centre in Manchester has fired up its lifts.

It closed last March and follows other indoor slopes that are now running

The main slope at the Chill Factore opened at midday today.

The indoor centre has had to make a few changes to ensure that its environment is as safe as possible for both guests and the staff.

For the first week only hourly lift passes will be available and slope time has to be pre-booked.

From Monday 24th August 2020 ski and snowboard lessons will run in a new format and Snow Park will also be available.

Read more here in our full article:

Chill Factore has reopened

Chill Factore, Manchester

Chill Factore, Manchester

Italy Tightens Restrictions as Covid-19 Cases Rise

It is closing all nightclubs for at least three weeks from today, Monday 17th.

Masks will also be compulsory in some areas between 18:00 and 06:00.

It follows concern that the rate of infection is rising among young people.

There were 600 new cases on Sunday – the highest daily figure since May.

With spikes occurring across Europe, notably in Spain and France, Italy had been judged to be doing well in keeping the lid on new cases.

Italy appears to be keeping covid-19 under some control

Spain had nearly 35,000 cases recorded in the past two weeks, including 7,550 on Friday.

France reported 3,105 new cases in the 24 hours up to 6pm on Sunday.

The closing of nightclubs applies to outdoor venues where people dance, such as beaches and common areas in hotels.

The decisions were made during a meeting of ministers and local officials on Sunday afternoon after 479 new infections and four deaths from Covid-19 were reported nationwide.

PlanetSKI remains poised to return to the Italian Alps, but we are monitoring the situation carefully before making a final decision.

Aosta, Italy

Aosta, Italy

Chile Draws up State Recovery Plan

The government of Chile has launched a $34bn (£25.9bn) recovery plan.

It aims to create 250,000 jobs to counteract some of the losses incurred during the pandemic.

The number of jobs lost during the pandemic in the country is estimated at 1.8 million.

Its ski industry has been hard hit.

All the country’s ski resorts remain closed including Portillo, Valle Nevado, El Colorado, La Parva, Ski Pucon and Nevados de Chillan.

Portillo, Chile

Portillo, Chile

“Cheers to health and conquering this pandemic, so that we may be together again soon,” said the resort of Portillo on Facebook this month.

The ski slopes have been reclaimed by Mother Nature.

Portillo, Chile

Portillo, Chile

There has been some limited skiing and snowboarding in neighbouring Argentina, but the opening of Cerro Catedral was marred by a fatal avalanche:

Two resorts in South America to open

Cerro Catedral, Argentina

Cerro Catedral, Argentina

New Zealand has Postponed its General Election

It has been and moved it by four weeks to 17 October.

The country, which had the virus under control, is seeing a cluster of cases spread through the city of Auckland, despite a lockdown imposed last Wednesday.

Nine new cases were confirmed there on Monday, bringing the total number of active cases to 58.

A person linked to the outbreak has been to the ski areas of Turoa and Whakapapa on the North Island.

The person visited Tūroa ski field on Sunday 9th August.

“Following this advice two staff self-isolated and were tested for Covid-19. They have received their results and are negative for Covid-19,” the resort said in a statement.

“Public Health officials have advised that the interactions any of our staff have had with this person are not considered to meet the definition of “close contact”.

The resorts said the person also visited Whakapapa Ski Area on Saturday the 8th August, but was considered pre-symptomatic and so unlikely to be infectious at this time.

There are further details lower down this blog from Sunday 16th.

“This decision gives all parties time over the next nine weeks to campaign and the Electoral Commission enough time to ensure an election can go ahead,” Ms Ardern said, adding that she had “absolutely no intention” of allowing any further delays to the vote.

Skiing in New Zealand

Skiing in New Zealand

Chill Factore Reopens Today

The indoor snow centre in Manchester is firing up its lifts on Monday.

It closed last March and follows other indoor slopes that are now running.

The Snozones in Castleford and Milton Keynes, the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead and the Tamworth Snowdome are now up and running.

People need to book in advance and have been able to book a slope slot since August 10th.

Only hourly lift passes will be available.

From Monday 24th August lessons will be available, in a new format, but there will be reduced capacity in the Snow Park.

“As you may be aware, COVID-19 and the associated health and safety restrictions do mean that we are having to make some changes to the way we work and the products we will have on offer.

“We hope that once restrictions start to ease, our working practices will be able to change.”

Read our earlier story here:

Chill Factore Prepares to Reopen

Chill Factore, Manchester

Chill Factore, Manchester

Sunday 16th August

Two Skiers from Victoria Fined for Skiing in New South Wales

They were fined $1,000 each after police allege they flouted permit requirements and went skiing in New South Wales, Australia.

The 38-year-old woman and 43-year-old man were fined by NSW Police after they entered the state and “did not comply with the conditions of their permit”.

The visited the ski resort of Perisher which they were not allowed to do.

Skiing in Australia

Skiing in Australia

Covid-19 Cases in Victoria Drop as Lockdown Continues

The Australian state of Victoria has reported a reduction in new cases,

It has recorded 303 more cases and 4 deaths indicating the peak might be over.

However there’s a warning against complacency as the virus continues to spread in areas outside Melbourne.

“Every time a poor choice is made, even one that you might think really only affects you… can potentially mean hundreds of people get this virus and that many of those potentially finish up gravely ill in hospital,” said the Premier, Andrew Daniels.

Brett Sutton, Victoria’s chief health officer, said people needed to remain vigilant.

“I do think it’s important that people understand that the actions that they have taken, especially in recent weeks, are showing up in our numbers now,” Sutton said.

“And so people should have hope and confidence that the things that we know work are now manifesting in our daily counts.”

All the ski resorts in the state remain closed.

Mr Buller closes bringing ski season in Victoria to early end

Mt Buller, Australia

Mt Buller, Australia

Covid-19 case from NZ Auckland Cluster Visited Mt Ruapehu Ski Area

A person with Covid-19 linked to the outbreak in Auckland outbreak cluster visited Mt Ruapehu ski-fields last weekend.

The resort said the person visited Tūroa ski field on Sunday 9th August.

“Following this advice two RAL staff self-isolated and were tested for Covid-19. They have received their results and are negative for Covid-19,” the resort said in a statement.

“Public Health officials have advised that the interactions any of our staff have had with this person are not considered to meet the definition of “close contact”.

The resorts said the person also visited Whakapapa Ski Area on Saturday the 8th August, but was considered pre-symptomatic and so unlikely to be infectious at this time.

Turoa and Whakapapa ski fields remain open under Level Two restrictions:

Kia ora, here is Steve with a run down of some of the golden rules and your responsibilities for when you visit Mt Ruapehu while we are under Alert Level 2. As things change we will keep you up to date. #BeKind

Posted by Mt Ruapehu, Whakapapa & Tūroa Ski Areas on Thursday, 13 August 2020

Ski resorts in New Zealand to reopen with restrictions as Covid-19 returns

Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand

Mt Ruapehu, New Zealand

The New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters, has called for a delay to the September general election due to the reappearance of covid-19.

New Zealand now has 69 cases after no new infections for 102 days.

Cross-Channel Swimmer Avoids Quarantine

An Australian swimmer, Chloe McCardel, took 10 hours and 40 minutes to complete her 35th Channel crossing.

She set off at 8pm on Saturday night and arrived in France shorlty before 7am local time.

She was worried arriving in Calais would require her to self-isolate.

We reported on her dilemma in Saturday’s rolling coronavirus blog

But she said UK and French coastguards have given her the all-clear.

“I’m in great spirits,” Ms McCardel said.

“We don’t go anywhere near the border officials or passport control, so I’m hoping technically the quarantine thing won’t apply,” she had said ahead of the swim.

And so it turned out to be.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

US Resort Says it Plans to Open on Time

Winter Park Resort in Colorado has said it is planning to open in mid-November as usual.

“We’re reflecting and learning how to modify our winter operations to give our guests a place to venture out,” said the President of Winter Park Resort, Sky Foulkes, in a letter to guests and employees.

The resort is planning to adjust indoor spaces to reduce the number of people allowed inside at one time.

People will need to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

It will also provide contactless dining and check-in options.

In addition the resorts says there will be enhanced cleaning procedures.

Winter Park, Colorado

Winter Park, Colorado

Last week, Loveland Ski Area announced it plans to be open on time but said the 2020-21 ski season will be different and that its plans are being formulated.

Other Colorado ski areas have not announced specific plans, though season passes through Ikon and Epic are on sale.

All the resorts in Colorado closed down in March as the pandemic spread.

They are allowed to open again in May with restrictions in Place and Arapahoe Basin fired up some lifts for Spring skiers and snowboarders.

Arapahoe Basin in Colorado re-opens for skiers and snowboarders

PlanetSKI was last in Winter Park in the season of 2018:

PlanetSKI visits Winter Park in Colorado

Winter Park, Colorado

Winter Park, Colorado

Winter Park, Colorado

Winter Park, Colorado

 

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

Here are our earlier rolling coronavirus blogs if you want to look back at all the relevant developments over the past months as we reported its impact.

We have updated daily since the pandemic began.

All you need to know about the pandemic and its impact on the world of snowsports:

August 9th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

August 2nd: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

July 26th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

July 19th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

July 12th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

July 5th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

June 28th: Coroanvirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

June 21st: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

June 14th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

June 7th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

May 31st: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

May 24th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

May 17th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

May 10th: Coronavirus impact on snowsports

May 3rd: The coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

April 26th: Covid-19 impact on skiing & snowboarding continues

April 18th: Coronavirus impact on skiiing and snowboarding continues

April 12th: Coronavirus impact on skiing and snowboarding

April 5th: Coronavirus impact on snowsports

March 29th: Our rolling blog on the impact of Covid-19 continues

March 23rd: PlanetSKI’s rolling blog on the coronavirus impact on skiing continues

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

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