NSW ski fields to open on June 22 but fewer visitors allowed

The NSW alpine region will be open from June 22. Picture: Perisher Ski Resort
The NSW alpine region will be open from June 22. Picture: Perisher Ski Resort

NSW ski fields will be back in operation from Monday June 22, but fewer people will be able to visit and stay at resorts.

The opening date, announced by the state government, is after the traditional opening of the snow season on the June long weekend (June 6-8).

Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro John Barilaro said work was underway to ensure appropriate COVIDsafe measures were in place at Thredbo, Charlotte Pass and Perisher.

"One of the highlights of the winter tourism season is a trip to our alpine regions," he said.

"However, while many people are eager to return to the slopes, it is important that visitors can enjoy themselves safely and responsibly."

Mr Barilaro said NSW Health and NSW Police were working closely with ski field operators, associated businesses, suppliers and industry associations to ensure COVIDsafe measures were in place when the season commenced.

"These measures will mean that fewer people will be able to visit and stay at resorts this season, so it is essential that people book and confirm their travel arrangements and accomodation before they travel," he said.

Mr Barilaro said new measures would include maintaining physical distancing at resorts, limits to the number of people on ski areas, controlled access to ski lifts, increased cleaning of all facilities and no snowplay.

Mr Barilaro said the June 22 opening date was chosen to give resorts time to implement health and safety measures.

CEO of the Australian Ski Areas Association Colin Hackworth said resorts were "disappointed to miss the traditional opening of the snow season on the June long weekend, but operators are looking forward to the season ahead and are busily preparing for the safe opening of the resorts from June 22".

The Mt Selwyn resort will remain closed during the season due to bushfire damage.

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