Covid Closes Australian Resorts

Ski fields in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, including Perisher and Thredbo, have temporarily shut following a government imposed statewide snap lockdown, in effect Aug. 14-22. The resorts had previously been open to locals.

In a statement on its social channels, Thredbo said, “While we’re incredibly disappointed to see the temporary closure of our resort, we are committed to playing our part in ensuring the health & safety of our guests, teams and our community.”

Perisher echoed that sentiment in its own statement: “Unfortunately, Perisher’s operations will close until it is safely possible to reopen. We know that this is difficult news for our guests, employees and local communities, and want you to know that we share this sadness with you.”

Both resorts had been operating with Covid protocols in place, including physical distancing, fitted face coverings indoors, and cashless transactions. They will remain closed during the seven-day lockdown, at which point officials intend to reassess the situation.

Sydney, the capital of NSW, has been in lockdown for the past nine weeks in an attempt to combat a Delta variant outbreak. Stricter restrictions have been imposed on the city, Australia’s largest, which is thought to be the source of regional clusters appearing throughout NSW. Residents require a permit to travel outside the city. Essential travel is limited to five kilometers (about three miles) from home, and violators can be charged up to 5,000 Australian dollars ($4580 Cdn).

The lockdown in Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, in Victoria, was also just extended and a night curfew was reinstated. Ski areas in Victoria, including Falls Creek, Mount Buller, and Mt. Hotham, remain open to locals, with travel restrictions in place.