Snow season to begin in June despite pandemic
Snowball fights and season passes are out, but the ski slopes will be open in time for the school holidays.
The state government will on Thursday announce that ski fields will be back up and running from June 22, with a number of strict social distancing measures in place.
Despite the state's regions opening from the start of next month, ski resorts won't be ready for business by the June long weekend.
"The long weekend is when we start normally, but not a lot of snow will be there, so we're better off waiting a couple of weeks to get everything right," Deputy Premier John Barilaro told The Daily Telegraph.
Australian Ski Areas Association CEO Colin Hackworth said operators were "disappointed" with the delay, but they "are looking forward to the season ahead and are busily preparing for the safe opening of the resorts from 22 June".
There will be limits to the number of people allowed on the slopes, and in ski lifts, increased cleaning - and no 'snowplay'.
"We want people to ski, we can't have people congregating," Mr Barilaro said.
There'll be no season passes this year, with holiday-makers needing to book in a visit ahead of time, the Deputy Premier said.
Mr Barilaro said opening the ski fields will be a win for everyone in the Monaro region who have been hit hard by drought, fires, and now coronavirus.
"It's not just what happens in the resort, it's the whole Monaro Highway corridor that benefits," he said.
Ski slopes at Thredbo, Charlotte Pass, and Perisher will be open in time for midwinter, but the Mt Selwyn resort would remain shut due to bushfire damage.
"The NSW Government through NSW Health and NSW Police are working closely with ski field operators, associated businesses and suppliers and industry associations to ensure COVIDsafe measures are in place when the season commences," Mr Barilaro said.
Originally published as Snow season to begin in June despite pandemic