Conditions across the weekend were “all time” but rain in recent days dampened the scene until new snow started arriving on Wednesday setting up resorts for a great restart after the latest COVID lockdown.

 

IT’S A requirement that people looking to hit the slopes this week, especially after reports of an epic snowfall last weekend, will have to get a negative COVID-19 test before they go.

The only problem with that is someone forgot to tell local testing places in Gippsland that people without symptoms can get tested.

It’s just another jump would be skiers and snowboarders are going to have to clear before they go.

When the Premier Daniel Andrews made his announcement about an easing of restrictions across the state on Tuesday this week, the news was good for the visitor economy, with cafes, restaurants and pubs able to open with limits, but while there’s no limit on how far Victorians can travel intrastate, there’ll still be no interstate travel, and the New Zealand bubble is still off-limits.

So, if it’s snow you are seeking, the Victoria resorts including Baw Baw, Mt Hotham and Falls Creek will be your go.

“People will be free to visit ski fields again, but due to the higher risk in these settings entry to Victoria’s alpine resorts will require a COVID test and receipt of a negative result within 72 hours prior to visiting. Children under 12 years of age are not required to be tested,” Mr Andrews said when making his announcement.

Hopefully the respiratory clinics and local drive-through testing centres get the memo.

President of the Mount Hotham Chamber of Commerce Steve Belli says he welcomes the news that visitors are allowed back at the peak of the snow season.

“We’re really looking forward to seeing people come up here again. You know we’ve been closed for the last two weeks, again, which has given businesses another kick that they don’t need.

“So, we just want to see people on the ground and try and make it as easy as possible for people to come and also as safe as possible for both our customers and our staff.

Accommodation is also an issue too. Bookings are open but they’re only permitted for single households, intimate partners or single bubbles in each accommodation space, presenting challenges for the popular lodges on the mountain.

But the good news is that weekend snowfall loaded the slopes, and while an unfortunate bout of rainfall followed, further snow is predicted and has already started to fall overnight on Tuesday, into Wednesday, coming down steadily today and the next few days…

Finally with the lifts rolling!

Face coverings are still required and must be carried at all times, to be worn indoors and outdoors except if at home or if an exception applies.

Check out the mountain websites for the latest driving and skiing/riding conditions.

There is plenty of fun to be had at the snow.

But you can expect it to be busy if resorts only open a few lifts, in some cases due to staff shortages, for the returning snow enthusiasts.