CONCORD, N.H. (CBS) – As New England prepares for slope season in the coming months, the state of New Hampshire released its final COVID-19 reopening guidance for the ski industry on Friday.
The guidelines, passed unanimously by the state’s bipartisan task force and released Friday by Governor Chris Sununu’s office, lay out the new rules for skiing guests during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The intent of these recommendations is to reduce transmission of COVID-19 among employees and guests; support healthy business operations; and maintain a healthy work environment,” wrote the Governor’s Economic Reopening Task Force.
The new guidelines cover the following topics:
Guidelines On Masks
As expected, all guests in any lodge, facility, or public area will be required to wear masks. Face coverings will also be required in all lift lines and while loading, riding and unloading the lift.
When outdoors, a mask will not be required while skiing on a trail or when socially-distanced while eating or drinking.
The new guidelines do say family members and parties that travel together beforehand are allowed to ride the lift together.
They also say that “when possible”, indoor line, outdoor lines or congregation areas like the chair lift operations should have space and demarcations for people to stand, so that individuals or groups are distanced at least six feet away from each other.
Chairlifts And Ski Shuttles
Chairlift operators are also asked to space out multiple lines to enforce social distancing properly. Meanwhile, the operators for ski area shuttles are being asked to curtail capacity and create as much space as possible (at least six feet) in between riders. Singe seating and group seating will be available.
Screening Questions For Guests
Before being able to ski, guests will need to answer “no” to these three questions:
- Do you have any symptoms of COVID-19?
- Have you been in close contact with someone suspected of having COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
- Have you traveled on non-essential travel in the past 14 days outside of New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut or Rhode Island?
If a visitor answers “yes” to any of these questions, they will not be allowed to ski that day.
Rental equipment can be made available. But, ski areas are being told each piece of rental equipment needs to be disinfected after each use.
Employees at ski resorts and areas will be screened and questioned before every shift. They will be asked about symptoms and possible risk factors like travel. The guidelines also require employees to report any symptoms of coronavirus to their supervisor.