NSW Snow Resorts Closed Due to 7-day Covid Lock

August 15th, 2021


An empty Front Valley at Perisher this morning

Mountainwatch | Reggae Elliss

The lifts will not be spinning in the NSW resorts today after the NSW Government placed the entire state in a “stay at home” lockdown from 5pm yesterday afternoon until at least midnight Saturday, August 21.  

The news spread through the mountains yesterday afternoon when John Barliaro, Deputy Premier and the local state member for the Monaro, announced it on his social media platforms around 2.30pm. News sites quickly picked up the impending lockdown, quoting “unnamed MPs”, but the official announcement did not come through until just after 3.30pm.

It is fair to say that many businesses in the Snowy Mountains and regional NSW did not appreciate the short notice, especially hospitality venues which had already prepped for Saturday night bookings.

There was no mention of the impending state-wide lock at the Premier’s 11am press conference yesterday morning although the premier did indicate that some local government areas would see harsher restrictions.

Barilaro later said that the government was concerned about growing case numbers in Dubbo and other LGAs and that Covid 19 fragments were detected in other regional areas where there were no known cases.

“We’ve always said that if we thought this measure was needed we would act quickly,” Mr Barilaro said. “And that’s why on that advice at lunchtime today, we’ve made the decision to go to a state-wide lockdown.”

Under the restrictions everyone must stay at home “unless they have a reasonable excuse” to leave.  All hospitality venues must be closed to the public, including pubs, restaurants and cafes, except for takeaway. School students must be home-schooled unless they need to be at school.

Most retail stores must close, exceptions include supermarkets, grocery stores, hardware stores, pharmacies and garden centres and nurseries.  Anyone who leaves their home must carry a mask with them at all times.

Reasonable excuses to leave home include exercise and outdoor recreation in the local government area you live in or 10km from your home (5km from Monday, 16 August 2021. No doubt those who live in the mountains will be hoping to do some touring for their one-hour of exercise

For more on the rules and restrictions head to: nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules.

Obviously, the state-wide lockdown is the last thing people in the Snowy Mountains wanted to see and as there are no cases in the region and, despite the NSW government’s poor handling of the Sydney outbreak, there was cautious optimism the NSW snow resorts would see out the winter and local communities and businesses would not have to go through the closures and interruptions we’ve seen in Victoria during the past two seasons. However, as Sydney leaked like a sieve and the outbreak spread to the ACT there was a feeling over the past week that the noose was tightening.

It has been a slow winter for businesses in the Snowy Mountains, the Greater Sydney lockdown taking out a big chunk of the market for most of the season, while the current Melbourne lockdown is doing the same in Victoria. It has been a tough 18 months for the snow industry and alpine communities in both states, as it has been tough for the whole country. Fingers crossed the Victorian resorts remain open for regional visitors and we see the NSW resorts re-open next Sunday.