Getting excited to hit the slopes in New Hampshire this winter? Be ready for a few changes brought on by the coronavirus.
New Hampshire's Reopening Task Force released guidance for the ski industry on Friday, which puts several notable guidelines in place for the upcoming season.
Guests checking into the mountain should be asked a series of questions when buying their lift ticket, and again when checking in for an overnight stay, according to the guidelines:
- Do you have any COVID-19 symptoms?
- Have you been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 or is suspected to have had it in the last 14 days?
- Have you gone on any non-essential travel outside of New England over the last 14 days?
Guests who answer yes to any of those questions should be asked to come back later.
On the ski lift, placing strangers together will be "strongly discouraged," according to the guidelines. Families and parties that traveled together will be able to use the same open-air lifts.
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For enclosed lifts such as gondolas with a maximum capacity of four, there will be no singles line and windows must remain open at all times. The same goes for gondolas with a capacity of eight patrons, with open windows and an encouragement of family members only.
Mountains should build in social distancing markers for ski lifts, keeping patrons six feet apart when in line, as well as in other areas where lines may form, including in ski lodges.
Face coverings must be worn on all ski lifts, as well as by patrons waiting in line for ski lifts. Operators will also be required to wear coverings, as well as staff working indoor parts of the mountain.
The only time skiers won't be required to wear face coverings, according to the guidelines, is when they are actively skiing on a trail and more than six feet away from other guests. Eating and drinking are the only other instances in which skiers can remove their masks.
Capacity limits should be established by mountains for both indoor and outdoor facilities.
Mountains will be required to have alcohol-based hand sanitizers at the ready throughout the the ski area, including upon entry, inside cafeterias, checkout locations and exits.
For ski school and for competitions, New Hampshire's Amateur & Youth Sports guidelines must be followed. Child care services at the mountain will follow regulations set forth by the state, as will music and other forms of base lodge entertainment. Lodging and overnight accommodations must follow New Hampshire Lodging guidance.
Read the full New Hampshire ski guidance here.