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Will COVID-19 Affect A Winter That Hasn't Happened Yet? -- A Word From Australia


With the 2019/2020 season being shut down by the COVID-19 outbreak, one could question the effect of the outbreak on a ski and snowboard season that hasn't started yet. Will the outbreak end up shutting down those mountains in the Southern Hemisphere? The honest and easy answer is that it is a possibility. Just like the mountain resorts and ski areas of the Northern Hemisphere, the ski, snowboard, and snowsports industry in Australia are keeping a close eye on things to come.


As you can see from this information release, which was released one week ago, the outbreak is being taken very seriously and choices will be made as needed. It could mean that our skiing and riding brothers and sisters in Australia may be looking at a late start due to the outbreak, similar to our early closure here in the Northern Hemisphere. It's likely that ski hills in South America and Africa, not to mention excursions to Antarctica will all be affected by the outbreak, as well.

When talking about Australia specifically, however, some of those resorts and mountains have been open for summertime operations similar to our backcountry and uphill accessible mountains. However, as we have begun to see here in the United States, some of that uphill access has been closed due to the number of people flocking to those places. With Australia watching the COVID-19 situation as closely as we are, they might have to make some of the same choices.

If one has to choose whether or not to cancel a skiing or snowboarding trip to Australia, it might be a better choice to definitely cancel. Yes, there is still some time before the season starts in the Southern Hemisphere, but with the uncertainty surrounding the spread and containment of COVID-19, it might be better to postpone your trip this season. As with our resorts here, most of the resorts in the Southern Hemisphere will likely work very hard to accommodate any changes or refunds that you might require.

Photo: Mt. Buller, Australia - Credit: Mt Buller/FB

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