CONCORD - Skiers and snowboarders in New Hampshire will be required to wear face masks everywhere but on the trails this winter and ski resorts will need to take a pro-active stance to inform guests about new restrictions that come with the coronavirus.
Gov. Chris Sununu issued the state's guidance for ski resorts in a pandemic on Friday afternoon.
A copy is here. https://www.covidguidance.nh.gov/sites/g/files/ehbemt381/files/documents/2020-10/guidance-ski-areas.pdf
In summary, it indicates that resorts are going to need to launch a campaign to educate guests on what to expect this year to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus which has killed 441 residents in the state and sickened more than 8,000 since last March.
The guidance notes that the areas should set capacity limits on their lodges and retail space and also set them for shuttle buses. It says there should be a one-way flow of traffic as much as possible and that people need to be distanced six feet apart, including in the lift line outdoors.
There will be no more singles line for the gondolas and the guidance strongly discourages strangers from riding up the lift together.
It also strongly discourages the public from leaving their personal belongings in any public building.
Visitors at resorts will be asked questions prior to checking in to their rooms and condos and asked questions related to their own health and travel.
The guidance was developed by SKI NH, a statewide organization that represents most of the state ski areas, and it was approved by the bipartisan Governor's Economic Reopening Task Force before it was sent last Thursday to the governor and state epidemiologist, Dr. Benjamin Chan.
It does not appear there are any major changes in the plan from what the task force approved.
Sununu, whose family owns Waterville Valley ski area, said he would be involved in reviewing and approving the guidance although the state Democratic Party took exception to that and said it would be filing an ethics complaint because the governor's family has a financial interest in a ski area.
Sununu said he is no longer financially involved in the ski area. Some ski areas in the state hope to be open in mid- to late-November weather permitting.
Paula Tracy writes for the NH news nonprofit INdepthNH.org