Hitting the ski slopes in a COVID safe way

The ski season is set to officially kick off in NSW and Victoria after weeks of delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Rapid testing for COVID-19 will be made available in the Snowy Mountains region from today helping safeguard skiiers, boarders and snow enthusiasts enjoying our winter holiday resorts.

Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro John Barilaro announced the ski season is officially open and together with Health Minister Brad Hazzard, urged visitors to maintain COVID-safe behaviours while away.

“COVID-19 has presented many challenges to communities like the Snowy Mountains, who have had one of the toughest years on record with bushfires and drought,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Thankfully in NSW we are now at  a point where we can safely return to our favourite winter holiday destination.

“Communities in the Snowy Mountains and those on major roads in and out depend heavily on tourism dollars and I know they will be very appreciative of the business brought in by visitors to the region, but it is imperative that we remember to be COVID safe.

“While our regional communities are ready to welcome you with open arms, the message remains clear – if you are sick, get tested and don’t travel.”

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said rapid-testing for high-risk patients will be conducted at NSW Health Pathology’s Cooma Lab to enable early management of any suspected cases.

“Fast, accurate testing to confirm COVID and thorough contact tracing is the most effective way to keep community transmission at bay and prevent further outbreaks,” Mr Hazzard said.

“Expanding NSW Health Pathology’s rapid testing to the ski region will provide greater protection for resort workers and holidaymakers but only if people come forward for testing.”

NSW Health Pathology’s Bega laboratory will support Cooma by conducting non-urgent tests.

More than 725,000 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in NSW since the start of the pandemic and in recent weeks, the majority of positive cases have been in return travellers.

Ski resorts will have their own COVID-safe requirements so visitors should familiarise themselves with these once they arrive.

Holidaymakers can visit the NSW Government COVID-safe and Live Traffic website to plan their trip: