Covid Public Health Orders breached in Snowy Mountains this weekend

It’s a trying time in Victorian and New South Wales ski fields with the state border closed between both regions and Hotham and Falls Creek also currently closed.

Skiers and snowboarders are already acutely aware of this season’s restrictions when ski resorts are running at 50% capacity with strict Covid Safe plans. Without which there would be no ski season in 2020.

Perisher has even issued a mandatory face covering warning yesterday to further support Covid Safe practices.

“From Monday 27 July a face covering will be required when visiting Perisher premises including arriving and departing the resort in car parking facilities, while using lifts, on Skitube and shuttle buses, in public places, and while skiing and snowboarding” wrote the resort on social media yesterday.

“An appropriate face covering can include a neck buff, balaclava, face mask or similar and should fit closely around your mouth and nose and allow for breathing without restriction.”

However, the New South Wales snow region has still been wrestling with Public Health Order breaches in recent weeks with police issuing a number of fines to operators and visitors to the region.

Two weeks ago a Jindabyne hotel became the first venue to be closed in the state due to Covid-19 safety breaches. The pub was issued a $5000 fine and closed for 72 hours.

Bushland party

Now this weekend the Monaro Police District have issued $1000 fines to twelve attendees of an outdoor event in bushland near Poo Bay in Jindabyne. Officers attended the area of bushland about 2km from town last night and witnessed a large bonfire, lighting, and amplified music set up, with approximately 150 to 200 people gathered for a dance party.

According to police reports the majority of the attendees ran into the bushland when the police arrived to shut down the party. Police have now issued Penalty Infringement Notices (PIN) to eight men in their 20s and 30s and four women in their 20s.

Venue in Thredbo

Officers also attached to the Monaro Police District attended a venue in Thredbo, just before 4.30pm on Saturday and observed a breach of capacity limits for the size of venue, no physical distancing in the wait line and more than 10 persons seated per table. They also witnessed patrons socialising while not seated and a lack of COVID-Safe marshals.

According to the police report the officers spoke to the licensee about the issues but when they returned an hour later, observed further breaches occurring and people running away.

The licensee was issued with two $5,000 PINS, and a travel company owner who had organised for a large number of patrons to attend the venue was also issued a $5000 PIN.

Skiers and snowboarders visiting the region are reminded to adhere to COVID Safe practices of social distancing and gathering limitations for the safety of both guests and the local community who have a limited public health system.

Thredbo have outlined their Covid Safe protocols here, and Perisher here. 


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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.