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Bluebird skiing and snow boarding at Mt Ruapehu over weekend

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Skiers and boarders headed to Mt Ruapehu over the weekend to enjoy some Bluebird spring skiing. Both Saturday and Sunday delivered sunny, clear days and both Whakapapa and Turoa were at capacity.

RAL CEO Jono Dean says, "Thousands of people enjoyed the snow safely under Alert Level 2 and the ski areas have been pleased with the majority of people adhering to the Alert Level 2 protocols.

"The teams at Turoa and Whakapapa urge visitors to remember to take responsibility for their actions and play their part. We’re not the enforcement of the COVID-19 Protocols, our job is to educate, encourage and endorse the plan, which is all about keeping people safe."

A reminder to people visiting the ski areas to get their rental equipment from a local hire company off-mountain before heading up. "Unfortunately under COVID Alert Level 2 we have limits on the rentals buildings and this can in some cases this can slow the rentals process causing delays getting onto the snow," Jono says.

Visitors must also book a carpark before heading up the mountain. The new bookable parking system operates 7 days a week and proactively helps the mountain manage visitor numbers under the current COVID Alert Level 2 restrictions.

RAL works closely with the Ski Association of New Zealand (SAANZ) helping to determine and set best practice operating guidelines for the ski industry in a COVID19 context. RAL asks that mountain visitors do the following:

Physical distancing - maintain a 1 metre distance from others outside your ‘bubble’

Practise good hygiene - wash hands thoroughly with soap for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitiser stations are also located throughout the ski fields

Cover up - wear gloves and scarves to not only keep warm but to also prevent the possible spread of COVID-19

Buy passes on-line in advance - then use your QR code at the Click and Collect machines on mountain

Stay home if you’re sick - pre purchased tickets are valid for any day during the season

Movement tracing - scan the QR code on mountain or provide your contact details if asked

Sign in using the NZ Covid tracer App

Wear a mask on all lifts during COVID Level 2

"As long as everyone sticks to the guidelines visitors will be able to enjoy the rest of the winter season safely," Jono says.

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