Ski slopes operating at full capacity this season, but some COVID rules still at play

Proof of vaccination required to access many indoor spaces

With a few flakes of snow to brush off the car lately, thoughts might be turning to hitting the slopes soon. But how will COVID play into things this ski season?

Ski resorts throughout Simcoe County have COVID-19 operational plans in place, as dictated by health officials. Each outlining what steps are being taken at each location, and what skiers should expect before they arrive.

Horseshoe Valley Ski Resort, like many venues in Ontario, will require proof of vaccination from all patrons hoping to make use of the resort’s dining or meeting spaces, along with the pool and fitness centre. All patrons will be required to wear a face-covering when entering indoor areas of the resort. Face coverings will also be required when waiting in line for the chairlift and while riding it. Physical distancing markers are in place. Read more about Horseshoe Valley’s operating plan on its website.

Mount St. Louis Moonstone says all seasonal employees of the resort are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. It will require guests aged 12 and up to show proof of vaccination as well. “MSLM believes the vaccine requirement is important for the protection of our employees and our guests, given the large number of people using our facilities,” reads the resort’s operational update. The resort says there will be no walk-up sales for lift tickets, rentals, or snow school lessons. All purchases must be made online and in advance. Visit the Mount St. Louis Moonstone website for more information.

Hardwood Ski and Bike also requires guests to purchase tickets in advance through its website. Trail passes will be redeemed on-site at Hardwood’s ticket booth, thus allowing guests to avoid indoor spaces altogether. Should guests wish to enter the chalet, masks will be required, as is the case at any indoor public space. There is no bag storage or change rooms available at this time. There is no indoor dining permitted at Hardwood. Hardwood Ski and Bike’s website has more information.

To access the slopes at Snow Valley, advanced online tickets must be purchased through the resort’s website. This includes lift tickets, rentals, and snow school lessons. Snow Valley says when riding the chairlift, one empty seat is required between guests who are not from the same household, while guests can choose not to share a chair with someone from a different household. Access to the main chalet, tubing chalet, and day lodge will be controlled, with limited capacity for sit-down dining. Guests are asked to get ready and dressed at your vehicle, with no bags permitted within the chalet. Find more information on the Snow Valley website.

The provincial government announced amendments to its COVID rules in late October that permit ski hills and other outdoor recreational amenities to operate at full capacity. Patrons will not be required to show proof of vaccination to make use of outdoor facilities where capacity is less than 20,000 people.