The state of Victoria, Australia, has just begun a “short, sharp” five-day lockdown to contain a growing outbreak of the Delta variant of covid-19. The lockdown means many ski resorts have been forced to closed, just as the snow is starting to fall.
“We’ve got no choice. We have to do this, otherwise, it will get away from us. We don’t want this getting away from us and being locked down for months. We want to deal with this with a short, sharp lockdown. Decisive action, not waiting, not dawdling, not delay. Hard and fast, you only get one chance. Now is our time.”
– Dan Andrews, Premier of Victoria
The lockdown began at 11.59 pm on Thursday local time after two more local COVID-19 cases were recorded. Citizens will only be able to leave home for five reasons; to shop for food and essential items, provide or receive care, exercise, work or study if they cannot from home, and get vaccinated. The lockdown will end at 11:59 pm on Tuesday. It is the fifth lockdown for Victoria since the start of the pandemic and the third in 2021.
A five-kilometer (3.1 miles) travel limit will be enforced for exercise and shopping, as will compulsory use of masks both indoors and outdoors.
The timing of the lockdown is a cruel blow for the state’s ski fields, as a season-saving storm is predicted to drop over three feet of snow on alpine areas.
“We know that this is devastating news for our guests, employees, and local communities, and want you to know that we share this sadness with you.”
– Mount Hotham Skiing company
Resorts affected by the closure include Dinner Plain, Falls Creek, Lake Mountain, Mt Baw Baw, Mt Buller, Mt Hotham, and Mt Stirling.
The snow is going nowhere, though, and when the lockdown ends on Tuesday night, all that powder will be waiting for eager powderhounds on Wednesday morning.