The winter season at North America's largest ski resort stops eight weeks earlier than planned. The resort of Whistler Blackcomb is closed since Tuesday, March 30, 2021. The reason is the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in the famous ski area, recently there were over 200 new infections within a week - almost as many as in the entire year 2020. The health authorities of British Columbia ordered the shutdown of the ski resort. The entire province is also subject to tightened COVID-19 measures for three weeks in order to reduce the number of infections again.
Hotspot in British Columbia
The ski season in North America has already been operating under strict COVID-19 policies since the beginning of the winter. Only in regions with high numbers of cases there have been temporary closures from time to time. The Whistler Blackcomb ski resort, which has become a hotspot in the province of British Columbia, is now also affected by this. This year, the ski resort has already recorded 1120 corona cases, four times more than in the entire year 2020. Young adults between 20 and 39 years of age are particularly affected.
As more and more cases of the P1 Brazil variant have recently emerged and cases have increased throughout the province, the authorities have now decided to stop. The Whistler Blackcomb ski area must remain closed until at least April 19. In the entire province of British Columbia tightened restrictions will also be in place for the next three weeks to bring down the infection numbers again: indoor meetings are banned, restaurants are only allowed to open their outdoor areas, and masks are mandatory in public spaces and stores.
Other ski resorts remain open
While Whistler has already decided not to start the ski season after April 19 and to focus on the summer season, the remaining ski areas in British Columbia may remain open. These include Revelstoke, Sun Peaks, Big White and Panorama, among others. That's because there are less cases of new infections.
However, the stricter Corona restrictions will also apply there from now on, so that, among other things, indoor areas of the restaurants will remain closed. In addition, the number of day visitors will be limited. In comparison to Whistler, where skiing is possible until the end of May due to the altitude, the other resorts are only open until mid-April.