WITH the opening of the ski season at Victorian resorts this week and the start of school holidays south of the border on Friday, the tourism sector is urging caution.
Tourism North East chief executive Bess Nolan-Cook has asked people travelling to the region to stay informed, book ahead and consider others after Saturday's announcement that a new spike in COVID-19 cases had prevented further easing of social gathering restrictions and rolled back family gatherings to five a household.
Ms Nolan-Cook said visitors to the region should be prepared.
"I strongly encourage anyone who is planning to travel, to take a measured and cautious approach by planning, booking and confirming ahead all elements of travel before leaving home," she said.
"That means ensuring your accommodation is booked in advance, as well as all meals at all venues including restaurants, cafes, breweries and wineries and, of course, continuing to practice physical distancing and good hygiene."
Ms Nolan-Cook said Victoria's alpine resorts had been working to implement strategies to ensure the safety of visitors heading to the snow from this week, as well as businesses and staff welcoming guests, including implementing detailed COVID-19 operational plans for capacity management, traceability, cleaning/hygiene, accommodation, food and beverage and transportation.
Resorts visitors must book their vehicle entry before arrival and anyone arriving without a vehicle entry pass may not be able to enter the resort due to capacity constraints.
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Visitors to the snowfields are urged to book all elements of their trip including lift passes, accommodation and activities.
"Visitors to the alpine resorts need to prepare for a very different experience to previous snow seasons, with planning ahead, physical distancing and other limitations front of mind," Ms Nolan-Cook said.
"We are asking anyone who is considering traveling to the High Country to be considerate and kind to others and to respect the rules that are in place."
Visitors considering travel to the High Country should check alpine resort websites for the latest information and conditions.
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