After the ski seasons in Australia and New Zealand were interrupted by Covid-19, the thought of waiting until next season seems so far away. Impatient skiers maybe eyeing resorts in Japan, the US or Canada to make up for lost time on the slopes at home. But how easy is it to travel and which resorts are open?

The 2020 ski season in Australia and New Zealand arrived slap-bang in the middle of a global pandemic. As expected, this had a huge effect on ski resorts - with the majority in Australia closing their doors two months early (in August rather than October). New Zealand was able to get a pretty good grasp on the virus so resorts were able to reopen, but under level 2 restrictions.

Either way it was a disappointing season with early closures or stop-start openings. So will more skiers be encouraged to look to the northern hemisphere to top-up time on the slopes in 2020/21? Perhaps in Japan, Canada or the US?

The US and Canada have been growing in popularity due to the dropping airfares to Los Angeles and Vancouver. You can also expect incredible views, deep powder, high altitude and vast, steep terrain. Not to mention the huge list of international ski resorts covered by the Ikon and Epic passes.

Japan, known for its light, dry powder “yuki” which is easier to practise turning for first-timers than in the dense powder in Europe or North America. Up to 15 metres fall in the powder havens like Myoko Kogen on the main island of Honshu. There’s no shortage of fresh tracks!

So where’s open already? See our list of open ski resorts in USA and Canada

Travel restrictions

At present most non-essential travel into Canada has been stopped. The US has stopped arrivals from numerous countries but Australia and New Zealand are not on the list. However you will need a visa or an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation. No one is able to enter Japan as a tourist at the moment.

Australian citizens are not allowed to leave Australia unless you get an exemption from the Department of Home Affairs. All travellers arriving in Australia, including Australian citizens, must quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility, such as a hotel in the city of arrival.

New Zealand citizens are being advised not to travel overseas at this time. Most flights to New Zealand have ceased too. Every person entering New Zealand must remain in managed isolation or quarantine for at least 14 days (336 hours). They must test negative for COVID-19 before they can leave the isolation or quarantine facility and go into the community.