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1. NTSC COVID-19 Operations Framework Overview

This framework explains the high-level policies and necessary protocols for NTSC to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID Task Force, which reports to the Board of Directors, uses a hierarchy of principles to evaluate changes and additions to the COVID Framework. In order of priority, these principles are:

  • Legal protection of the Club

  • Safety of the members

  • Ease of operating the Club

  • Member preferences

To evaluate a change or addition to the Framework, the Task Force asks how these changes and additions would affect the principles (i.e. principle-based decision making).

1.1 Guiding Policies

  • The COVID Task Force will monitor Ontario COVID public health measures and advice.  The Task Force will  advise the Board of any recommended changes for NTSC events, including, but not limited to, alpine and nordic day trips, travel trips and socials.  NTSC will  align trips and events with what is permitted and in the spirit of Ontario COVID public health measures (or destination public health measures).

  • Travel trips are purchased from Tour Operators and subject to third party regulations and government travel advisories that prescribe when insurance and refunds are issued. NTSC cannot cancel trips as it may prevent members from obtaining refunds that they would otherwise be eligible to receive.

1.2 Adjusted Protocols

Operating during a pandemic requires changes to typical programming offered by the Club. 

  • If day trip buses are operating, guests will be permitted to join Alpine and Nordic day trips, with extra steps which will be outlined in a below section. Guests are not permitted to drive-up to resorts.

  • All in-person NTSC functions require every participant to be fully vaccinated, as well as wearing masks where prescribed by government guidelines. Fully vaccinated at this time means two vaccine doses (or one dose where required by the manufacturer such as  Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 vaccine).

  • NTSC members and their guests must follow ALL NTSC and partner protocols, including but not limited to bus carriers, host resorts, and Local Public Health Authorities when participating in NTSC activities.

1.3 Positive COVID Test or Symptoms

See Day Trips, Travel Trips and Socials section below for specific cancellation policies due to a positive COVID test or COVID symptoms.

  • If a member tests positive for COVID, is experiencing COVID symptoms, or is advised to isolate as a household contact of a COVID case and they are registered for an NTSC event, the member must email NTSC at COVID@NTSC.ca to cancel.

  • If a member tests positive for COVID or experiences COVID symptoms within five (5) days of attending an in-person NTSC event (e.g. day trip, lessons, travel trip, social, etc.), the member must email NTSC at COVID@NTSC.ca so the club may inform close contacts as appropriate.  The member’s privacy will be protected.

  • As per provincial guidance, the member must isolate for at least five (5) days following the onset of symptoms or  COVID exposure. The member can end isolation after five (5) days if their symptoms are improved for at least 24 hours and all public health and safety measures, such as masking and physical distancing, are followed.

  • During the isolation period, the member may not participate in any NTSC in-person events, including day trips, travel trips and socials. After completion of the isolation period, the member may participate in NTSC in-person events provided they follow all public health and safety measures, such as masking and physical distancing.

1.4 Non-Compliance

Failure to comply with NTSC or partner safety measures or protocols will be taken seriously by NTSC. The board reserves the right to sanction members, including but not limited to warnings, removal from a trip, termination of membership, and expulsion from NTSC.


2. DAY TRIPS

2.1 Registration

  • Member registration for day trips will occur earlier than in a normal season to accommodate the resorts’ need for accurate numbers for our planned day trips as well as proof of vaccination where required.

  • During the registration process, day trip participants must agree to self-assess their health status within 24 hours of the day trip start time. A link to the Ontario COVID-19 Self-Assessment is available on the NTSC.ca Ski/Snowboard page COVID Self-Assessment. If the member self-identifies that they are experiencing any of the listed symptoms or responds yes to any questions, the member must inform the Day Trips Director at alpinedaytrips@ntsc.ca and will not be allowed to join the day trip.

2.2 Resorts

  • The indoor areas (e.g. dressing area, lunch area, and lockers) may be unavailable at resorts. Each resort has individual COVID-19 protocols in place. Please refer to resort websites for specific guidance.

2.3 Bus Operations

  • Due to the nature of our bus trips, the Club may, at its own discretion, operate NTSC buses at a reduced capacity as an added precaution for its members even if provincial guidelines allow for full capacity

  • The bus companies contracted to work with NTSC have upgraded their air filtration systems to provide better safety to their customers. Buses will be cleaned before every trip.

2.4 Bus Passenger Protocols

The following information is for NTSC bus riders.

DO 

  • Follow all the bus captain’s instructions.

  • Perform a COVID Self-Assessment 24 hours or less before departure.  An example form is available on the Ski/Snowboard website page.  (Inform the Day Trips Director if you self-identify that you are experiencing any of the listed symptoms or respond yes to any questions.)

  • Wear a mask (not a face shield) that properly covers both the nose and mouth on the bus. We recommend you bring at least one back-up mask in case the first is lost or spoiled. 

  • Check-in with the bus captain before loading the bus.

  • Use the same seats when traveling to and from the resort. Stay seated when traveling and until directed to the exit.

  • If outdoor or chalet dining is not available, the bus may be open at lunchtimes. Bus availability will be dependent on Ontario COVID-19 public health measures, bus company policies and Board of Directors’ discretion. The bus is only available for bus riders, not drive-up day trip participants.

  • Understand resort protocols. These can be found online on the resort website. Knowing the expectations that the resort will ask you to follow will increase your enjoyment of your trip with NTSC.

  • Follow your Instructor’s guidance on COVID protocol during lessons.

DON’T

  • Participate in a day trip if you have any COVID symptoms or may have been exposed and are required to isolate

  • Use bus washrooms

  • Consume food and drink while traveling on the bus

  • Take your mask off, partially or otherwise, for any reason during the commute

2.5 Drive-ups

  • Drive-ups must register for lessons through the Club website for Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday trips. 

  • Due to COVID, some hills are restricting use of their chalets. This means, outside of the bathrooms or designated areas for brief warm-up periods, the chalet may not be available. In this instance, members driving must use their vehicle as a chalet (to dress, eat, and warm-up). Check resort websites for up-to-date information.

  • The bus is not available for drive-up member use.

2.6 Cancellation Policy for Day Trips

  • Members may cancel a day trip up to 3 times without penalty (bus fee) due to COVID symptoms or possible COVID exposure.

  • Members must follow the instructions documented in Section 1.3 Positive COVID Test or Symptoms.

2.7 Guests

  • Guests are only permitted when buses are operating.  Guests must take the bus; the drive-up option is not available for guests.

  • Guests must email their proof of vaccination receipt to COVID@NTSC.ca no later than the cancellation deadline of the trip.  Additional procedures to register guests can be found on the NTSC.ca Ski/Snowboard page.

  • Guests must self-assess their health status within 24 hours of the trip start time. A link to the Ontario COVID-19 Self-Assessment can be found on the NTSC.ca Ski/Snowboard page. If the guest self-identifies that they are experiencing any of the listed symptoms or responds yes to any questions, the guest must email NTSC at COVID@ntsc.ca and will not be allowed to join the day trip.


    3. LESSONS 

    COVID-19 challenges our ability to provide lessons during the 2021/22 season. Members are expected to comply with the regulations below to participate in an NTSC lesson during the pandemic. 

    • Masks must be worn by all students and instructors during the NTSC Lesson unless instructed otherwise. We recommend you pack additional extra face coverings to stay comfortable during your lesson.

    • Students and instructors must maintain physical distance in all ski destinations, as well as in lift lines, and on lifts where possible.

    • Plan ahead and know the protocols for entering indoor areas, warming up, and washroom breaks if allowed by the resort.

    • Instructors are not required to join their students for lunch. We encourage everyone to follow resort protocols for eating lunch and staying safe.

    • For Alpine Day Trips, know the lift riding protocols before starting. Lift riding at resorts may have changed and could affect the time it takes to get onto a lift, such as how many people can ride together. 


      4. AIR AND BUS TRAVEL TRIPS

        • NTSC Air and Bus Travel trips during the 2021/2022 season are limited to Canadian ski destinations.

        • Trips offer the option of “Cancel for Any Reason” insurance. Members are responsible for ensuring they have appropriate insurance. 

        • Further Travel specific protocols and procedures are documented in the Trip Leader and Travel Rep Guide - 2021/2022.

        4.1 Travel Trip Cancellation Policy 

        • Travel trips are purchased from Tour Operators and subject to third party regulations and government travel advisories that prescribe when insurance and refunds are issued. NTSC cannot cancel trips as it may prevent members from obtaining refunds that they would otherwise be eligible to receive.

        • If a member completes the COVID-19 Self-Assessment form and reports experiencing any of the listed symptoms or responds yes to any questions, the member will not be allowed to participate in the trip.

        • All costs associated with cancellation and/or interruption are the participant’s responsibility. 

        4.2 Bus Transportation

        Read in conjunction with section 2.3 Bus Passenger Protocols.

        • Participants must use the same seat for the entire trip and remain seated when travelling. 

        • Bus washrooms should only be used in case of an emergency. The bus will stop roughly every two hours for bathroom breaks.

        • Given the duration of trips, food or drinks may be consumed for very brief periods of time. No alcohol may be consumed on the bus and, except to finish eating or drinking, masks must be worn at all other times.

        4.3 Before a Travel Trip

        • A Wild Apricot Event will be set up for each Travel trip for trip participants to sign off that they have read, understood and agree to abide by the COVID-19 Policies and Protocols for 2021-22 Travel Trips and Assumption of Risk and Waiver of Liability.

        • A COVID-19 Self-Assessment form must be completed within 24 hours of the start of the trip via Google Forms.  Failure to submit the form will result in the member not being able to board the coach bus in Toronto, or in the case of air trips, for the bus trip from the destination airport to the  resort. No refund will be provided by NTSC or the Tour Operator.

        • Trip participants are advised to print a hard copy of their proof of vaccination receipt, just in case a mobile device fails and to bring picture ID.

        4.4 During a Travel Trip

        • Each resort has COVID-19 protocols. The NTSC website includes links to these protocols. Please note that protocols can change before arrival, as resorts will have to comply with evolving local public health advice and related requirements.

        • If a member is not comfortable at any time, they can choose to cancel their trip at their own expense. Once on the trip, a member can return home early by advising the Trip Leader and contacting the Tour Operator to arrange a flight back to Toronto. For bus trips, the member needs to arrange their own transportation home.

        • The NTSC Travel Code is stored on the NTSC Travel website page. If a trip participant's behavior poses a risk to others, the appointed Trip Leader has the right to remove a trip participant from the trip if they do not abide by the NTSC Code of Conduct. All costs associated with the early departure are the participant’s responsibility.  

        • A COVID-19 Self-Assessment form must be completed within 24 hours of the end of the trip via Google Forms.  Failure to submit the form will result in the member not being able to board the coach bus at the resort for the return bus trip to Toronto or in the case of air trips, for the bus trip from the resort to the departure airport. No refund will be provided by NTSC or the Tour Operator if the form is not completed.

        • If trip participants experience a change to their health status (i.e. changes to their COVID-19 Self Assessment form answers) during the trip, a new form must be completed and the changes reported to the Trip Leader and Travel Committee Rep. All costs associated with trip interruption (including due to COVID-19) are the participant’s responsibility. Participants are encouraged to have adequate trip cancellation and interruption insurance.  

        4.5 After a Travel Trip

        • If a member tests positive for COVID or experiences COVID symptoms after a NTSC Travel Trip, the member must follow the instructions in Section 1.3 Positive COVID Test or Symptoms.


          5. SOCIALS 

          Members must follow the instructions in Section 1.3 Positive COVID Test or Symptoms.



          6. VOLUNTEERS

          NTSC volunteers are empowered to apply all Club policies and procedures and escalate through Directors as required.



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