N.H. Gov. Chris Sununu joined New England’s other five governors Thursday in suspending interstate youth hockey competitions through at least the end of the year.

The decision came in response to COVID-19 cases associated with youth hockey teams traveling across state lines, according to an announcement from Sununu’s office.

The suspension starts Saturday and applies to public schools, private schools and other teams playing in youth hockey competitions.

“Given the support for this agreement from our regional neighbors, New Hampshire made the practical decision to join this effort,” Sununu said in a statement Thursday. “We remain optimistic that our newly issued Hockey and Ice Arena guidance will continue to ensure a safe and successful hockey season for New Hampshire hockey players.”

Last month, Sununu ordered ice rinks to close after COVID-19 cases among hockey players, before allowing them to reopen Oct. 30 with new safety guidelines.

Sununu said Thursday’s announcement does not stop teams from competing within New Hampshire.

“This doesn’t pause hockey — it pauses crossing the border for games,” he said.

Keene High’s athletic director Mike Atkins said although the effects are still unknown, he suspects the only games on the Keene ice hockey teams schedules that would be affected are any competitions against Brattleboro Union High School in Vermont.