Once-upon-a-time it was trendy to go to a hotspot but the COVID-19 pandemic has changed all that. These days coming from a hotspot is akin to coming from a leper colony.
Tweed Councillor James Owen says that with the COVID-19 situation in Sydney worsening, he is calling on travellers from Sydney hotspots to stay away from the Tweed Shire.
‘While the Tweed Shire is well and truly open for business, we do not want travellers from Sydney hotspots visiting us right now.’
Cr Owen says that the health and safety of our local community must be our number one priority. ‘I urge these travellers to reconsider their need to travel to our region. Equally, I urge those travelling from the Tweed Shire to Sydney hotspots to reconsider their need to travel.
This is regrettable
Cr Owen says that saying this is regrettable. ‘Tourism is the lifeblood of our community – but I am concerned that an outbreak here in the Tweed Shire could overwhelm our local health system and would be devastating for our local economy.
‘Our health authorities, in conjunction with our police, have managed the COVID-19 outbreak exceptionally well, however, there are currently no intrastate travel restrictions in New South Wales and I’m concerned that people can freely travel here from Sydney hotspots.’
Cr Ron Cooper says Cr Owen is spot on. ‘The Tweed Shire has one of the largest concentrations of elderly citizens in NSW. We know now that these valued members of our community are the most vulnerable to the COVID virus.’
Deputy Mayor: it’s a mistake
Deputy Mayor Chris Cherry believes it’s a mistake to tell all people from Sydney to stay away from the area at a time when businesses, who rely heavily on tourism, are desperate to get back to full operation. ‘Accommodation businesses are working so hard to be “COVID-safe” and show we can operate safely in this new environment,’ she said. ‘Social distancing and COVID safe practices have kept our community safe to date.
‘If people are travelling from Sydney to enjoy some sunshine, to visit loved ones and for work, we need them to be safe and continue to do the right thing, just as we are all trying to do.
‘Victorians are already stopped from entering NSW. If we went on to stop Sydney siders from visiting we would kiss some major employment goodbye.’
To date, the Tweed Shire has avoided significant COVID-19 infections, and currently, there are no active cases.
Cr Owen says that as a community we want to keep those numbers from rising. ‘Thirty-two per cent of our residents are aged over 60, and 4.4 per cent of our residents are Aboriginal, placing them in the highly vulnerable category.
‘I reiterate to all those from Sydney hotspots considering travelling to the Tweed Shire, that until the situation is under control, please stay away’.
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