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Byron Shire
August 19, 2022

Tweed Cr: ‘travellers from hotspots, stay away’

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Tweed Councillor James Owen.

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’.


Recent stories, information and updates regarding COVID-19

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COVID-19 update: May 9

Today there are 41 COVID-19 positive patients in hospital in Northern NSW, with none of these in ICU.


COVID-19 update: May 6

The Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) reports that there are 37 COVID-19 positive patients in hospital in Northern NSW, with one of these in ICU.


COVID-19 update: Monday 2 May

The Northern NSW Local Health District reports that in the 24 hours to 4pm yesterday, 1 May, 274 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the area, including 56 positive PCR tests and 218 positive rapid antigen tests


COVID-19 update: Friday, April 29

The Northern NSW Local Health District reports that to 4pm yesterday, 28 April, 398 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the region, including 74 positive PCR tests and 324 positive rapid antigen tests.


COVID-19 update: Thursday April 28

The Northern NSW Local Health District reports that to 4pm yesterday, there were 541 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the region, including 143 positive PCR tests and 398 positive rapid antigen tests.


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  1. The perfect solution to this would be allowing the Queensland premier to move the border checkpoints further south.


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