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May 28, 2023

Michael Lyon welcomes return of masks

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A press release from Byron Shire Council on the new mandate by the NSW Government to make the wearing of masks when indoors mandatory and to reintroduce checking in with QR codes, has been welcomed by the Mayor of the Byron Shire, Michael Lyon.

It comes after 102 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the Northern NSW Local Health District in the last 24 hours with 59 cases in the Byron Shire.

‘I am pleased to hear that the NSW Government is asking for masks to be worn indoors because this is a simple and effective way of protecting yourself and others,’ said Mayor Lyon.

Byron Shire numbers have been increasing

‘I note that as the COVID numbers in the Byron Shire have been increasing in recent weeks so too have the number of people I have seen taking the initiative and wearing masks when shopping and out and about.

‘There is no denying that COVID-19 is now established in our Shire and the reintroduction of QR codes will provide some ability for authorities and members of the public to check to see if they have been to places where they could have been exposed to the virus.

‘I also welcome the announcement that the Government will be supplying free rapid antigen tests to people next year as a way of managing what seems to be the ever-increasing queues of people lining up for COVID tests.

‘Certainly with the high number of COVID infections in the Byron Shire people are trying to get tested but I’m being told that operating hours at some places are reduced and people are being turned away which is concerning.

‘Advice from NSW Health is to now to only get tested if you have symptoms of COVID.’

Council is promoting a COVID-Safe Summer

Byron Shire Council say they are promoting a COVID-Safe Summer for all locals and visitors.

Circles have been painted on the grass at Main Beach, Byron Bay, as a reminder to socially distance and signage is also in place.

‘As we move into Christmas I am hoping that everyone slows down, chills out, wears a mask and gets tested if necessary,’ he said.

‘There are six people in hospital at the moment, one of them in ICU, and the best present we can give to our community and our health workers is to keep these numbers down as much as we possibly can.’

Information about COVID-19, including testing and vaccination clinics, is on Council’s website.


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  1. And Lyons election campaign alleging he would stand for individual freedoms, i.e. no masks, no check ins, no vaccines, no boosters, etc., lasts…… one day after election. Having got the ‘freedom’ antivax/anti restrictions vote, he now jettisons that sector who voted for him and now supports masks, QR Codes and testings. Perhaps Lyons should now acknowledge Swivell, who bore the slings and arrows of standing for a health and broad social protection position, and who hasnt let the ink dry on his election success by getting in and advocating to the Minister and Health authorities to reintroduce the measures that they just have. While the Acting, now voted in, Mayor Lyons, stood back, said nothing, while his provision of kindling still stoked the anti vax ‘freedom’ opposition to masks, QR Codes and testings.

    • Yes I can’t quite believe the free pass the Mayor has received on this one. Perhaps the Echo could request a comment.

      Btw, I don’t think Mark Swivell was the only one upfront about a pro vaccine, pro public health intervention platform. I reckon Asren Pugh gave much the same answers.


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