Byron Bay Easter plans should be ‘reconsidered’ after new COVID case, Gladys Berejiklian says


People planning on visiting Byron Bay and surrounding areas over the Easter long weekend have been urged to “reconsider” their plans after Queensland’s COVID-19 outbreak spread to NSW.

On Wednesday, NSW confirmed a man in his 20s tested positive for coronavirus after it was confirmed a travellers from Queensland visited Byron Bay for a hen’s party while infectious.

The man attended the Byron Beach Hotel with friends and sat near the hen’s party and later tested positive to COVID-19.

Following the news, Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced a raft of restrictions for the shires of Byron Bay, Ballina, Tweed Heads and Lismore.

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She also urged people outside of these shires not to visit these areas over the next few days.

“We ask everybody who was attending those local government areas to reconsider their plans,” she told reporters.

“Although we’re not saying it is compulsory not to go. Certainly, we want everybody to be on high alert.”

Ms Berejiklian also said it was the government’s “strong preference” that people in these four local government areas don’t travel to other parts of the state.

“We won’t be policing that but it is very strong advice. We don’t want, if there is community transmission, we don’t want it seeded to other parts of New South Wales,” she said.

“We are asking everybody, if you live in those four local government areas, feel free to travel within those four local government areas but we would ask for you to reconsider your plans if you were planning to go to other parts of the state.”

Ms Berejiklian said people in Byron Bay, Ballina, Tweed Heads and Lismore needed to be on “extra high alert” and, as a result, new restrictions would be brought in from 5pm on Wednesday.

These restrictions include:

• Limits of 30 for household gatherings, with residents required to keep a list of people who have visited your home

• All venues in these areas will be required to return to the 4sq m rule

• Venues will be seated only, with patrons not permitted to stand and mingle

• Masks will be mandatory in public indoor settings, retail stores, for hospitality workers and on public transport – including in taxis and Ubers

The Premier said if more restrictions needed to be brought in then a decision would be made on that in the coming days.

“This is the situation in New South Wales, the reason why we are not going as far as the other states is because the systems that we have in place we feel we can get on top of things as they are,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“It is an evolving situation and if the health advice changes, of course we will reconsider that. At this stage, there is absolutely no cause for us to close borders.”



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