Queensland Police set up a road block due to the coronavirus at the NSW / Queensland border on the old Pacific Highway at Coolangatta. Photo: Scott Powick
Queensland Police set up a road block due to the coronavirus at the NSW / Queensland border on the old Pacific Highway at Coolangatta. Photo: Scott Powick Scott Powick

'Give us a break, don’t take one': Coronavirus tourism plea

STAY away and stay at home this weekend.

That is the resounding message from health officials and community leaders in the Tweed.

Just as all aspects of life have had to adjust to the coronavirus epidemic, so must the Easter holidays.

Swap the traditional time spent with friends and family or a weekend escape for the four walls of your own home says the region's health boss.

The call comes as the NSW border remains open despite pleas from both the Tweed Shire Council and Federal Member for Richmond Justine Elliot.

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They have appealed to the NSW Premier to close the border for the safety of people in the region and in the hope to stop escalating border tensions.

Queensland border restrictions tightened last week however anyone outside NSW can travel freely between their home state and NSW.

To encourage social distancing this weekend, the council has followed in the footsteps of the Gold Coast and shut Tweed beaches.

Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones.
Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones. Scott Powick

Northern NSW Local Health District chief executive Wayne Jones urged people who would have ordinarily been travelling to the Tweed over the break to reconsider their plans, and steer clear.

"For every person who doesn't come to our region, it makes it easier for us to manage our own physical distancing needs here in Northern NSW," he said.

"If travellers stay away, it means there is less chance of new cases being brought into our region.

"Whether you were planning time away in a house, an apartment, a resort or in the bush, please cancel your plans and stay at home."

Mr Jones said the health district that covers Tweed Heads to Grafton was aware these measures were negatively impacting local travel and hospitality sectors.

"But the quicker we can contain any community transmission, the more likely it is that we'll be able to start our recovery process sooner," he said.

"We want our region to be accessible for everyone again soon, but right now we need a break.

"Our hospitals and our staff will be here for those who need us; please don't make it more difficult for them. "Please keep your distance, so that we can, too. It's that simple."

 

 

Tweed MP Geoff Provest and Superindendent Dave Roptell urge the Tweed community respect social distancing and essential travel regulations. Photo: Scott Powick
Tweed MP Geoff Provest and Superindendent Dave Roptell urge the Tweed community respect social distancing and essential travel regulations. Photo: Scott Powick

The warnings echo those from Tweed Byron Police District, who last week made clear a holiday is not a reasonable excuse to travel during the Easter break and rule breakers could expect hefty fines.

Tweed MP Geoff Provest warned of the mistaken belief in metropolitan areas that regional areas are safer and that there are fewer restrictions.

"The Tweed will not tolerate coronavirus tourism. Non-essential travel, and that definitely includes holidaying, is now against the law," he said.

Now that international visitors are forcefully quarantined, the main concern is community transmission and that happens when people travel.

 

"Help is available to people across regional NSW, particularly people who are isolated and the elderly. If you need a hand call the NSW Government's COVID-19 hotline on 13 77 88."   



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