COVID-19

Byron Covid backpackers to be moved to motorhomes

The 81 holiday makers and staff were forced into an onsite lockdown at the premises because of a Covid-positive staff member who was not vaccinated.It is understood most of the guests were vaccinated and have been undergoing testing. Guests will be individually assessed as to whether they can isolate at the site or be moved to the motorhomes set up at the Lismore Showground.“Contact tracing and risk assessments are continuing, as well as investigations into possible alternative locations to support close contacts to self-isolate effectively,” Wayne Jones, from the Northern NSW Local Health District, said.Daily Telegraph – News Feed latest episode“NNSWLHD is establishing community support accommodation in Lismore to assist close contacts of people with Covid-19 to isolate safely and effectively, if they cannot do so at their current premises.“A community of 17 motorhomes will be established at the Lismore Showground which already has access to power, water, and waste disposal services. These are expected to be operational from early next week.“Each motorhome has heating and cooling and includes living and bedroom accommodation, kitchen, toilet, a shower, and radio/television. The campervans are well insulated to cater for the variable weather.” Detective Chief Inspector Matt Keogh from the Tweed Byron Police District said he understood if some holiday makers were annoyed.“I’d support them being moved to other locations, it makes it easier to manage, but if I came up to Byron Bay for a holiday and I was locked in a backpackers the whole time I don’t think I’d be happy either, but generally they have been pretty good,” he said. Byron Shire Mayor Michael Lyon welcomed the news the affected holiday makers will be moved. “They’re all on top of each other, it’s another Ruby Princess,” he said.Mr Lyons said the shire now had more than 80 per cent double vaccination levels which “had surprised everyone” but many businesses have chosen to close until December 15 when restrictions for the unvaccinated are lifted due to a shortage of staff willing to be vaccinated.“I don’t believe in the mandates and this separation because is it causing all sorts of problems in staffing and I look forward to mid-December when that differentiation is removed,” Mr Lyons said.“There has been the issue where businesses didn’t feel confident in their ability to navigate conversations with the community because they felt they were being asked to play role of police in forcing the entry requirements, so for a combination of those two reasons they have closed the doors. It is time for us to live with Covid, there will be outbreaks.”Thousands of schoolies are expected to arrive in Byron Bay over the weekend for the peak week of celebrations.Got a news tip? Email [email protected] – Stay Informed – Social Media

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