AS the Port Stephens region was left rattled last week by the confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the Tomaree Peninsula, local businesses, sporting organisations and community groups began proactively rolling back and halting operations.
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Tourism operators such as Moonshadow-TQC Cruises and Port Stephens 4WD Tours have ceased trading to help stem the flow of visitors to the region as the NSW Government directive to cancel all non-essential travel goes unnoticed.
It comes as a Sydney traveller was the confirmed source of infection for the CoronaVirus outbreak in the area.
Port Stephens MP, Kate Washington, has said that the local community has rallied to the cause to keep themselves and others safe.
“Many businesses and organisations have gone above and beyond the government’s health advice by making the difficult decision to temporarily pull the pin on activities whilst we gain control of the situation,”
“It’s really impressive to see that our community is doing what it needs to do to look after itself and I’m asking people from elsewhere to love our community as much as we do, and come back to visit us when it’s safe for everyone.
“Regardless of where people live in NSW, they shouldn’t be thinking of travelling right now.”
While the constituency of the Port region have so far done the right thing, many travelers continue to flaunt expert advice and roll through Paul’s Corner roundabout for weekday and weekend visits.
Multiple large scale accommodation providers such as the Anchorage and the Ramada Resort, Shoal Bay are still actively promoting ‘staycations’ for travellers with little to no health advice and warnings.
It has angered residents across numerous social media community groups that have seen it as not only putting locals at risk, but tourists who may come in contact with potential COVID carriers.
Mayor Ryan Palmer said that the Port Stephens Council have heard the community’s concerns and will restrict tourists at Council controlled accommodation providers.
“Council has taken the proactive measure of placing restrictions on travellers from known hot spots across NSW that planned on staying at our holiday parks,” said Mr Palmer.
“The council takes its advice from the NSW Health experts and will continue to implement this advice.”
By Mitch LEES