New COVID restrictions for Coffs Harbour Council meetings

Face masks must be worn at the next Coffs Harbour City Council meeting, in accordance with new COVID-19 regional restrictions imposed last week. Photo: Emma Darbin.

 

RECENT regional COVID-19 restrictions will see the mandatory wearing of face masks at the upcoming Coffs Harbour City Council meeting on Thursday 8 July.

Members of the public are still allowed to physically attend the Council meeting, however they must wear a face mask and social distance by abiding by the four square metre rule.

Up to 25 members of the public are permitted to attend Council meetings.

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Under current Public Health Orders it is permissible for councillors, Council staff and others to remove their face masks for the purposes of addressing the meeting but they must wear face masks at all other times.

Under current guidelines, Councils in regional areas are still permitted to hold Council meetings in person, however Councillors who have been in the Greater Sydney or Blue Mountains areas, or the Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas on or after June 21 must follow ‘stay at home’ orders for a period of 14 days after they left those areas and must attend Council meetings via an audio-visual link.

Mayor Denise Knight and Crs Keith Rhoades and Tegan Swan attended the last Council meeting on 24 June via video link after travelling to Canberra via Sydney to attend a recent conference, and having a subsequent COVID-19 test.

A Council spokesperson described the current COVID situation as “very fluid” and stated that Council was being guided by the Public Health COVID-19 restrictions issued by the NSW Government.

All future Council meetings will be undertaken in accordance with information provided by the NSW Office of Local Government.

NSW Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock held an online meeting on Monday night for Council mayors and general managers with public health and Government officials including Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant to provide a briefing on the new COVID-19 restrictions.

The current Public Health Order took effect from Saturday 26 June and expires on Saturday 10 July, unless extended.

 

By Emma DARBIN

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