BELLINGEN Shire Mayor, Cr Dominic King, is urging locals and visitors alike to play by the rules when it comes to COVID-19 safety.
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Mr King said that the council continues to monitor and follow the advice of NSW Health over the holiday period as the two clusters in Greater Sydney continue to develop and tourist numbers swell over the holiday period by the thousands.
“Our Shire’s own COVID-19 clinic has recorded a recent spike in people being tested for the virus, and while currently there are no positive cases recorded, we all need to play by the rules and practice good hygiene and follow the appropriate social distancing measures,” he said.
“This also applies to those visiting our Shire, which includes residents of the Northern Beaches who left the Northern Beaches area before 5:02pm on Saturday 19 December, as they are required to comply with the stay-at-home order, even if they are on holidays elsewhere.
“That means if you’re visiting our Shire and are from the Northern Beaches, you must comply with the Public Health (COVID-19 Northern Beaches) Order 2020 directions and not leave your temporary accommodation without a reasonable excuse.”
Cr King said the Public Health (COVID-19 Northern Beaches) Order 2020 identified a reasonable excuse as including obtaining food or other goods and services, travelling for the purpose of work or education, and leaving your temporary accommodation to exercise or for medical or caring reasons.
“These rules aren’t optional because our own local medical and health professionals have worked tirelessly to prevent localised transmission of the virus and avoid the closure of the local medical clinics we rely on and protect local businesses who have done it tough recently,” he continued.
“The rules apply to everybody though, so for those of you in our community who are unsure what the latest COVID-19 restrictions mean for you, then please check the information on what you can and can’t do under the rules to stay up to date with the most recent Public Health Order.”
Cr King added the NSW Police Public Site also encouraged anyone who has information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of a COVID-19-related ministerial direction is urged to contact Crime Stoppers online via https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.
“It would be very disappointing if a member of our community or someone visiting here had to use the online Crime Stoppers facility to report someone doing the wrong thing because we’re all in this together, and we should all be playing by the rules.”
The reminder also comes at a time when residents in regional NSW are being encouraged by NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard to wear masks.
By Sandra MOON