An important message for Noosa accommodation and retail sectors
An important message from Sandy Bolton MP for Noosa, Tourism Noosa and Noosa Council to the Accommodation and Real Estate sector in Noosa:
Here is how the recent Government directives that have been issued in regards to people staying home during the COVID-19 crisis will impact the Noosa region.
This includes a direction from the Queensland Chief Health Officer from Sunday, March 29 until the end of the declared public health emergency which provides a Home Confinement Direction with the purpose to prohibit;
• Persons from leaving their residence except for permitted purposes; and
• Groups of more than two persons who are not members of the same household from gathering in any place except for permitted purposes.
The direction outlines that everyone should stay home unless you are:
• Shopping for essentials - food and necessary supplies
• Medical or health care needs, including compassionate requirements
• Exercise with no more than one other person (unless from your household)
• Providing care or assistance to an immediate family member
• Work and study if you can't work or learn remotely.
The Queensland Government has advised that Queensland tourism businesses in operation must do so within the strict guidelines of what is deemed as essential.
The interpretation for our accommodation and real estate industry is that this means that you cannot take on holiday visitors or people that just need a beach break.
The only exemptions to this include:
• Extreme cases - Front line nurses and doctors that are quarantining from family due to their work
• Displaced from closed caravan parks or backpacker hostels and would need to be on a longer term basis
• Extreme cases such as a family that has sold house and needs accommodation - would need evidence of any extreme circumstances and use your judgment
Queensland Police have been given authority to issue on the spot fines of $1334.50 for individuals and $6672.50 for corporations which fail to abide by the health directions.
Tourism Noosa CEO Melanie Anderson said "We collectively recognise the importance tourism provides to Noosa's economy and need the support of our industry in these unprecedented times but now is the time to work together and comply with Government regulations and laws".
Noosa Mayor and Local Disaster Management Group Chair Tony Wellington acknowledged that this is a difficult period for the accommodation and real estate sector.
"There's no doubt that all of our tourism-related businesses are doing it very, very hard at the moment," he said. "But combating this pandemic requires community-wide support, from businesses as well as individuals."
"The state borders are closed and everyone has been asked to stay home and not to travel. It is vitally important that we all follow the requirements imposed by the Federal and State Governments."
"As a community, we all have a part to play and we need to support each other through this challenging time."
Cr Wellington said he was aware of some issues arising with backpackers congregating on beaches. He reassured the community that this was being tackled by a special committee of tourism officials working with Queensland police.
MP for Noosa Sandy Bolton said "I know this is hard, including the new restrictions which prevent you from sunbaking or enjoying that coffee with a friend on the river.
"However, collectively we need to follow the above directives so that we can get on top of COVID-19 as quickly as possible, so that we can get back to our lives and businesses. It is extreme, however, to avoid a total lock down, we need to do this".
Stay inside and stay well,
We need to do this together as a community.
Sandy Bolton MP for Noosa, Tourism Noosa and Noosa Council