The idea to test all Noosa’s hospitality staff of the COVID-19 virus has divided local business groups.
The idea to test all Noosa’s hospitality staff of the COVID-19 virus has divided local business groups.

Proposed COVID-19 testing divides Noosa business groups

AS we begin the slow path back to life after tight social restrictions, the idea to test all Noosa hospitality staff has been put forward. But it isn’t gaining unanimous support.

In recent roundtable meetings with Noosa Chamber of Commerce, Noosa Council, Tourism Noosa and other stakeholders, the idea of individual testing was put forward by Chamber president Murray Brown.

In a Noosa News story published on Monday April 20, Mr Brown outlined one of his proposed strategy to provide COVID-19 testing for all Noosa’s hospitality staff.

“One of the strategies is to have all restaurant, catering and hospitality staff tested and cleared of COVID-19 over the next few weeks,” Mr Brown said.

“So that the staff can be safe in knowing they can work with one another and at the right time tourists can be safe in the knowledge our staff have a ‘Current Health Visa’ of sorts when tourism restarts.”

The health visa is not a new idea.

In a recent NSW publication, director of operations at St Vincent’s pathology service SydPath, Greg Granger suggested ‘everyone in Sydney will eventually be tested and retested and probably retested again.’

“If they can test the entire population of Sydney two, if not three times, we can do the 2000 or so workers up here” Mr Brown said.

Tourism Noosa CEO Melanie Anderson said, while she hadn’t been presented a copy of the Chamber’s new strategy, on the surface, she was not on board.

“We are definitely not supportive of concepts that pre-empt any official direction from health authorities, or that doesn’t consult with the industry and that is difficult to implement in a practical way,” she said.

The CEO has requested the Chamber’s strategy proposal be brought to the next roundtable meeting on Friday April 24.