It’s stay-cation time as the South Coast and regions ask you not to visit

Alex Rea26 March 2020

Tomakin on the south coast. Photo: Alex Rea.

Easter is a popular time for family getaways and now the kids are (physically) out of school early, a trip to the beach may sound appealing, however, you are being asked not to come.

The key message from the Prime Minister is to stop all non-essential travel, to halt the spread of COVID-19. In addition to that potential problem, regional areas do not have the health facilities to cope with critically sick people en masse.

Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes has a direct message for those intending to head to the coast to isolate themselves.

“I ask those planning a coastal retreat to consider staying where they are and those who’ve already arrived to return home. You will be much better served in the city where medical facilities are more accessible, and goods and services more abundant,” she said.

It’s a really tough time for the fire-ravaged regions in NSW. After sheer survival, came the emotional and financial roller coaster. Local, State and Federal funding was funnelled into tourism campaigns imploring city dwellers to come and visit, bring their empty eskies and spend up.

That message has now taken a sharp U-turn. The marketing campaigns have been put on hold. Not only have states been closing their borders, but health authorities are urging people to stay home.

In Braidwood over the weekend, business was still brisk in the main street and there were plenty of ACT number plates heading down the King’s Highway to the coast.

Member for Bega Andrew Constance has joined the chorus asking visitors to stay put – for the time being at least.

“The ACT Chief Minister has advised for Canberrans to not come to the South Coast in the region’s interest. I strongly support his call and would urge all non-essential travel to stop,” Mr Constance said.

“The fires tested our community and once again we will be tested in order to save lives. Time to dig deep and continue to be the amazing people and community we are. Please follow the public health advice to safeguard our doctors, nurses and our wider community.

“To those who have to keep our community going from our supermarket staff, our pharmacies, our medical workforce, teachers, police, firies – thank you. We all care and we are here to support you.

“Please look after your neighbours and our seniors who live alone. A simple phone call can mean so much” he added. “I know this is so unfair after the fires but we have incredible resilience and resolve. Let’s get through it.”

The south coast of NSW is enticing, but visitors are not wanted at this time. Photo Alex Rea.

Mayor Liz Innes said calls from some in the community to ‘close borders’ were not feasible.

“I understand people are concerned about containing the spread of COVID-19, but local councils don’t have authority to close borders,” she said.

“The message from our civic leaders is very clear. Do not travel unless it is essential. ACT Chief Minister Barr said on Monday this means no holidays on the South Coast. I have asked Canberrans to stay at home.

“But we must be realistic. Almost 40 per cent of homes in Eurobodalla are owned by people who live outside the Shire. Those people have a right to be in their own home. However, we’re seeing mandatory lockdowns across the globe. By traveling to the coast to isolate, people risk being stuck here and placing a huge strain on our health services.

“For those that were planning to come down here – please don’t. It’s a very difficult message. Thirty per cent of our population is over 65, which means we have a vulnerable community. Please don’t come,” Mayor Innes said.

Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes and Batemans Bay Tourism and Business Chamber President Alison Miers say buy local and help businesses get back on track after a tough start to summer. Photo: Supplied.

Just last month Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes and Batemans Bay Tourism and Business Chamber President Alison Miers were encouraging people to come to the coast and help businesses get back on track. Photo: Supplied.

What's Your Opinion?

27 Responses to It’s stay-cation time as the South Coast and regions ask you not to visit

Algernon Moncrieff Algernon Moncrieff 10:22 pm 04 Apr 20

People were told by the authorities not to go to the coast in Dec/Jan because of bushfires – so what did they do, especially the Canberrans – they came in their tens of thousands!!! Now they are coming here again in their tens of thousands, bringing Covid19 Coronavirus with them – despite authorities asking them not to come!!! These people are monsters! Their actions in coming to the coast are criminal – in moral terms if not in law yet! It is unbelievable!

Emily Trim Emily Trim 9:12 pm 28 Mar 20

Think we should all stay put. Your local family Dr. knows and is aware of any issues you may have that need to be taken into consideration if you did contract this virus. Besides, when travelling you would probably stop for food, petrol tec. and who knows, you might be unlucky enough to pick up the virus from someone in the early stages.

Catherine gunthorpe Catherine gunthorpe 3:49 pm 27 Mar 20

We should not let anyone that does not permanently live on the coast stay,even if they own a holiday house.
We have 3main hospitals which combined have 5 ventilators

Visitors stay away

Sean O'Brien Sean O'Brien 7:07 am 27 Mar 20

The Country will be in total lockdown by then.

Gina Woodward Gina Woodward 11:17 pm 26 Mar 20

We need stricter rules enforced in NSW to #flattenthecurve and make people stay at home. This was Tassie’s news tonight, pretty darn clear:

Important information for accommodation, caravan and camping providers

On 25 March 2020 the Premier announced that the National Cabinet agreed additional prohibited activities and venues restrictions would apply.

Prohibited activities and venues that apply to the accommodation sector of Tasmania include all hotels, hostels, caravan (including self-contained cabins) and camping parks, bed and breakfasts, campsites and boarding houses, sharing accommodation (including AirBnB) and all hosted accommodation and holiday home rentals.

Essentially, this includes all accommodation types in Tasmania.

From 11.59 pm Sunday 29 March all commercial accommodation, caravan and camping businesses in Tasmania may only accommodate visitors that fit the following categories:

• Tasmanian workers

• Interstate workers deemed as “Essential Workers”

• Permanent residents - permanent residents are those who permanently reside in caravan parks, hotels and hostels, for example

• People that are in a self-isolation period (who must vacate at the end of the 14 day required period)

• People who have been directed by Government to enter into self-isolation. These people will be allocated to those properties that have been listed by the Tasmanian Department of Communities.

Essential Workers categories may be found on The Secretary of DPIPWE has discretionary powers in considering and approving applications for non-Tasmanian workers.

Wendy Wait Wendy Wait 10:32 pm 26 Mar 20

Jack Jennings I hope you are staying put?

    Jack Jennings Jack Jennings 6:15 am 27 Mar 20

    Wendy Wait yeah I won’t be going anywhere

Lindy Quin Lindy Quin 9:35 pm 26 Mar 20

Both the Batemans Bay and Narooma Visitor Centres are now closed until further notice so that must tell us something. Stay at home people ! And before someone makes a derogatory comment, I have been in tourism at Tilba for 25 years. I have now closed my cottages down not taking bookings for the foreseeable future. I endured 6 evacuations through the bushfires, have had no income since December and now this devastating virus threatens all of us. Our health and the health and well-being of our local communities are of utmost importance and if we are endeavouring to stop the spread and save lives we need to stay at home and lockdown ! Having visitors come from different directions is not going to do it !

Joy Christine Kidd Joy Christine Kidd 7:01 pm 26 Mar 20

It’s just selfish..clubs and restaurants are closed’s are limited..and they are putting us at risk big time as well as themselves..I just don’t understand..what kind of a quality holiday do you think you are going to have by being here ..go home and stay home the rest of us who are trying to flatten this curve 😢

    Sharon Louise Sharon Louise 7:46 pm 26 Mar 20

    Joy Christine Kidd agreed. I just cannot believe how ignorant some people are. What kind of a holiday is one where you have to stay where you are pretty much the whole time, clubs and pubs are shut and most entertainment places are shut and food is limited. As if, they are being ridiculous. They can come back when it would be a good experience on the south coast. They don't want to pay for a holiday and then be disappointed. They were told not to come when we had the fires but didnt listen and still came, then when they were told to go home they didnt like it. Well then don't come to start with, we tried in vain to tell holiday makers that.

Edward Taylor Edward Taylor 6:00 pm 26 Mar 20

Urging is no good.. request? No one takes any notice..they are pouring in now as we speak!

Gail Hayes Gail Hayes 5:33 pm 26 Mar 20

Save your money until Christmas and come we will be here with smiling faces abd lots of hellos

Douglas Alan Simper Douglas Alan Simper 4:45 pm 26 Mar 20

Understandable but Caravan Parks could go broke.

    Phillip Winters Phillip Winters 4:53 pm 26 Mar 20

    Douglas Alan Simper would you rather thousands of people are put at risk.

    Or maybe U own a caravan park

    Carla Harris Carla Harris 5:04 pm 26 Mar 20

    Douglas Alan Simper. "Broke" versus the health of yourself, your family, your friends, your community? I choose broke. You can fix "broke", you can't fix dead!

Carla Harris Carla Harris 4:36 pm 26 Mar 20

Instead of asking/telling people not to travel here, some of us have the individual power to take the choice away from them. In my opinion the people who can really step up for our community right now are THE ACCOMMODATION PROVIDERS in the area. DO NOT TAKE BOOKINGS FOR NON-ESSENTIAL PEOPLE! We are one of those accommodation providers and that is what I am going to do. Yes, we are all struggling after the fires. Yes, we "could" go broke and lose everything. Bookings are way, way down already and you will have to struggle through the next couple of months anyway so are a couple of bookings really worth the spread your guests could cause in our community? When this is over the community will rally for us all, the Tourism bodies will rally for us all, the Chambers will rally for us, the council will rally for us, etc...just like they were doing after the fires. We will get through this! PLEASE, PLEASE don't put money before people, before the lives of your community. You can find other ways to fix your finances but you can't fix lost lives!

    Christine Fred Randall Burhop Christine Fred Randall Burhop 5:11 pm 26 Mar 20

    Carla Harris that is what I have done in tathra

    Carla Harris Carla Harris 5:14 pm 26 Mar 20

    Christine Fred Randall Burhop Fantastic! 👏

    Janet Kay Harris Janet Kay Harris 7:44 pm 26 Mar 20

    Christine Fred Randall Burhop good on you xo

    Jane Allen Jane Allen 7:56 pm 26 Mar 20

    Carla Harris i’ve also cancelled all bookings at my holiday house, peeps need to stay the Eff home.....

    Carla Harris Carla Harris 7:59 pm 26 Mar 20

    Jane Allen Good on you! 👏

    Lindy Quin Lindy Quin 9:16 pm 26 Mar 20

    I closed off my bookings a week ago Carla for the foreseeable future ... very hard for me as I have had no income since last year before the fires. But my health and the health and well-being of our communities are more important. I know many in the accommodation sector that are still taking bookings ! Do not travel, stay at home ! Too many mixed messages going out and the wording is not strong enough !

    Carla Harris Carla Harris 9:27 pm 26 Mar 20

    Lindy Quin You are doing the right thing, thank you. I hope things turn around for you soon.

    Lindy Quin Lindy Quin 9:37 pm 26 Mar 20

    Carla Harris It is the only responsible thing we can do Carla ... we have a long road ahead of us 😕

    Tracey Davis Tracey Davis 9:37 pm 26 Mar 20

    Carla Harris

    You are correct. If they have a holiday house to go to, they’ll go

    We only reopened 3 weeks ago after bushfire impact, have now closed again


    Carla Harris Carla Harris 9:44 pm 26 Mar 20

    Tracey Davis Absolutely! The timing isn't great after the fires but we all just have to say no to tourists right now...ALL OF US.

    Kim Dudley Kim Dudley 4:52 pm 27 Mar 20

    Jane. Thank you. x