Monday, April 22, 2024

Port mayor says travel permit loophole must close

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has written to the NSW Government to convey its opposition to a travel exemption that allows Greater Sydney residents to visit regional areas to inspect property.

Mayor Peta Pinson said a resident of Sydney used the exemption process to fly to Port Macquarie earlier this month, while infectious with COVID-19.

During the person’s stay they visited at least 20 venues, leading to stay-at-home orders being imposed across the local government area for seven days from 6pm on 28 September.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Mayor, Peta Pinson.

“This lockdown – in the second week of the school holidays and over a long weekend – is devastating for our residents, visitors to the area, and local businesses,” Mayor Pinson said.  

“Our community has done the right thing in complying with COVID-19 restrictions and vaccination messages, with no locally transmitted cases for well over a year – but that’s now been undone by the actions of one person from outside the area.

“Our community is hurting right now; my heart is breaking at some of the messages I’ve received about the impact of this lockdown on families and businesses,” she said.

The Mayor said it was time to close the loophole in the permit system to protect communities from further incidents.

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