Bega Valley Shire Mayor, Russell Fitzpatrick has welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement the shire will come out of lockdown at 1pm today.
This morning’s announcement occurred despite notification of a further positive detection of COVID-19 virus fragments in a sample from the Bermagui sewage treatment plant.
“It has been a challenging time for everyone and now we can take our first steps into another ‘new normal’, including the reopening of many of our local businesses,” Cr Fitzpatrick said.
“However, we will still have to continue to operate under certain restrictions to ensure the safety of our community.
“Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor public venues, including public transport, front-of-house hospitality, and retail and business premises.
“Venues will be able to reopen subject to physical distancing; one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside. Good hygiene practices must also continue.
“Most importantly, if anyone in the shire has even the mildest symptom, they must come forward and get tested.
“COVID fragments have now been detected in the four sewage treatment plants that are being tested over the last four weeks.
“It’s only through testing that we can be certain of where the virus is.”
Council’s Acting CEO, Anthony McMahon said Council staff were looking forward to rolling back the restrictions for some of their services.
“The re-opening of many of our public facilities following the lockdown is great news for our community and is most welcome,” Mr McMahon said.
“We will reopen our customer service area in the Zingel Place administration building on Monday, with the requirement of masks and physical distancing by customers.
“Our libraries, halls, Bega’s Commemorative Civic Centre and the Learning Centre in Merimbula will also open on Monday, as will the Sapphire Aquatic Centre. However, the rest of the shire’s pools will open on 27 September.”
Detailed information on regional and rural areas with limited restrictions can be accessed from the NSW Health webpage: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/limited-restrictions