With the HSC over and school leavers starting to come into Byron Bay, the Council, Police and the Northern NSW Local Health District, are all reminding the teenagers to keep COVID-19 front of mind.
Night clubs in Byron Bay remain closed and strict procedures are in place in the town’s hotels and the NSW Health Orders ban gatherings of more than 30 people in public places.
Of concern to Council and police is the potential for school leavers to host house parties at their accommodation with little regard for COVID-safe protocols.
“Let’s face it – we all know what an amazing feeling it is to finish school and this year’s cohort have certainly been faced with enormous challenges – but as guests in our community we are asking you to do the right thing,” Mayor Richardson said.
“This means observing social distancing and abiding by the rules relating to parties because the last thing we want to see is an outbreak of COVID-19 here in Byron Bay.
“People in the community also have role to play in reporting house parties and large groups of people to police.
“We all know how contagious COVID-19 is and how quickly it can spread so our message to those teenagers who are in Byron Bay is to have a good time but do it safely,” Mayor Richardson said.
“If people are not well they should get tested, remembering to self isolate until they get the test results,” Mayor Richardson said.
“What we don’t want to see is people who are feeling sick to put-off getting tested or not get tested all increasing the potential for COVID to spread throughout our community before it is detected,” Mayor Richardson said.
Schoolies Week starts on 23 November and runs to 12 December. It is not an event that is organised therefore there is no ability for Council or the Police to cancel it.
“Our great hope this year was for people to defer their trip to Byron Bay this year and return when things are more settled,” Mayor Richardson said.
“With the Queensland and Victorian borders open it appears that the best we can hope for is a safe couple of weeks where visitors respect the rules relating to social gatherings, parties and distancing,” he said.