News

Blue Mountains Mayor Urges Visitors to Stay Away to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

Source: Blue Mountains City Council
Posted: 8 Apr 2020
Mayor Mark Greenhill has asked visitors to stay away from the Blue Mountains over the traditionally busy Easter long weekend.

Mayor Greenhill said the Public Health Order, issued by the State Government on 31 March 2020, restricted public movements to essential trips only in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“But we saw on the weekend just past, that ‘weekenders’ and ‘day trippers’ are continuing to visit the Blue Mountains despite the Minister’s Order,” Mayor Greenhill said.

“We had large groups of people gathering in parks, despite our formal playgrounds and BBQ areas being closed. Police had to move these people on.

“We even saw people jumping over barricades to access Echo Point and walking tracks.

“I urge visitors to take the Public Health Order seriously, for the sake of your own health as well as the health of my community.”

Breaching the Public Health Order is an offence and NSW Police are enforcing the order.

Anyone that has information regarding individuals or business contravening the COVID-19 Public Health Order is urged to contact Crime stoppers and make a report. Further information is available at https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/

“Council Rangers do not have the authority to fine those who are not complying with the COVID-19 orders,” Mayor Greenhill said.

“I urge the Blue Mountains community to contact Crime Stoppers if they see someone doing the wrong thing.”

The Public Health Order requires people to stay at home unless they are:

  • Going to work or school
  • Shopping for essentials
  • Exercising (solo or with one other, or immediate family members), or
  • Attending medical appointments or compassionate visits.

“Member for Blue Mountains Trish Doyle and I have genuine concerns about the large numbers of people that will travel to the Blue Mountains over the Easter long weekend,” Mayor Greenhill said.

“We have both asked the Premier of NSW and the Ministers of the Health and Environment portfolios to encourage people to stay at home over this period, and to not visit regional areas like the Blue Mountains.

“We have also suggested that another Public Health Order be considered that limits travel distance, other than for emergency services, over the Easter holiday.”

Blue Mountains City Council closed Echo Point to the public on 1 April 2020, until further notice. This followed the closure of Council’s 56 formal playgrounds, skate parks and BBQ facilities throughout the City.

“Blue Mountains City Council has been quick to take the measures required to safeguard the health of our community at this time of crisis,” Mayor Greenhill said.

“I ask again that visitors do not visit the Blue Mountains at this time, to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Read the full Public Health Order, including what constitutes a ‘reasonable excuse’, what is closed, open and restricted, and what penalties apply for breaching the Order.

 
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