Important Schoolie announcement from Byron Council 14 September 2020

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Thinking about coming to Byron for Schoolies? Postpone until next year please

School leavers who were planning to come to Byron Bay for their Schoolies celebration are asked to postpone their plans.

“At any other time we would be preparing to welcome school leavers but these are extraordinary times and our message is that the beaches and the town will still be here when this COVID pandemic is over and we will welcome you then with open arms,” Mayor Richardson said.

Mayor Richardson has asked teenagers to change their travel plans because COVID-19 will mean strict and severe restrictions on any sort of social gathering.

“School leavers and their parents should know that anyone planning a trip to the Byron Shire for what would normally be Schoolies celebrations can expect a very different experience this year.

Currently there are strict controls for people patronising hotels, there are no night clubs operating, and no large public gatherings and it’s expected these rules and restrictions on social gathering will still be in place in NSW in November – December this year.

“Anyone coming to Byron Shire during Schoolies Week, or any time, is required to abide by all of the NSW Health orders including no gathering in groups larger than 20 people in public and private places,” Mayor Richardson said.

“With nightclubs closed, no dancing and hotels strictly enforcing COVID-19 protocols, our main health and safety concern is of house parties getting out of control in residential neighbourhoods through unmanaged holiday letting bookings.

“Council and local police cannot manage this alone – we need the help of the NSW Premier,” Mayor Richardson said.

To protect the health and safety of residents in northern NSW, Byron Shire Council is requesting Premier Berejiklian treat holiday letting the same as other types of tourist accommodation and make it mandatory for each to have a COVID -19 Safety Plan with the same strict visitor and guest rules as hotels and hostels.

“Anyone visiting our Shire is expected to respect our community and do their bit to keep us COVID safe and the ramifications for the entire state are potentially enormous should there be just one case of COVID-19 in our area as a result of uncontrolled house parties,” Mayor Richardson said.