BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA is off-limits to visitors during coronavirus. (Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)
BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA is off-limits to visitors during coronavirus. (Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

Byron Shire officially off-limits to visitors: NSW Govt

BYRON Shire is officially off-limts to visitors, with new orders from the NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, Brad Hazard.

The Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 directs that a person must not leave their residence without a reasonable excuse such as food shopping, work, exercise or going to a medical appointment.

Going on a holiday is not a reasonable excuse.

Byron Shire Mayor, Simon Richardson, said the message cannot possibly be any louder or clearer - do not come to Byron Shire for a day-trip or the Easter weekend.

"NSW Police and council will not tolerate people coming to our Shire at this desperate and dire time," Mayor Richardson said.

"If people have booked an apartment or holiday house for Easter then that is too bad - everyone in our community is hurting, our businesses are closed, people are scared and vulnerable and the vast majority of residents are absolutely heeding the isolation and social distancing rules.

"For the health and safety of our residents we cannot afford to expose ourselves to COVID-19 any more than we have been already," Mayor Richardson said.

"There are very heavy penalties for failing to comply with these Government Orders and local Police have informed council they are taking the matter very, very seriously.

"If people are aware of anyone planning to come to Byron for a break - tell them to think again because, as we are telling them #ByronStayHome - they are not welcome at the moment," Mayor Richardson said.

A new COVID-19 clinic is opening at Byron Central Hospital, operating from Thursday, running seven days a week between 10am and 4pm.

The free clinic will welcome backpackers in the Byron Shire who have any COVID-19 symptoms, even if those symptoms are mild.