Byron mayor Simon Richardson.
Byron mayor Simon Richardson.

Mayor urges visitors to put residents’ health first

BYRON mayor Simon Richardson has urged visitors to the shire to put the safety of locals first.

As school holidays begin, Cr Richardson has asked holiday-makers to be considerate of residents’ health.

He has asked visitors to stick to the 1.5m social distancing rule.

“The rules around good hygiene, social distancing and restricted gatherings are as strong as ever and the onus is on our visitors to be responsible and help us keep the Byron Shire community safe from COVID-19,” Cr Richardson said.

“I get that there’s a strong temptation to let your hair down a bit, especially if you’re here for some relaxing and getting away from what has been a really stressful year, but I ask that we all put the safety of the whole community first.

“As we’ve seen in Victoria, there is no room for complacency, and we all have to do our bit.

“Our local police officers have expressed concerns to me, especially about some gatherings that have been happening in Byron Bay recently, and are warning visitors to stick to the rules or risk fines.”

Byron Shire Council has extended its suspension of busking permits until July 31 in a bid to discourage large gatherings.

“Everyone knows we love our buskers in Byron Shire – they are part of the Byron experience, but council has to be responsible as well and we will be holding off reissuing busking permits until it is safe to have those larger gatherings again,” he said.

“We apologise to all our talented buskers but we know how good they are and the size of the crowds they naturally draw here means that we have to wait a bit longer to welcome them back.”

The council’s caravan parks and camping grounds reopened from June 1.

Mullumbimby Civid Hall and the Bangalow A & I Hall opened from June 12 and other council-owned halls reopened from Wednesday.