Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis MP is directing people planning to visit the Yorke Peninsula and surrounding districts for Easter and the school holidays to abide by the call from all political leaders and health professionals across the nation to stay home and cease all non-essential travel and activity.
He reminds that South Australia is operating under the Emergency Management Act with a Major Emergency declared on 22 March in respect of the outbreak of COVID-19, and as such there are laws enacted for non-essential business and other gatherings.
“Whilst non-essential travel is not yet a formal offence and does not carry penalty, the strong recommendation is to stay home and leave it only when you have to, so it does not make sense for people to be travelling into our regions adding to pressures already being felt on our severely stretched finite health services and small number of supermarkets.
“I am alarmed at the number of reports I’m receiving about packed local jetties and boat ramps and the influx of people who’ve already arrived to holiday on Yorke Peninsula and the Copper Coast.
“It doesn’t matter where you are, staying at least one and a half metres away from each other is a clear rule, as is the message that all non-essential domestic travel should be cancelled.
“Please don’t visit - this is not a normal Easter.”
Mr Ellis reminds that gatherings of more than 10 people for any reason is an offence that carries an on the spot fine of $1,000.
“We cannot on the one hand be enforcing closures of cafes, pubs, public playgrounds and skate parks because people gather in them, only for it to be okay for large groups to gather on jetties, boat ramps and beaches.
“A high percentage of our residents are elderly, and we must all play our part and do all we can to contain the spread of infection.
“Local tourism operators and caravan parks have taken commendable responsible proactive measures to protect our local communities, at serious financial impost. For example, owner manager of Country Getaways Helly Easther-Smith has cancelled all her bookings for April, their busiest month of the year, in the interests of protecting our local community so significant are the local concerns.
“It saddens me to dissuade visitors who are ordinarily so vitally important to our local economy, but these are extraordinary times we are living in and the rules and recommendations are in place to reduce the risk of spreading the impact of this crisis further and faster.”