Strict physical distancing in place across shire

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Colac Otway Shire Mayor Cr Jason Schram is urging anyone considering visiting a holiday house in the shire to consider the availability of services and strict physical distancing restrictions as part of the nation-wide stage three COVID-19 response.

“The COVID-19 message is to avoid non-essential travel and if people can, they must stay home,” Cr Schram said.

“People who have holiday homes are ratepayers and they have every right to stay at their property, but they must realise it’s not going to be a normal holiday.

“We have concerns about an influx of people who may be unwell or become unwell.

“Our health service at Apollo Bay is a small rural health service which provides quality community care and aged care services with limited acute services, no intensive care beds and no emergency department.

“There are very strict social distancing rules in place across Australia and that includes Apollo Bay, Wye River and across Colac Otway Shire.

“Many businesses have closed; people can’t flock to the beach, they can’t sit in a café or restaurant, they can’t have visitors to their home or associate with more than one person outside their immediate household, and there isn’t a variety of home delivery services like there are in cities,” he said.

“Shops that remain open in Apollo Bay could face challenges ensuring they maintain social distancing requirements and we are talking with many local businesses about how we can support them and the local community.

“It is also important at a time when some supermarket goods such as toilet rolls and basic foodstuffs have been in short supply, that an influx of visitors to the coast does not put pressure on these supplies for local residents.

“This is not the Easter holidays any of us expected and we need everyone to work together to protect our community and reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

/Public Release. View in full here.