Blue Mountains News

Closure Of Echo Point and New Travel Restrictions Due to COVID-19

Source: Blue Mountains City Council
Posted: 31 Mar 2020
Echo Point will be temporarily closed to the public from midday tomorrow (1 April 2020), until further notice. This follows the closure of Council’s 56 formal playgrounds, skate parks and BBQ facilities throughout the City.

These measures are being taken to safeguard the health of our community at this time of crisis.

Non-essential travel to regional NSW areas, including the Blue Mountains must also be cancelled, following the latest Public Health Order from the NSW Government.

Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill said: “While these new closures and restrictions seem extreme, they are totally and unequivocally necessary to protect the health of our staff and our community.

“Council is following the directions and advice of the NSW Government. This approach mirrors our own request to the State Government in regards to restricting the number of visitors coming to areas like the Blue Mountains during this period of crisis,” Mayor Greenhill said.

“I’ve been saying for some time that we needed more decisive and swifter action to protect our communities, and particularly the most vulnerable among us, and I am relieved to see the NSW and Australian Governments are starting to implement that action now.

“It is what we need to weather this storm as safely and quickly as possible.”

What the new Public Health Order means

The new Public Health Order includes a number of changes and new penalties. First and foremost, everyone must stay at home unless you are going to:

  • work (where you can’t work remotely)
  • school or an educational institution
  • shop for food and essentials
  • get medical care or supplies
  • exercise.

You may only leave home with a reasonable excuse. Read the full Public Health Order, including what constitutes a ‘reasonable excuse’, what is closed, open and restricted, and what penalties apply for breaching the Order.

NSW Police will be enforcing the Public Health Order so it’s important the community reads the details and understand the restrictions and their responsibilities.

Non-essential travel must be cancelled and Easter holidaymakers should indefinitely postpone their visits, in line with the nationwide effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said National Cabinet has clearly asked everyone to stay at home unless they are shopping for essentials, are receiving medical care, are undertaking daily exercise or are attending work or school.

“To help slow the spread we need to do the right thing by our families, friends and neighbours, which means staying 1.5 metres away from others, avoid social gatherings, wash hands and ensure that if you are sick, that you self-isolate,” Mr Barilaro said.

Help is available to people across regional NSW, particularly people who are isolated and the elderly, and encouraged anyone who needs a hand to call the NSW Government’s COVID-19 hotline on 13 77 88.

For the latest information about the NSW Government’s response to COVID-19, go to: nsw.gov.au

Mayor Greenhill continued: “This is an unprecedented time we are living in. Sadly, that is not the first time I have said that this year.

“There is no doubt that the beginning of 2020 has been one of the most difficult for all of us, with record-breaking drought followed by devastating fire, into record-breaking rains and flooding, to a global pandemic unseen for 100 years.

“Everyone in our community is tired, I am too. And when all the news around us seems bleak and we are separated from our support networks, I feel it’s more important than ever to keep saying what I’ve been saying for months.

“You are not alone. Everyone is living this together, and together is how we survive.

“The drought didn’t break us, and neither did the fires. They were incredibly difficult and we came close, but in the end we stood firm, and stood tall, together.

“And to our local businesses, I would say this – hang in there as best you can. I know you are still recovering from the bush fires and this is another blow for you. Council is doing everything we can to support you, and the NSW and Australian Governments are also rolling out support packages to help you survive.”

Full details about Council services and closures is available on the BMCC Coronavirus page

Council also encourages residents to continue to access Council services online:

 
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