Focus on health, not tourism, as Sydney border closes
HEALTH needs to be the top priority right now, not tourism.
That is the view of Martin Simons, general manager of Fraser Coast Tourism and Events.
His words came as Queenspland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the state would close its borders to all of Greater Sydney from 1am on Saturday.
"Limiting people's movements does have an impact on tourism," Mr Simons said.
"But that is how the state is avoiding large outbreaks.
"Health officials are the people to make those decisions.
"Keeping Queensland safe and COVID-free will have a bigger impact on tourism than allowing it to get out of hand."
Mr Simons said the Fraser Coast was currently one of the strongest tourism areas in the state.
He said in terms of accommodation, some operators were doing better than the same time last year while others were not faring as well.
Mr Simons said the key for Queensland was to give people the confidence to keep moving around while also keeping people safe.
He said the actions of two young women, who were fined after they travelled from Victoria to Queensland and allegedly lied to police on their border forms, were "terribly irresponsible".
Mr Simons said the number of places the two had visited in the eight days before authorities became aware was of great concern.
"It's like a bushfire," he said.
While there have been no new cases in the Wide Bay since early June, Mr Simons said no one should be complacent.
"Be vigilant," he said.
"In an environment where there's not much COVID activity, people start to think life is back to normal.
"Life is not back to normal, this threat is present.
"It will be hard to contain if it gets into a community unknown."
Mr Simons said anyone visiting restaurants and accommodation providers needed to comply with COVID-safe measures, including providing their address and contact number in case contact tracing was needed.